Let's start with the basics about "M". When people are exposed to accelerated change, their brains can respond with a series of physiological reactions that lead to demobilization. This is when a person feels overwhelmed, disengaged, and unmotivated, and can negatively impact productivity, performance, and even employee wellbeing.
Demobilization is an important concept to understand when it comes to Enterprise Agility. Research has shown that our brain activates the "fight or flight" response when confronted with disruptive and unsafe situations. This response is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system and prepares the body to take action. However, it also leads to the release of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can cause feelings of anxiety and fatigue.
When these stress hormones are released over an extended period of time, it can also lead to chronic stress and demobilization as the brain becomes overwhelmed and fatigued. The prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for decision-making, planning, and problem-solving, becomes less active, resulting also in lower productivity and poor performance.
These physiological responses can reduce the number of perspectives a person can evaluate from a situation, which can adversely affect a company's ability to provide value to its customers, impact innovation, and even reduce employee wellbeing.
In addition, the release of stress hormones can lead to a decrease in the activity of the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory and learning, making it difficult for individuals to process and retain new information, further increasing demobilization.
The M-Leadership framework was developed to address these challenges by helping to remobilize people in organizations that are exposed to constant change. The framework is based on the idea that effective leadership in the age of accelerated change requires an explicit focus on mobilizing people rather than just leading them.
"M" leaders confronting exponential markets know how to sense and navigate high levels of uncertainty and help their team members deal with highly changing situations. By doing so, they are able to create a sense of safety for their team members, which can activate key brain regions such as the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, and reduce the impact of the stress response. This enables employees to remain motivated, engaged, and productive in the face of accelerated change.
As you can see, mobilizing leaders (or "M" Leaders) are able to recognize the unique challenges and opportunities faced by their employees and organizations and adapt their leadership approach accordingly when things radically change.
"M" Leaders also know how to face the challenge of having to break promises they made earlier because of market dynamics. This can look like a difficult task in more traditional forms of leadership. However, effective mobilizing leaders have the ability to break promises without losing the trust of their employees.
The secret to this type of leadership is that they're able to communicate the reasons for breaking the promise openly, transparently, and honestly. They're able to explain the reasons for their decision and the new situation that has arisen. They strive to minimize the impact of the broken promise on their employees by using the right language and communication style for that group and finding solutions that address the concerns of their team members.
We have at least 3 models available at the Enterprise Agility University (in addition to the M-Leadership framework) to help "M" leaders remobilize employees:
1. ELSA Change model (check my book Leading Exponential Change to know more). It is specifically designed to master the style of language to use in the company during disruption and helps amplify the impact.
2. Change journey Pyramid. It helps identify in advance where individuals are on their journey to adapt to a new situation.
3. Minimum Healthy Step (or MIHS, pronounced MISS). It possible to establish healthy interactions and communication with individuals, even in high-stress situations.
As you can see, the M-Leadership Framework is a comprehensive and revolutionary leadership approach designed specifically for leaders working in environments exposed to accelerated change and exponential markets. It represents a new perspective on leadership that is essential for success in today's fast-paced, rapidly changing business world.
If you're a leader facing these challenges and want to know more, it's definitely worth checking our Certified Leadership Program in Enterprise Agility.