In the moment leadership

In the moment leadership

What is an organization?

Is it primarily the encapsulation of buildings on the premises? Is it the sum of employees? Or is it identity in the form of agreed values and slogans?

None of these attempts at well-defined definitions are sufficient. Well-defined definitions do not hold, simply because the organization is not well-defined. It is more than the diagram, more than the core task, more than the sum of paid employees. It is always more as soon as we try to define it.

A quite overwhelming stream of moments, constantly in motion, constantly influenced in big and small ways. When an employee sends an email on Thursday evening, when the temp asks where the photocopier is, when the team leader reminds the team that decency is a core value. When anything and everything.

In ‘In the moment leadership’ the full consequence is taken by the unbounded organization. When the organization still cannot be bounded, let us stop trying. It is not a machine, it is not even an organism, which despite everything has a membrane to delimit itself from the outside world.

“An organization is streams of moments where people interact with each other or with themselves.”

Every organization lives and is alive through these streams of moments. Even though many inappropriate measures are taken to straighten it out. Accelerated work processes, organizational changes announced before the fruits are harvested from the previous one. Schedules, structures, systems.

Certainly, the fundamental view of ‘in the moment leadership’ – streams of moments – is overwhelming and perhaps even dizzying. But it is probably mostly because we carry a demand for overview and order. That the organization can essentially be reduced. But it’s not reductions at all. At best, they are abstractions of the organization, expressing some people’s ideas and hopes of what the organization might become or be. And that’s something else.

If we let go of the idea of the well-defined organization, and if we accept the streams of moments, then it becomes possible to devote ourselves to something else and crucial; what unfolds between people and gives life. Giving life to the task, the organization, and the individual.

An organization cannot be controlled and managed from top to bottom anyway. When one tries, many wonderful, wasted efforts are used, including attempts at persuasion, dealing with resistance, subcultures’ internal battles, etc. A lot of energy can be spent on abstractions.

‘In the moment leadership’ is about letting go of the framed unit concept and instead setting the organization free with all its moments of encounters between people.

It lives anyway, so let it live in the best possible way, so it can create as much as possible and with the highest possible quality. It should not go anywhere specific – only where the streams of moments lead it. It only goes to useful places – if allowed.