Abstract for: The Leadership Game: Experiencing Dynamic Complexity under Deep Uncertainty

In this ever more complex, interconnected, and uncertain world, leadership is needed more than ever. But the literature and most leaders largely ignore dynamic complexity and deep uncertainty: only futures characterized by ever faster change, ever more (required) flexibility, and ever more scarcity (especially in terms of highly qualified human resources) are considered. Plausible consequences of dynamic complexities and deep uncertainties are ignored and robustness of strategies for dealing with many different futures is hardly ever considered. But what if the predicted future does not materialize? This paper describes a System Dynamics-based leadership flight simulator and the experiential serious gaming workshop it was tailor-made for. During the first part of the workshop, participants play the part of the leader of an organization but in rather different virtual worlds (scenarios) in order to experience the impact of long-term dynamic complexity and deep uncertainty on leadership, as well as the influence of leadership on the success of their virtual organization. After having experienced the role and effect of different leadership styles/strategies in different virtual worlds, participants dialogue/brainstorm in a bounce-casting session about strategies and actions to build robust leadership capabilities for an uncertain complex world.