Last week, the government proposed new pension measures to reduce budgetary deficits, a trend that is expanding to all industries in Belgium. This means that organizations are challenged to keep these older workers motivated, effective and cooperative at work. How can insights in leadership help organizations and employees realize this challenge? Our research shows that sharing…
I’ve always dreamt of being a peace warrior, not in the sense of soldier, but rather as a zen buddhist warrior centuries ago, in Asia. There’s for me an aura that emanates from these warriors. As if they were embodied wisdom: right action, right view, right words – all at once, all in one. Inner and outer in full alignment. Just recently I was in a five-day silent retreat…
The role of leaders at the top is changing. They are no longer the “boss” as they used to be, the person in charge of an organization with a clear reporting line to their board of directors. Their formal authority and power has declined in this age of interdependency. This affects their leadership in three fundamental ways. Their leadership has become more trans-organizational. Trans-organizational…
Sharon Hill worked as a member and leader of global virtual teams and experienced firsthand how hard it was. She got the opportunity to do research on the topic and she is now one of the leading researchers in the field. She blends academic rigor and practical relevance, but it was her passion and the warm co-leadership with Karen Wouters, friend and ex-colleague, that turned this…
“Can an organization be too divergent?” asked a middle manager of a large bank me in a development journey? He was taking up the role of Facilitating Adaptability a lot lately.  And the answer seems yes. I’ve seen it in several organizations that promote shared leadership. The top keeps repeating their mantra ‘everybody is leader’, ‘come with new ideas’, ‘it is…
The other day I was reading the hobbies of several C-level executives. And once again I found the usual suspects: cooking, history, art, classical music, old-timers, wine, golf, walking in the mountains … I’ve always wondered, do they do this because it is just part of the social class they belong to (cf. Bourdieu)? Or do they really enjoy it?  And why have these hobbies never…
This summer I’ve interviewed 44 leaders in 4 organizations that are empowering their teams in their primary processes*. The organizations come from different sectors: public administration, health care, production and engineering. Which preliminary  lessons do I draw? 1) Self-managing teams are an illusion We have to stop talking about self-managing or autonomous teams.…
 “Could you do a 2 hour leadership workshop for our young entrepreneurs?” a client asked. “Off course”, was my reaction, “I love the spirit of start ups & entrepreneurs and would be more than happy to challenge them on their leadership.” “Great. And remember, it should be very hands on, not too theoretical. Entrepreneurs don’t like to waste their time,…
Leadership development starts with developing as a human being. The classical Greek philosophers such as Plato discussed already the properties of being: Beauty, Goodness  & Truth. So, in a way I’m the business of Beauty, Goodness & Truth. As a scientist Truth is the obvious one, and as a leadership scholar Goodness as well, but what about Beauty? I therefore followed…
Jérôme Ravet is chief engineering at Sabca, one of the main aerospace companies in Belgium. Yesterday, during the Agoria seminar on the value of strategic partnerships, he told us an inspiring story about the extended manufacturing process of airplanes and how suppliers work together in close collaboration. Airplanes are so complex that they have to be built in a network. Critical…
“Tell me about your leadership,” I asked the division manager in front of me. “Well, a typical day starts with scanning my environment for relevant information and dispatch it in my organization. I also check on the numbers and answer urgent questions or complaints. I am responsible for 4 units with a total of +/- 50 people. I spend a lot of time being available for them,…
Many years ago, I sang Leonard Cohens Bird on a wire over and over again as a lullaby for my twin baby sons. It was one of the few songs I knew by heart. 'Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free.' I sang it as much for them as for myself. New fathers know what I’m talking about. It’s a song about struggling your way to life…