This video is an excerpt from an interview conducted at the Monfort Institute, University of Northern Colorado, 2010.
- Creating tension in the organization is essential to getting the organization to move in any direction.
- Isaac Newton proposed that a body at rest tends to stay at rest and a body in motion tends to stay in motion.
- Inertia in organizations is the same way – organizations that are happy and satisfied with their current results and are doing things the same way they have for years are not going to move and change unless something pushes and pulls them to change.
- Tension to overcome this inertia is composed of two factors – dissatisfaction with the current performance that pushes the organization and a vision of the future that pulls the organization. Together they create tension to overcome inertia.
- CEOs in our studies created a compelling, rich vision that pulled the organization which defined the desired reality. Then they used a comprehensive scorecard and assessment system to measure the current reality – the difference between the desired reality and the current reality created tension for the organization to move forward.
- The key during the journey was continually raising the bar to maintain the tension because as soon as the organization improves, the tension is reduced.
The concepts presented in the video are from my CEO Leading Transformation research. For more on these concepts, check out the two papers that describe and discuss all the concepts included in the leadership framework.
Latham, J. R. (2013a). A framework for leading the transformation to performance excellence part I: CEO perspectives on forces, facilitators, and strategic leadership systems. Quality Management Journal, 20(2), 22.
Latham, J. R. (2013b). A framework for leading the transformation to performance excellence part II: CEO perspectives on leadership behaviors, individual leader characteristics, and organizational culture. Quality Management Journal, 20(3), 22.