In early February 2018 Dina Pozzo, founder of insium, spoke to the Slade Group team about Organisational Courage. Here is some background to what that term means.
Sustaining organisational performance in an environment that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, is challenging and falls to the leadership within an organisation. This environment has contributed to corporate scandals including that of Enron in 2001 and Lehman Brothers in 2008. Might the collapse of both of these organisations have been averted by a strong expression of courage by senior and executive employees?
Might courage at work – defined as “an intentional constructive or moral action taken by an individual in the presence of perceived personal risk and uncertainty of outcome (personal or organisational) in order to resolve or avert a workplace issue” – avert further global collapses?
Warren Bennis, described as a “renowned leadership scholar”, espouses that “courage is the ‘X’ factor that can make or break corporate America”. The Australian landscape is no different.
My Master of Applied Positive Psychology Capstone paper established the case for courage as an enabler of leadership, providing argument and a framework for the development of a measurable, outcomes-based programme to build courage. This programme, Leading with Courage, was launched at the 5th World Congress of Positive Psychology in Montreal in July 2017. The objective of this programme is to ‘build courage in senior and executive leaders, which will enable leadership behaviour, with an additional positive impact on leader workplace wellbeing’.
The above definition of courage, which I developed, is the foundation for this programme which uses narrative methodology to build courage, with measures of leaders’ workplace courage, leadership and workplace wellbeing taken pre- and post-programme. See more here: leadingwithcourage.com.au
The programme combines academic theory with practitioner evidence – including my own 16 years’ experience as a practitioner in the field of leadership and organisational culture development.
While courage is not the only behaviour required of leaders, it is an essential leadership behaviour for success, and may be the one which provides most support in these challenging times.
I welcome the opportunity to speak with you about Leading with Courage. For now, think about when have you been courageous in the workplace? How do you lead with courage? What stories of courage do you share to inspire courage in others?
- Bennett & Lemoine, 2014
- Jablin, 2006, p. 102
- Remeikis, 2016