At its core, the complexity leadership theory is all about adaptability. Instead of relying on a leader to provide control and alignment with an overall mission, the complexity leadership theory seeks to create alignment through interaction. Instead of demanding change through a chain of command, changes are provided with in their context. This makes it more of an emergent process instead of a command process. When change and leadership is approached in this way, the theory is that employees will take a better buy-in with the process without a hit to their overall morale.
Why Choose Leaders Who Utilize This Theory?
What makes the complexity leadership theory such as strength for the modern organization is that it allows every company and every team the chance to regenerate. Instead of being reliant on one leader or one executive team provide all of the inspiration and vision for a company, the properties of vision become part of the daily duties that the front-line employees perform.
Instead of relying on you to execute the plan, companies that incorporate the complexity leadership theory are able to rely on every employee and their adaptive properties to achieve goals.
In a typical chain of command, responses are completely ordered. A command is given specific instructions and then each employee faces rewards are consequences for either implementing those instructions properly or choosing not to do so. The complexity leadership theory still brings order to the workplace, but allows for an extra level of creativity without forcing a company into chaos. This is why change becomes more effective. Instead of one vision as an end result, there could be hundreds or thousands of visions working together.
Complex Environments Can Respond Faster
Even though complexity leadership theory might go against the natural inclinations of the average executive, companies that incorporate complex responses within complex environments can respond more quickly during high pressure or emergency situations. This is because there is no need for an executive director to generate a directive. Instead of generating feelings of order, the complex leadership theory allows everyone to have a bit of control.
When a leadership team is complex and adaptive there is a danger in place of being too loose with their administrative functions. When benefits are seen after control is ceded, the natural response is to give even more control to those on the front lines and less control to the executive team. If this happens, the employees may actually reject the executives because they are seen as being “out of touch”even though it was the executives who brought the employees up to the level they’re at in the first place.
That is why balance is the key focus of the complexity leadership theory. In harmony, each person with in a team, no matter how big it is, plays a specific role towards the end of vision and mission. Each role has value. In this value, there are also higher levels of creativity. When all of this is put together, the end result is innovation.