Mayvin - A specialist Leadership and Organisational Development company
Mayvin /‘meIvIn/ def: [also Maven - Yiddish/Hebrew]: ‘trusted expert in a particular field’
Leaders used to be able to rely on rational intelligence, clever thinking, when organisations were confronted with a clear set of problems to solve.
Now, the nature of the modern working environment is so complex, political and volatile that leaders require a much wider repertoire of skills in order to be able to remain clear, make good decisions, engage their people and stay resilient.
There is a business case to be made for a wider set of intelligences, but these alone may need to be enhanced by the wisdom to use them, the knowledge, skills, and understanding of the shifting nature of the problems and challenges they face. We call this ‘wisdom in the workplace’.
So what are the components of the shift from cleverness to wisdom?
All of these intelligences are individually recognizable in themselves, and should be familiar, at least in theory to most contemporary leaders. But when it comes to the capacity to deal with the circumstances of complexity and speed that most leaders face, there is an ‘X-Factor’ that is not entirely accounted for in this list. We would call this X-Factor ‘wisdom’, and it would be helpful to be clear about what this is, and how leaders can cultivate more of it. We hope to illustrate this with a story:
Jane is a senior leader in an organisation. She was hired to be a heavy-hitter with a reputation as such in the specific marketplace of the business. She was known for being capable of driving change, and as someone who ‘doesn’t suffer fools gladly’. In her first few months, she made it clear to a number of her senior team members what she wanted from them and what she didn’t want. She was prepared to be unpopular, and indeed, early on, she was, with quite a few people. As a result, a number of the senior team moved on, even though some of them had been in their role for a considerable length of time. With the help of Emma, her HRBP, with whom she worked closely, Jane recruited a number of people who she thought had the potential to better share her vision. Emma worked with her in building a new senior team. One of the things Jane asked Emma was to help recruit one or two people who Jane said made up for her own weaknesses. Even Emma herself was encouraged in this respect. ‘I underdo positive feedback’, June said to her. ‘I need you to do some of that for me, and let me know when I haven’t done enough of it, for you and others. You need to tell me when to back off.’
Mayvin Associate Consultant Penny Lock explains why it might be necessary for Learning and Development Practitioners to delve into the realm of the unconscious to better grapple with thorny issues of organisational life.More articles
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“As a result of Mayvin coaching, the change in the personal style and impact of the coachee has been quite remarkable. He has modified his personal style significantly though clear personal development goals and as a result is able to facilitate change effectively and professionally. His reputation in the company has improved to the point where senior managers have recognised that he is now able to take on enhanced responsibility. I am delighted that so few sessions have led to such a dramatic improvement and feel that Mayvin have provided excellent value for money.”
Dr. Andrea Pellagram, Technical Services Manager (Hills Group)
The world is full of customers, clients and opportunities.
Like a weather system, the world is not predictable.
In human systems, the heart matters as much as the head.
The physical body matters as much as the heart.
Knowledge is not absolute - people’s perspectives and contexts matter.
There are different types of knowledge - insights and feelings matter as much as clear-headed reasoning.
People’s stories about what is going on matter more than the ‘objective’ truth.
Relationships, connections and politics matter.
Repeating patterns matter.
Diversity is a business-critical issue, not just an ethical one.
The world is ever-changing, messy and not always as it seems, but it is possible to find moments of clarity when the way forward suddenly becomes clear.