9 Flexing and Flexibility

Climbing the organizational hierarchy is no longer like climbing stairs in a stable structure. The stairs have become rope ladders, with managers clinging desperately for balance. Organization Man is changing into Spider Woman. —Robert Johansen and Rob Swigart, Upsizing the Individual in the Downsized Organization

  Leaders need new abilities to flex in response to challenges they cannot predict. Among these are the abilities to use flexible organizational networks and to create new ones if necessary. Organizations must be flexibly firm—flexible, but guided by a firm understanding of their own beliefs, values, and responsibilities. This chapter introduces, describes, and advocates for flexing and flexibility—for ...

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