Month: February 2013

Things will have to change in order that they remain the same.


On the verge of the results of the Italian elections, it is difficult not to think about one of the best movies of Luchino Visconti, “Il Gattopardo” (The Leopard, based on the novel with the same title by Tomasi di Lampedusa). No other movie is able to interpret in such an intimate manner the soul itself of Italy and its society. But it also tells a lot of the natural inclination of all humans to avoid any form of Change. Change is scary, it makes us nervous. Yet we appear never to be able to avoid change. So, change has become one of the most (ab)used words in any business discussion today. Everything is changing… the pace of change… managing change… leading change… all expressions we read and listen to everyday in any organizational talk. If it is effectively true that some parts of the world are changing at a faster pace (technologies are changing at a speed humankind was not used… ), most organisations are not changing as fast as they should (or could). …

Management is NOT Leadership


In so many organisations there is a lot of confusion between the terms Leadership and Management, up to the point that they are very often used as synonyms. A huge mistake! In a recent post on HBR John Kotter has listed a set of three mistakes that people make on the issue: The fact that both words are used interchangeably. Dangerous because the two words are effectively indicating two different vital functions in one organisation. The fact that people call the top hierarchy of an organisation “leadership”, and the lower levels of decision making “management”. Dangerous because this assumes that leadership should exclusively be a skill of the top executives, whereas management should be a skill linked to execution at lower levels. The fact that “leadership” is often used in terms of personality characteristics. Dangerous because this results in organisations limiting the amplitude of their leadership needs. This three mistakes are so embedded in the organizational dialogue today, that I recently heard an executive stating “I don’t have time to manage this, I ened to lead this organisation”. But how can …