Discussion

 
You presented a good analysis for this “Driveway Tax” case study from  Mission, Kansas.  When I read through the case study there were a  couple of things I noted that the local government did, that, if they  had been adaptive leaders, they may have been able to be more successful  with the tax.   

You stated that the local government did not exercise self-management  leading to the next competency of not properly being able to properly  facilitate the intervention.  Knowing what you know about adaptive  leadership and through the research you conducted for this week and in  week 2, if you were a consultant to the local government in Mission,  Kansas during this time, what suggestions/recommendations would you have  provided to aid them in achieving a different outcome?  

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 Read the case study, “Redeveloping Mission and the ‘Driveway Tax’ Controversy”. 

 
Adaptive Leadership Notes
The premise of leadership as an adaptive challenge versus a technical  fix is an approach promoted by Heifetz (1994) and Heifetz and Linsky  (2002).  The common metaphor portrays adaptive problems as “clouds” in  contrast to technical problems, which are seen as “clocks.” You fix  clocks; you cannot fix clouds—sometimes you cannot even get your hands  around them.  Technical fixes are relatively easy—a clock can be  repaired.  Adaptive challenges are more complex; it is impossible to  “repair” a “cloud” and in that sense, there is most likely not one  correct answer but a series of possibilities and experiments to be  considered in order to get your arms around the cloud.  Adaptive  leadership examines the difficult challenges encountered with  non-technical problems or—even more challenging—problems which have both  clock and cloud attributes.

By introducing the concept of adaptive challenges to the discussion  of leadership, Heifetz addresses a dilemma that emerges when leaders  face perplexing problems that defy standard responses. Often the  challenge in business and community arises through common structures  that rely on traditional notions of command and control.  Heifetz’s  notion of adaptive work is built on the idea of engagement—engaging the  problem, engaging the environment, engaging the people—all in  experimental fashion in what often is a successive process of leadership  and engagement.  Civically engaged citizens face more adaptive  challenges than technical fixes within a community.  Perplexing  community issues are adaptive challenges that often require bringing all  the stakeholders to the table and managing the factions that emerge and  argue against decision making solely by institutional actors—such as  city or county officials.  In an adaptive challenge, no single correct  answer exists.  Rather, a “better” answer is sought by bringing factions  of engaged leaders, employees, and citizens together to negotiate among  competing interests to find a collective answer which speaks to  potential losses as well as gains in building common goals and values.

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