Leading in The 21st Century And The Complexities It Brings
With the emergence of globalization, technology,
and for the first time, three generations in the
workplace, managers, are faced with solving more
complex issues in the workplace than their predecessors.
Not only does globalization require organizations
to remain innovative within their industry, but the
introduction of technology also requires continuous
adaptation in order to remain competitive in the
business world. Further, for the first time ever,
workplaces are occupied by three different generations:
Baby-Boomers, Generation Y, and Generation X.
Considering the challenging conditions the referenced
circumstances present to the workplace, it has become
more important than ever for managers to ensure that
when issues arise in their organization, they are
equipped with the necessary tools to manage and offer
solutions to their organizations. Realizing the complex,
confusing transformation organizations have undergone
within the past twenty years, leading authorities
within management have conducted extensive research
in the field in an effort to offer some relief to
the chaos many mangers currently experience.
In the book, "Reframing Organizations" (2003),
authors Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal promote the idea
of "reframing." In other words, Bolman and
Deal advocate for managers to look at situations from
more than one angle, especially their own, in order
to fully grasp a situation or issue at hand and deliver
the most appropriate response. Specifically, Bolman
and Deal claim that organizations operate under four
- The Structural Frame-which
encourages structuring groups and teams in a manner
to get results.
- The Human Resource Frame-which encourages organizations
to recognize and satisfy the human need and promote
positive interpersonal and group dynamics.
- The Political Frame-which encourages organizations
to learn to cope with power and conflict and deal
with internal and external politics.
- The Symbolic Frame-which encourages organizations
to foster a culture that gives purpose and meaning
to work and builds team morale through rituals, ceremonies,
Bolman and Deal encourage managers to use reframing
as a means to find new, creative opportunities in navigating
the organizational complexity that persists in the
workplace. By using the structural, human resource,
political, and symbolic frames in their management
practices, managers can prevent cluelessness and ensure
consciousness. Or as Bolman and Deal state:
"Modern organizations often rely too much
on engineering and too little on art in searching
for attributes such as quality, commitment, and creativity.
Art is not a replacement for engineering but an enhancement.
Artistic leaders and managers help us see beyond today's
performance. The leader as artist relies on images
as well as memos, poetry as well as policy, relfection
as well as command, and reframing as well as refitting."
While no management solution promises to cure the
complexities and chaotic nature of organizations, the
four frames nonetheless provides managers with a valuable,
almost liberating tool when they realize there is always
more than one way to respond to a problem, which not
only empowers the manager, but ultimately the organization