Adaptive Positive Deviance Leadership (ii)

In part two of this article series I discussed the overarching characteristics of APD leadership and how that differs from prevailing leadership models in organizations.  Today, tomorrow, and Friday I’ll focus on how APD leaders need to be and what APD leaders need to do to support this kind of change initiative.

Inquiry/Discovery Mindset

APD Leadership requires curiosity.  You believe the solution may be out there already, and you have no idea what it is. Your responsibility is to support the discovery process by asking good, non-leading questions of the people in the work about what’s happening, what they actually do (since APD is about behaviors) while repeatedly demonstrating your belief that they are the experts, not you.  “Honestly, I have no idea” is a useful phrase.  Repeat it often- people won’t get tired of hearing it and will eventually believe it, despite your positional authority.

Hold Up the Mirror

At the same time that APD Leadership is supporting experimentation, it requires people to honestly reflect on the results of that experimentation.  We may have thought this was going to be different and better- was it in actuality?  What does the data actually say?  Given what is actually happening, what would we like to try to do differently?  How will we try this out?  We’ll pick up with the topic of diversity tomorrow.