Posts Categorised: Leadership

Women in fire and emergency leadership action plan


“Of our 2,500 employees who hold fire and emergency roles, only 26 percent are women. The number of leadership roles held by women is just 19 percent. Participation in roles is skewed, with heavy biases in traditionally feminine and masculine roles. Women are more likely to perform non field-based roles, whereas men are more likely to undertake action-oriented operational roles. We are committing to 50 percent of fire and emergency roles and leadership roles being held by women.”

Source: Victoria. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (2016) and available from this link (open access).

It’s meaning making, stupid! Success of public leadership during flash crises



“Boin (2013) and others propose that public crisis leadership consists of several core tasks, among which crisis decision-making and meaning making stand out in “flash crises.” We however argue that successful leadership during a sudden crisis implies being visible and appealing to the public in need of hearing that the shattered world will be healed. When being visible and using the right rhetoric, public leaders are by and large automatically considered proficient crisis decision makers, that is “the right leader in the right place at the right time.”

Source: Helsloot, I., & Groenendaal, J. (2017). Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management and available from this link (subscription journal).

A Strategic Leader’s Guide to Transforming Culture in Large Organizations

Manly Harbour/M. Hardy

“As the Department of Defense (DOD) transitions to a new administration, it will be accompanied by numerous editorials advocating for equipment modernization and changing our theater-specific postures. Many of these discussions will call for altering DOD’s current strategy. In essence, they will reiterate a dogmatic logic among the department’s leadership: the best way to solve a problem is to develop a new strategy. To succeed, we must realize that focusing mainly on strategy will cause us to overlook our greatest advantage—organizational culture.”

Source: Schmidt, M., & Slaughter, R. (2017). Joint Force Quarterly and available from this link (open access).

Why Everyone Should See Themselves as a Leader

Serene Manly dawn/Flickr

“Sue Ashford, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, breaks down her decades of research on leadership—who achieves it, and how a group grants it. She explains that the world isn’t divided into leaders and followers. Instead, it’s a state that everyone can reach, whether they’re officially in charge or not. She also explains why shared leadership benefits a team and organization. Ashford offers tips on how to effectively grow leadership in yourself and your employees.”

Source: Ashford, S. (2017). HBR Ideacast (podcast 25 mins) and available from this link (open access).

Categories: Leadership

Accelerating Gender Parity: A Toolkit


Collins beach/PaperMonkey

“Over the past 10 years, the World Economic Forum has brought together a community of influential leaders committed to addressing the global gender gap with a focus on the economic aspects of gender parity. We have benchmarked national, regional and industry gender gaps and gathered best practices adopted by leading companies in all regions of the world. The principles showcased in this toolkit highlight several approaches taken to closing gender gaps in companies across the globe. Each of these practices has a potentially transformative role but is most effective within a consistent company-wide strategy. For such an approach to work, leaders must commit for the long-term and manage some of the short-term barriers and trade-offs.”

Source: World Economic Forum and available from this link (open access).

Leading Large Scale Change


“The NHS Five Year Forward View and the Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View challenge leaders in health and care to deliver large scale transformational change. To support leaders in this task, NHS England’s Sustainable Improvement team and the Horizons team have refreshed and updated a 2011 publication, Leading Large Scale Change: A Practical Guide, to reflect today’s unique health and care landscape and challenges, and have produced a supporting skills development programme. The refreshed guide provides a vital and comprehensive round-up of all the latest thinking and practical approaches and tools that can be used in advancing large scale change programmes.”

Source: NHS England and available from this link (open access).

Making Sense When It Matters Most: An Exploratory Study of Leadership In Extremis


Local flora/Paper Monkey

“Leading in in extremis situations, when lives are in peril, remains one of the least addressed areas of leadership research. Little is known about how leaders make sense in these dangerous situations and communicate these contexts to others. Because most of the literature on in extremis is theoretical, we sought empirical evidence of how sensemaking proceeds in practice. A qualitative study was conducted based on interviews with 30 Army leaders who had recently led teams in combat. Our findings suggest that during these life-threatening situations, sensemaking and sensegiving are actually occurring simultaneously, the type of training leaders receive is critical, and a sense of duty can influence a person’s role as a leader. Our findings have implications for both theory and practice since crisis leadership is now a coveted executive quality for leadership competency.”

Source: Dixon, D. P., Weeks, M., Boland Jr, R., & Perelli, S. (2017).  Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, and available from this link (subscription journal).

Categories: Leadership

Police leaders make poor change agents: leadership practice in the face of a major organisational reform



“The present article examines expectations on police leaders during major organisational change pressures. Based on policy analysis and interviews with 28 police leaders, the paper seeks to answer the following question: How do police leaders’ accounts of leadership practice relate to expectations from higher ranks (above), subordinates (below) and police policies concerning leadership? The results of the paper indicate that police leaders are squeezed into a position between demands from above (top management) and demands from below (lower organisational tiers).”

Source:  Haake, U., Rantatalo, O., & Lindberg, O. (2017). Policing and Society, and available from this link (subscription journal).

Part-time leadership in the Baden-Württemberg police force: a qualitative study



“Similarly to changes in the social work environment, the police force is faced with the request of its police officers to improve the combination of work and family life. This is accompanied by the request to take a family break or the request to work part-time. This study analyses the question of whether the existing frameworks are useful to the police of Baden-Württemberg in Germany to successfully implement part-time leadership positions.”

Source: Jablonowski, L. & Schiek, S. (2017). European Police Science and Research Bulletin and available from this link (open access to complete issue).

Police Leadership in Times of Transition



“Police leaders who were involved in the police reform trajectories expressed that their professional voice was largely neglected or immobilized through exclusionary practices. Moreover, it was found that deadlines prevailed over consensus and quality, impacting upon professional support for the restructuring process. The evidence-based insights help to identify critical success factors for large-scale organizational police reforms. A critical success factor is that police organizations adopt active learning and evaluation strategies before moving to a next transition.”

Source: Moggré, M., den Boer, M., & Fyfe, N. R. (2017).  Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice and available from this link (open access).