Exceptional Leadership by Design: How Design in Great Organizations Produces Great Leadership

Rob Elkington
Global Leadership Initiatives Inc

Madeleine van der Steege
Synquity, The Netherlands

Judith Glick-Smith
MentorFactor, Inc., USA

Jennifer Moss Breen
Creighton University, USA

Product Details
17 Sep 2018
Emerald Publishing Limited
312 pages - 152 x 229mm
Imagine a world with great leadership. What would that world be like? Would it be a better world or a worse one? Now ratchet great leadership up to exceptional leadership and suddenly we have cause for optimism. But how do we design exceptional leadership, and would we even know it if we saw it? Traditional paradigms of leadership have celebrated decisive top-down control and analytical decision-making. But times are changing. The world is more connected, complex, fluid and interdependent. 

This book debunks the myth that leaders need to be creative like designers to apply Design Thinking. Applying design approaches and practices to organizational leadership is not just about its leaders becoming more creative. It is definitely not about the person at the top coming up with the grand answer. Design thinking starts with the 'pain point' related to the problem you are trying to solve. You get to the heart of the issue. It is a collaborative effort that neatly leads stakeholders and representatives affected by the problem to design novel leadership solutions that actually work. 

This collection of stories, examples and narratives about exceptional leadership by design provides readers of all levels of experience with tangible, real, and heartfelt examples of how the design process can be applied to leadership. It will show how we:  

  • Inform great leadership with design
  • Strengthen our own leadership by design
  • Redesign hero leadership for more inclusivity
  • Redesign organizations for Fe+Male leadership synergy
  • Design leadership for a VUCA world
  • Design flow-based leadership
  • Design organizations that build resilient leadership
  • Design leadership for innovation
  • Design culturally intelligent leadership
  • Build leadership into our spaces and places

1. Introduction; Judith Glick-Smith 
2. Great Leadership Informed by Design; Atul Handa, Kanupriya Vashisht 
3. Designing Leadership Like Jazz; Gloria J. Burgess 
4. Strengthening Our Own Leadership by Design; Greg Morgan 
5. Redesigning the Hero Leader: Leveraging Emergent Leadership; Rob Elkington 
6. A Design to Activate Fe+Male Leadership Synergy in your Organization; Madeleine van der Steege 
7. Design Thinking: How to Thrive in a VUCA World; Fred Krawchuk 
8. Designing an Organization that Builds Resilient Leaders; Jennifer Moss Breen 
9. Flow-Based Leadership through Emergent Design; Judith Glick-Smith 
10. Designing Leadership for Innovation; Bettina von Stamm 
11. Designing Globally and Culturally Intelligent Leadership; Elizabeth A. Tuleja 
12. Leadership, Built In; Perttu Salovaara, Bettina von Stamm 
13. Bringing it all Together; Jennifer Moss Breen, Madeleine van der Steege
Rob Elkington, Ph.D. is the CEO and President of Global Leadership Initiatives. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in the faculty of Business and IT and the faculty of Education. Rob is a facilitator with the UOIT Management Development Centre and a Senior Lecturer with the Stellenbosch University School of Public Leadership. He also serves as Community Liaison for the Durham Community Innovation Lab. 
Madeleine ("Mads") van der Steege, MA (Soc. Sc.) is a managing editor, award-winning female entrepreneur, master coach, researcher, and writer. She was ‘Woman of the Year Regional Entrepreneur’ in South Africa in 2004. In 2009, she established European operations for Cranimals, an organic pet food company based in Vancouver. In 2013, Madeleine founded Synquity, and acts as a business catalyst for international companies setting up in the Netherlands. She is also Adjunct Professor at Webster University, Leiden, and a management board member of TheBridge2Hope project. 
Judith L. Glick-Smith, Ph.D. has been a knowledge management and leadership consultant since 1983. She is the author of Flow-based Leadership: What the Best Firefighters Can Teach You about Leadership and Making the Hard Decisions. Judith is the founder of MentorFactor, Inc., which focuses on helping organizations facilitate flow-based work environments and to prepare for the unexpected. She has been studying flow-based leadership in the fire service since 2007.  
Jennifer Moss Breen, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Program Director for Creighton University’s Interdisciplinary Leadership Ed.D. Prior to this, she served as inaugural Director of Bellevue University’s Human Capital Management Ph.D. program. Her passion is working with emerging leaders and helping them to thrive in complexity. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska.
‘An exceptional read about exceptional leadership. As a systems thinker it is wonderful to get more insights in to the true design integrity of leadership. Read it!’ - Fons Trompenaars, Keynote, Thought Leader and Bestselling Author

‘I like this book. Sound underwhelming? Not at all. Leadership books started sounding alike years ago. This one immediately grabbed me as different. It’s elegant. Easily memorable. Sweet to spend time with. That’s design.’ - Ira Chaleff, Author of Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You’re Told To Do Is Wrong

‘A totally fresh yet pragmatic perspective on diverse aspects of organizational leadership… couldn’t have imagined that leadership could be potentially designed. Read this book, and learn from the best minds working on this novel idea.’ - Ashoo Khosla, Author of Off the Corporate Bus and into the Creativity Boat

‘No leader, no matter how inspiring, smart or charismatic, can singularly outpace the exponentially VUCA rate of change. Exceptional Leadership by Design is a must read for leaders who want more than one-time bursts of invention, and seek to truly transform their organizations into sustainable innovation growth engines.’ - Cindy R. Kent, President & General Manager, 3M Infection Prevention Division

‘Exceptional Leadership by Design is a must-read for leaders who want more than one-time bursts of invention, and seek to truly transform their organizations into sustainable innovation growth engines.’ - Gail M. Jensen, PhD, PT, FAPTA, Dean, Graduate School and College of Professional Studies, Vice Provost for Learning and Assessment

‘This is a must have book for every Leadership practitioner by their bedside table! A unique and interesting blend of the Art and Science of Leadership with practical tips and anecdotes for use in every situation’ - Himanshu Shah, Global HR Leader, Koninklijke Vopak

‘A fresh perspective on how design thinking can help leaders. If you’re new to the design thinking approach, the authors provide a valuable summary of the key concepts and methodologies. And even if you’ve been practising these principles with your team or organization, the book will expand your horizons on how to apply design thinking as a leadership discipline, to look within yourself and how you lead with fresh, open eyes.’ - Gary Gonya, EVP, Director of Culture & Talent

‘Reading this book felt like looking in a special 21st-century mirror which shows my own concerns, challenges and ambitions in transformational leadership. It is clear that I am not alone in this, and that there is no one right way of doing things. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who sees the importance of innovation and is grappling with making it work in their own organisation.’ - Neil Stewart, Chief Executive, Glen Dimplex Heating & Ventilation

‘When the words; leadership, human, design, empathy and cultural intelligence appear repeatedly, you have a recipe for hope. Right now the world lacks a leader who can give us all hope. This book could provide the answer to “leadership” in the true meaning of the word.’ - Tina Thomson, General Manager Operations at Nygala Corp

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