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New Year's Resolution

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Abstract

It seems appropriate to close the year with a cover story on a celebration of chemistry in our daily lives. Earlier this month, we devoted our "Millennium Special Report" to "Chemistry in the Service of Humanity," focusing on chemistry's contributions to the pressing challenges of the 21st century. But chemistry contributes in so many ways to the quality of our life, and so often we—and especially the general public—take that for granted.

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... Successful organizational change is led by individual change agents often being the managers: Organizational change and leadership theory and practice have a debilitating tendency of focusing on nouns rather than verbs (see for example 2001; Crevani, Lindgren, & Packendorff, 2010;Barker, 1997;Burns, 1978;Rost, 1993). However, it is not who that is important, but what. ...
... Although most of us claim to oppose the old Great Man theory, we have only made slight adjustments to the protagonists in practice. Moving forward, a focus on the essentials of leadership (Barker, 1997;Burns, 1978;Rost, 1993Rost, , 2001, leadership as purpose (Kempster, Jackson, & Conroy, 2011), leadership as process (Crevani et al., 2010), and the ethics of leadership (Burnes & By, 2012) is urgently required in order to help us reframe the challenges faced now and in the future. ...
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Addressing what is perhaps the biggest blind spot in leadership theory and practice, this article sets out to enshrine the pivotal role of purpose. First, it introduces the Telos Leadership Lens (TLL) consisting of the following principles: 1) Leadership is a responsibility of the many, not a privilege of the few 2) Leadership is the collective pursuit of delivering on purpose 3) Leadership purpose is to be guided by internal goods (exemplified by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals). Second, the article further develops leadership ontology, ‘the theory of entities that are thought to be most basic and essential to any statement about leadership’, by shifting the focus to purpose. Third, emerging from these developments it identifies a new leadership model. Separately or in combination, these contributions can assist organizations in addressing current and future challenges, some of which are existential in nature as evidenced by the climate crisis, and others such as the Covid-19 pandemic potentially changing the way we live our lives and conduct our business. Although challenges of this scope can only be solved in partnership, the very nature of current leadership convention may obstruct or even prevent such partnerships from taking place in any meaningful way.
... Successful organizational change is led by individual change agents often being the managers: Organizational change and leadership theory and practice have a debilitating tendency of focusing on nouns rather than verbs (see for example 2001; Crevani, Lindgren, & Packendorff, 2010;Barker, 1997;Burns, 1978;Rost, 1993). However, it is not who that is important, but what. ...
... Although most of us claim to oppose the old Great Man theory, we have only made slight adjustments to the protagonists in practice. Moving forward, a focus on the essentials of leadership (Barker, 1997;Burns, 1978;Rost, 1993Rost, , 2001, leadership as purpose (Kempster, Jackson, & Conroy, 2011), leadership as process (Crevani et al., 2010), and the ethics of leadership (Burnes & By, 2012) is urgently required in order to help us reframe the challenges faced now and in the future. ...
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MAD statement The intention of this annual editorial is to Make A Difference (MAD) through outlining suggestions to where we need to direct future organizational change and leadership discourse, research and practitioner efforts. Engaging in immensely important fields of study and practice, we have a responsibility to assist the sustainable development of organizations and the wider society. Much good work is undertaken in support of the further development of both theory and practice. However, I do observe in my role as editor-in-chief a sustained tendency amongst both scholars and practitioners of being stuck in a quagmire peddling a dominant orthodoxy that is somewhat lacking in progress, initiative and imagination (it still sells articles, books, courses and seminars though …). Becoming unstuck through reframing the challenges faced is required for our work to stay relevant, and it takes real and conscious effort to make this happen. Or blood, toil, tears and sweat as Churchill would put it.
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