Exhibiting Rebus Leadership in the Complex Domain


By Badri N. Srinivasan and Chandan Lal Patary

Bangalore, India


Today’s business world is shifting swiftly and the organization needs to exhibit different styles of leadership to sustain in this turbulent period. Leadership in large organizations is more complex as it has built-in legacy which will not allow it to mobilize the decision making fast enough for business survival. The business environment has become increasingly unstable, and uncertain, in just the past decade or so.

Leaders need to think differently to transform the complete ecosystem with his/her team members aligning with the external ecospace. In today’s organization, most of the employees are not engaged (Gallup employee engagement survey 2015); when employees are disengaged it means quite simply that companies are receiving only a fraction of the creativity and productivity of their workforce. Leaders need to ensure company’s ability can increase so that it can surpass competition and drive growth in new distinct situations by learning and adapting when tackling unforeseen circumstances, predicaments, complex problems and crisis. Today’s leaders are operating in the complex domain which necessitates out of the box thinking and innovative solutions to solve everyday problems.

This paper will highlight how the proposed new leadership model will ensure enterprise agility, how adaptive leadership team plan to transform operation excellence and bring agility across the layers, how leadership introduces and ensures sustaining of the new cultural transformation with innovation, how building adaptive project management to increase response ability, How to influence emergence and achieve enterprise agility?

Keywords: Complex Adaptive System, Systems Thinking, Emergence, Antifragility, Cynefin Framework


Leadership practices in complex domain are very unique. The nature of competition has become more diverse. Some environments are mature and predictable, while others are highly uncertain, how can leaders ensure they are doing the right stuff at the right time?

Our societies are changing rapidly from those based on structures of hierarchies and standard answers to ones that are constantly changing (even volatile), interconnected, networked, ambiguous and increasingly complex. Our leadership models must adapt to this new world. Today’s world is more and more complex, traditional leadership skills do not support much. Leadership theory also has to be modernized.



“62% of top performing
companies say the most
important factor to improve
their organization’s agility
is the right leadership

Technology adoption rate is very high today; will traditional leadership styles still work in today’s complex world? Will top down approach work? Today’s world is more complex. The scope of this paper is limited to explaining about the role of leadership in the complex domain and it is applicable in all generic research and development sectors (Retail, Banking Financial services and Insurance (BFSI), Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals and other sectors). This paper focuses on enterprise agility through changes in organizational design.

Every individual is a potential agent in the complex domain. Leadership in complex systems is a locus of power during the interaction processes among human agents. There are many variables in a complex situation and the interaction between these variables is nonlinear and interdependent. Therefore, the process of acting in a complex situation cannot be rational and linear. To solve complex problems, we cannot rely only on convergent analysis and on using our own knowledge in a traditional manner. Instead, we have to use divergent thinking and adopt an experimental approach to the situation in order to solve complex problems in a more creative way.


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About the Authors

Badri N. Srinivasan

Bangalore, India


Mr. Badri N. Srinivasan
is currently working as AVP and Lead – Agile Center/Enterprise Agile Coach at Societe Generale Global Solutions Center (SG GSC), Bangalore, and Karnataka, India. He is leading the Agile Center and is responsible for the implementation of continuous delivery and agile practices in the organization. He has 20+ years experience and has extensive experience in process implementation and organizational change management processes and process improvement initiatives in the travel, retail, manufacturing, real estate, mortgage and banking, healthcare and financial services domains. He is a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), and Project Management Professional (PMP) ® from the Project Management Institute (PMI), USA and a certified Six Sigma Green Belt (SSGB). His extensive experience includes coaching, managing, mentoring and training Scrum Masters, product owners, and project/program managers and implementation of enterprise agile practices in the organization. He has published numerous articles in various magazines/online forums – Scrum Alliance, InfoQ, PMI – Knowledge Shelf, DZone, Agile Record, Agile Journal, Sticky Minds, techwell.com and Methods and Tools. He can be reached by email at [email protected], and through his LinkedIn Profile – https://in.linkedin.com/in/badrisrinivasan.


Chandan Lal Patary

Bangalore, India


Mr. Chandan Lal Patary
currently works as Enterprise Agile coach at Societe Generale. He has deep experience in developing Software applications across various domains and has successfully executed many Projects. Chandan has worked on domain like Banking, Healthcare, Aerospace, Building automation, Power automation, Industrial Automaton under real time mission critical product development to large scale application development. Chandan has 18+ years of industry experience. He is certified PMP from 2008, Green Belt certified holder from 2005. Chandan is an agile practioner and Certified Scrum Master from 2011. Chandan holds a Bachelor’s from National Institute of Technology (NIT-Agartala) in Electrical Engineering. He has completed one year Executive General Management program from IIM-Bangalore in 2007. He has published 17+ technical papers (including PMPC2012, 2013, 2014), posted 193 Linked-in blogs. He was speaker at various forums (India Agile week- 2013 and 2015, Software Test Conference-STC2014, Regional Scrum Gathering 2015, and PMPC2013). He can be reachable through email/LinkedIn: [email protected]