Science of Agile Leadership - How You Can Use Discoveries in Sociology, Psychology and Neuroscience

Organizations are increasingly recognizing that true, deep and enduring agile transformation can happen only if their Leaders embrace the Agile way. However, leadership agility is not easy. Why? Because we are up against a bewildering and formidable array of factors: history, systemic forces, our tribal nature, human psychology and the nature of the brain itself.

In addition, Leaders may act in completely un-agile ways while believing that they are in fact acting 'in the best interest of all'.

We are all more vulnerable to unknown internal and external forces than we realize or accept.

This presentation looks at the following:

  1. Forces that leaders are up against that made agile leadership difficult.
  2. Scientific evidence backing up these ideas.
  3. How leaders can overcome these obstacles to become truly agile and what they can expect on the road to 'self-transformation'. This too will be backed up by specific scientific models that have been proven to be useful in personal transformation.

In summary, the presentation / workshop will take a scientific approach. Several social psychology experiments that back up the ideas will be explained, in addition to looking at some of the latest discoveries in neuroscience and behavior economics.

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Outline/structure of the Session

Part 1 : A hands on exercise.

The audience will be divided into two group. They will be asked to estimate the cost of a hotel room shown on the slide. Each group is given slightly different conditions. The results will be discussed later in the presentation when the relevant psychological principles are highlighted. The objective of this exercise is for everyone to discover for themselves that the are not rational!

Part 2 What is Agile Leadership

Participants are asked to discuss in groups (of 4 or 6 people) and identify what they think agile leadership means. I then show them the definitions from three sources: A) Scrum alliance B) Wikipedia C) Business Agility as discussed in a popular Inc. Magazine article.

At the end of this part, audience will realize that there are several definitions of agile leadership. However, most emphasize certain ‘unique’ qualities i.e. different from the ones that comes to leaders naturally.

Part 3: The forces

During this part, some real life social psychology experiments will be presented. How they were carried on and what they indicate about human psychology, groups and teams. In addition, specific neuroscience discoveries will be explained that link brain areas that are linked to certain behaviours.

These will then be linked to the leadership qualities identified in part 2. The objective here is to recognize that these qualities are difficult because of social-psychophysical system. Sociology plays a role. Individual psychology plays a role. The brain structures play a role. These three are interlinked and influence one another in myriad ways. That is what makes Agile Leadership difficult.

Part 4: Are we rational?

During this part, the results of the exercise audience did in part 1 will be revealed. When results are shown, the audience will realize that the scientific experiments discussed in the earlier section apply to them as well. They too are human, fallible and easily influenced by factors they are are unaware of.

Part 5: How can we transform

By this time, audience will have seen that Agile leadership requires a lot of unique qualities, that we are not rational and that there is scientific evidence for this. This part will examine the following: given this grim reality, how does one transform into an Agile Leader? Specific strategies and change models will be discussed again, linking wherever applicable to latest science.

Part 6: What we can expect

The final part looks at what we can expect on the road to transformation. What kind of changes can we expect and how soon? What do we need to watch out for?

Learning Outcome

  1. Learn specific psychological, neurological and social aspects involved in agile leadership.
  2. Discover various social psychology experiments that prove the psychological quirks we are all prone to.
  3. Identify ways to develop as agile leaders, given the social-psycho-neurological limitations.
  4. What does science of change teach us? What strategies can we use to and what can we expect on the road to transformation.

Target Audience

Executives, Sr. Leaders, anyone Interested in latest science about practicing Agile Leadership

schedule Submitted 10 months ago

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