Worksheet 3 Are You Prepared to Expand Your Organizational

Explosive Leadership Workbook
Worksheet 3 – Are You Prepared to Expand Your Organizational Worldview?
Dr. Mary O’Hara-Devereaux, CEO of Global Foresight, former director of the Institute for the Future’s
global work program, and ICMA conference speaker, offers a list of principles needed to embrace
change and thrive in a turbulent world. Her list of Principles of Transformation include: (1) Scan, Scout,
Steer, (2) Act with Integrity, (3) Seek Collisions, (4) Learn Rapidly, (5) Engage Cultures, (6) Innovate
Radically, (7) Make Decisions Fast, and (8) Execute with Discipline. (Devereaux, 95-115)
Are you and your organization prepared for the future? Here are a few questions to assess your
Scan, Scout, Steer
1. Are you involved with external organizations that have goals and purposes similar to yours?
2. Does your organization have boundary spanners, those who work to bridge communication and
information between your organization and others? Do they work with county, state, and
federal legislators? Do you receive this information directly from your boundary spanners or is it
filtered through others? Is this information shared organizationally?
3. Can you name the next three big trends, shifts, or issues that will impact your organization? If
so, do you have a plan to address them?
Act with Integrity
1. Do you have a code of ethics you follow? When was the last time you reviewed that code?
2. Do you embrace failure in yourself and others?
3. Theorist Herbert Simon said that values are embedded in organizations. Can you name the
specific values embedded in your organization? Do employees know and understand these
values? Does your governing board act consistently with these values?
Seek Collisions
1. Do you take the issues head-on and seek to learn from what they offer? Do you seek individuals
from outside the organization to work with you on these issues?
2. Have you attended meetings with your constituents where you seek collisions to understand
their needs, wants, and even solutions?
3. Have you ever sought out a community naysayer, activist, or someone critical of your
organization to learn about them or co-opt them to help solve organizational problems?
Learn Rapidly
1. Have you overcome fears of criticism about your work? Do you have a base of support to help
you get through those times when you are “under fire?”
©Penelope Culbreth-Graft, 2015
2. Do you share information with those around you rather than hoard or broker it? Are you
approachable and open to receiving information from others?
3. Do you have a way to obtain regular feedback about your work or your organization’s
effectiveness? Do you embrace that feedback and learn from it rather than shy away from it?
Engage Cultures
1. How do you rate your authenticity, courage, resilience, adaptability when dealing with different
cultures within your organization and in your community? Do you have a sense of humor,
discernment, and self-confidence when interfacing with other cultures?
2. Have you made an effort to understand the different cultures represented in your community
and/or workforce? Does your workforce represent the ethnicity of your community in terms of
percentage of employees to population?
3. Have you ever created a functional workgroup of employees, community, and/or businesses to
address problems in the community specific to a certain ethnic population?
Innovate Radically
1. Do you know who the mavericks or heretics are in your organization? Have you ever sought
them out to hear their ideas or suggestions?
2. Do employees have the autonomy to experiment or take on risky propositions? Do you reward
successes as well as failures in your organization?
3. Are you a risk taker and are you willing to offer organizational resources to those who are
innovators or to innovative projects?
Make Decisions Fast
1. Do you support an action-oriented approach to decisions or are you paralyzed by the fear of risk
or making the wrong decision?
2. Are you and your subordinates or co-workers able to simplify complex problems and share them
with others in the organization in a simply way? Do you share information freely and encourage
others to do the same when tackling a complex problem?
3. Does your organization have a habit of debriefing processes after execution to learn how to
improve your decision-making on future issues?
Execute with Discipline
1. Are your employees cross-trained in multiple areas to strengthen their core competencies to be
able to address a variety of issues and problems?
2. Are you developing others in the organization by coaching them on how to work effectively
from their strengths? Do you have the right people to perform the work?
3. Have you identified gaps in your organization’s ability to achieve what you want it to and what it
is capable of delivering? Do you have a plan to address those gaps?
Source: Mary O’Hara Devereaux, Navigating the Badlands: Thriving in the Decade of Radical
Transformation (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004)
©Penelope Culbreth-Graft, 2015