The differences between leadership and management are not merely academic. How an organization thinks about leading and managing provides insights into its culture. Further, it significantly impacts their ability to create sustainable innovation that is driven by a culture of innovation.
An insightful case study that examines how one organization changed their thinking was recently shared in “Transforming Your Leadership Culture” published by Jossey-Bass. The organization engaged people from all levels and discussed the differences between what it means to lead vs. manage. The resulting objective was for employees to shift their focus towards leading. They defined the shift from “manage” to “lead” in terms of several pairs of activities to change:
- engage instead of direct
- influence instead of control
- question instead of listen
- learn instead of instruct
- motivate instead of dominate
- integrate instead of separate
- multiple rights instead of I’m right
- dialogue instead of argue
- invite instead of command
This is an organization preparing for sustainable innovation. They are creating a culture that embraces questioning, dialogue, and collaboration.