Reading for Leading #6: Adjust your lenses

Adjust your lenses

Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.

How does the lens you choose to use affect the picture that you see?
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Bolman and Deal have identified 4 lenses or frames that you can use to examine your organisation, especially if you’re considering implementing a new initiative or other large-scale change:

  • Structural – concerns goals, roles and formal procedures within the organisation
  • Human Resources – concerns people and the capacity to learn within the organisation
  • Political – where do power and resources live within the organisation?
  • Symbolic – concerns the culture of the organisation – the rituals and routines that confer meaning


Thinking about how you tend to diagnose work situations, do you have a bias for one of these lenses? For example, do you often blame things on human resources problems such as lack of staff expertise? What happens if you try looking at the problem through one of the other lenses?

Source of inspiration: Bolman and Deal “Reframing Organizations” and presented in a talk by Ann E. Austin at the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows mid-year training, 2017.



One thought on “Reading for Leading #6: Adjust your lenses

  1. Pingback: 2017 on Social in silico – Social in silico

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