Video – Adaptive vs. Technical
Use this video to begin the conversation around the distinction between technical and adaptive work. Inspire people to exercise leadership on their own adaptive challenges.
In this learning-packed three-minute video, the KLC team reminds viewers that the “the biggest single mistake people make when exercising leadership is treating an adaptive challenge as if it’s a technical problem.” Use this video to introduce the KLC framework in a leadership development program or provoke conversation in your organization about adaptive elements of your work.
Discussion flows more freely when you prime the pump with key concepts from this highly accessible, conversational video. Learning points include:
- Technical problems may be complicated but can be solved using existing expertise or authority.
- Adaptive challenges are people challenges. They live in the heart and in the gut. They require people and systems to change.
- Leadership is about mobilizing people to make progress on tough challenges that include both adaptive and technical elements.
Start a class or team coaching session by playing the video. As it concludes, invite participants to reflect quietly about what stood out for them in the discussion between Ed, Jan and Julia. Then facilitate a conversation about the characteristics of adaptive challenges and technical problems. Share your own example of each and ask participants to think about what’s adaptive in their own work. If you have a group of 12 or more, invite participants to share with a partner before the full group discussion.
In a team meeting, use the video to provoke conversation about a more adaptive way of looking at a shared challenge. Follow the video with questions such as:
- In our challenge, what values might be in conflict?
- What’s our story about what’s going on?
- What stories do you imagine others telling about the issue?
- What makes progress difficult?
This video runs 3:03 minutes and features KLC CEO Ed O’Malley with Jan Davis and Julia Fabris McBride. Use it on its own or assign Chapter 1 (pages 14-21) in Your Leadership Edge: Distinguish Technical and Adaptive Work. Consider using this video as part of a larger lesson introducing the KLC leadership principles and competencies.
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