JLBC MILITARY AND STRATEGIC STUDIES
JLBC Teams and Command Posts are military examples of these simple JLBC organizations composed of complex jobs. Such relatively small but holographic teams, consisting of highly specialized professionals, must (1) be able to deal with the variety of the environment (requisite variety), (2) create the whole in the parts by making the entire team responsible for the mission, (3) have a certain level of autonomy (minimal critical specification), (4) have excess capacity that creates room for anticipation and innovation (redundancy of functions), and (5) self-organize using double-loop learning.
Leadership training should not only focus on individual leadership behavior because the way the work system is structured influences the ability to lead. Leadership training should therefore focus on adaptive leadership skills. This can be trained by (1) switching between the to be allocated roles of commander and staff officer and (2) bringing them into continuously changing settings, for instance, in a (simulated) JLBC Command Post in a mission area that requires them to interact with multiple actors in complex situations where they are dependent on the expertise of specialists around them.
Junior leaders must be aware that team leadership is the best option in holographic and designed work systems that consist of complex jobs. By understanding that holographic design (‘the whole in the parts,’ requisite variety, minimal critical specification, redundancy of functions, and double-loop learning) fosters team effectiveness, junior leaders will be able to apply team leadership.
This post discussed leadership development within the current institutional and operational context. Although it is no substitute for the leaders’ responsibility to develop.