Dave Osh, the visionary behind Varlinx, shared profound insights into leadership, organizational transformation, and the evolving nature of business ecosystems. This article delves deep into the conversation, unveiling the innovative strategies and philosophies that Osh employs to address the complex challenges faced by today’s leaders and organizations.
Dave Osh begins by identifying the primary pain point for many organizations: the misalignment of leadership teams. He notes that this issue often stems from the difficulty leaders face in making decisions amidst the growing uncertainty and complexity of the modern business landscape. This misalignment not only hampers decision-making and execution but also stalls growth as teams struggle to move quickly in a cohesive direction.
Addressing the Elephant in the Room
With more than 5,000 coaching sessions with executive teams and their members, Dave Osh believes that the biggest hurdle of executive teams’ performance is rooted in members holding back when conflict arises in high-stakes decision-making meetings. The underlying reason is that team members do not truly have equal power. Team leaders, especially CEOs, hold power and sometimes use it to force decisions when the team doesn’t resolve disagreements fast enough to their liking. Osh helps leadership teams pause and savor these moments of conflict and surface the issues team members see but avoid discussing because of the power differential. When teams become very good at it, they become highly effective in resolving tough situations together and being able to confront when needed as well as the CEO.
Starting at the Top: Changing the Organizational Pyramid
Osh critiques traditional leadership development programs that exempt the senior leadership team. When the CEO and the executive team ask all the other leaders to develop and transform, they send a message that they have reached their full potential and no further development is needed. Osh says that there is nothing far from true. He argues that middle management cannot be expected to drive cultural transformation if the senior leadership operates within a different culture. Imagine middle management starting a new leadership language that the senior leaders don’t understand. It will create a dissonance between senior and middle management. By starting with the top leaders, Osh ensures that the transformation permeates the entire organization, breaking down silos and fostering a more cohesive and collaborative environment.
The Secret Sauce: Leadership as a Capacity
At the heart of Osh’s philosophy is the understanding that leadership is not a skill to be learned but a capacity to be developed. He likens leadership behaviors to installing new apps on an outdated operating system. Without updating the core operating system – the belief systems, mindsets, and worldviews of individuals and teams – real transformation is impossible. Osh’s approach focuses on upgrading to this new operating system, enabling leaders to view the world through a broader lens and make more informed, innovative decisions.
Assessments and Interventions: Laying the Groundwork for Change
Before any intervention, Osh stresses the importance of thorough assessments that consider feedback from the entire ecosystem in which the company operates. This holistic view provides a clear picture of where the organization and its teams stand, allowing for more targeted and effective strategies. Coaching then becomes the primary platform for change, facilitating deep conversations that uncover invisible barriers and develop the team’s capacity to tackle complex problems.
Osh acknowledges that real transformation is not a quick fix but a lifelong journey. It requires a commitment to continuous evolution and the willingness to be vulnerable and open to change over a long-term journey. By engaging in this journey, individuals and organizations can expand their potential, leading to a more expansive and innovative way of operating.
In a world where change is the only constant, Osh asserts that there is no time to waste. The rapid pace of technological advancements, coupled with pressing global issues like climate change, demands that organizations adapt quickly or risk obsolescence. Businesses, more than governments, will be the catalysts for the significant changes needed in society. Therefore, the time to start transforming is now.
A Vision for the Future
Dave Osh’s interview with Maria Zsal offers a glimpse into the transformative potential of his approach to leadership and organizational development. By understanding leadership as a capacity to develop, starting transformation at the top, and committing to a long-term journey of evolution, Osh’s methodologies present a compelling blueprint for businesses looking to navigate the complexities of the modern world. As organizations and leaders embrace these principles, they not only set themselves up for success but also contribute to a more adaptable, resilient, and innovative global business landscape.