“ The problem is the domain of the leader; unlike the puzzle, it is charged with unanswerable questions as well as unformulatable ones” (Revans 1982: 712)
As recently as 1965, “management” was still widely called “Industrial Administration” and “Leadership” only concerned those at the very top of the shop. Yet, leadership is the obvious locus of concern with problems rather than puzzles, and also an obvious starting point for action learning in any system. Today, action learning is perhaps most commonly found in organizational leadership programmes, where it usually has a personal development and “own job” focus.
We are interested in a wider conception of leadership than is sometimes offered on those programmes; wider both in terms of leadership in any social system and particularly in the idea of leadership as a collective capacity or as a culture. A widespread capacity for leadership can develop where people are encouraged to voice their ideas and try them out in working with colleagues on organizational problems. This is what could be called the “Leaderful” organization.
(Pedler and Abbott 2013)