Leadership as a Strategic Resource for Innovation and Growth
Project's report (in Swedish)
The vision behind the CASL strategic agenda funded by Vinnova is to help make leadership a strategic resource for innovation and growth in Sweden. The point of departure is that the ´Swedish leadership model´ is presently based in values and practices that promote leadership as a strategic resource. However, it is necessary to develop and strengthen this strategic resource so that the model is not only consistent with international standards but also meets the ever-increasing forces of global competition. One major challenge is to successfully navigate the transition from industrial thinking as the dominant business logic to various business logics that build on individual competence, specific knowledge and relationships. In these logics, various interactions (e.g., in projects, networks, alliances, etc.) are crucially important for the development of valuable activities and processes. Read more
CASL researchers have conducted a serie of workshops and interviews with practitioners. For example, on October 18th 2012, a workshop was launched at IFL Kämpasten in Sigtuna. The participants all held senior management positions, representing different kind of organizations within the public sector in Sweden. They participated in a management education program at IFL at Stockholm School of Economics and the workshop was part of that program. The leadership challenges in managing an increasingly knowledge-intensive public service sector was one of the themes for the workshop. The difficulties for managers and co-workers to deal with all kind of boundaries were a second theme. The latter, though, was discussed from the point of view of necessary inter-organizational collaboration to solve important social, environmental and health care issues as well as providing high quality service solutions to citizens.
In the picture below (from the left) Anna Carin Dahlgren (Folktandvården Östergötland), Lena Lundblad (Fastighetskontoret i Göteborg), Charlotta Göransson (Polismyndigheten i Skåne) and Mona Ekesryd (Haninge Kommun).
A second workshop, in the form of a round-table was conducted at CASL by Ingalill Holmberg and Ingela Sölvell with entrepreneurs on November 20th 2012. Participants with experience in the creation and successful development of new organisations discussed different leadership challenges linked to the commercialisation of innovative ideas.
Workshop on entrepreneurship. On the picture (from left) Anna Omstedt Lindgren, Ulf Boberg and Ingela Sölvell.
Another workshop was held on November 27th 2012 at Tändstickspalatset, in central Stockholm. Those participating represented local unions and local employer representatives within the government sector of Sweden. The workshop was hosted by The Central Government Social Partners’ Council (Partsrådet) but designed and facilitated by a researcher from CASL. A key-note focused on the changing conditions surrounding leader-follower relations in the new working life. A working life that can be characterized by its knowledge-intensive nature, huge access to information as well as opportunities to communicate but also lack of for example clear boundaries between work and leisure for many people. The discussions concerned the need for redefining what it means to be a leader as well as a follower and what such relations will look like in the future.
On January 16th 2013, a workshop was launched at CASL, inviting clinic managers from larger hospitals and health care centres in Sweden. The subject was the changing conditions for public health care service development in Sweden. A particular focus was on the institutional governing conditions, with multiple authorities and colliding stakeholder interests, and the management challenge in responding to a variety of governance signals and instructions. The participants were invited to elaborate on an investigation, and written report by CASL researchers on behalf of The Leading Health Care foundation (Leading Health Care report nr 6, 2012). Among the issues discussed were the specialist/generalist-related considerations in developing a specific clinic and at the same time responding to different actors surrounding the clinic; consistent guiding tools and values; and the lack of reflection about the leadership role.
On January 20th, 2013, another workshop took place at IFL Kämpasten in Sigtuna. The participants all held management positions, representing large multinational organizations originally from Sweden. They participated in a management education program at IFL at Stockholm School of Economics and the workshop was part of that program. The leadership challenges in managing an increasingly multinational workforce was the theme for the workshop, with the question: Which challenges do you see in the operation of tomorrow’s work, for you? Increased globalization of their operations was perceived as a challenge for many. Participants expressed their desire to find the right balance between local conditions, local partner organizations and the global organizational processes of their organisation. Going more local, while keeping global operations, strategies or guidelines in mind was presented as a challenge for leadership. In addition, part of the conversation addressed the challenges of being a responsible and ethical global leader. The need for guidance and tools to manage the tensions between global and local, and the need for ethical guidance was articulated.
Additionally, a round table discussion gathered owners and entrepreneurs from three different generations. These owners represented family businesses of different sizes, ages and industries. Most of the owners were also managers or board members of their companies. Leadership for continuity, in and throughout succession was in focus as well as leadership in paradoxical circumstances. One intriguing question that was raised concerned the process of creating the “vision" that will bring the business forward through the next generation. The round table at CASL was lead by Ingalill Holmberg and Annelie Karlsson.
Additional workshops or interviews were conducted for example with entrepreneurs, with key figures in the fashion industry or with partners in academia.