The Leader as Myth Maker

March 9, 2022

by John O. Burdett

There is no doubt that both within society and, as a result, in business we are at a tipping point. A point of discontinuous change where the organisation of the last century is no longer a “fit for its purpose.”

The 20th century organisation was built to last. A way to operate that emphasised bureaucracy, stability and control.

Success = shareholder value. Uncertainty, the need to compete on ideas and breakthrough technology – digital and otherwise – demand a very different kind of organisation. One built to change. A way to operate where riding the waves of disruption, unprecedented agility and speed of learning dominate.

Success = stakeholder value. It can be argued that unless we evolve a very different way to answer the question, “What is an organisation?” existential threats such as the environment will only grow in scale and significance.

The overall theme of The Leader as Myth Maker is that “the organisation” is a myth – a created story that has utility only as long as those involved believe in it. In reinventing the organisation we have to first reinvent the myth that shapes and sustains it. The needed balance between know-what and know-how can be found in the key questions that are addressed in each part.

Culture is a system, a system with a good many moving parts. Miss or ignore an element and unintended consequences lie ahead. And the emotional glue that fills the “space” between the various parts of “the system?”

The overriding/dominant organisational myth. If you lead or are a partner in the culture conversation, The Leader as Myth Maker would be a meaningful investment of your time … one might even say “an invaluable use of your time.”

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This article is an extract of content © Orxestra® Inc. The download is available from the TRANSEARCH International website.

John O. Burdett is founder of Orxestra® Inc. He has extensive international experience as a senior executive. As a consultant he has worked in more than 40 countries for organisations that are household names. John has worked on organisation culture for some of the world's largest organisations. His ongoing partnership with TRANSEARCH International means that his thought leading intellectual property, in any one year, supports talent management in many hundreds of organisations around the world. Get in touch with John O. Burdett »

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