60 Years of World-Changing Ideas
The Michigan Model of Leadership is based on a half-century of empirical research and real-world practice. On the one hand, it is influenced by a wide range of revolutionary ideas developed by faculty at one of the most innovative universities in the world. On the other hand, it is designed to be accessible and useful to practitioners across industries, sectors, and geographies. It simplifies enormous complexity by utilizing the Competing Values Framework (CVF), which was developed by Robert Quinn, Kim Cameron, and other Michigan faculty, and has been widely adopted by thousands of businesses and leaders around the world. It is now the foundation for consulting practices, executive education courses, and numerous leadership development programs. In 2003, it was recognized by the Financial Times as one of the 40 most important management frameworks in history.
The CVF acknowledges a fundamental paradox of leadership that is tied to two key tensions found in all organizations, teams, and individuals. The first is the need to foster things like collaboration, harmony, and positive relationships (yellow) on the one hand, and the competing need to drive effort, goal achievement, and results (blue) on the other. The second is the urgency with which leaders must establish stability, control, and integration (red), while at the same time aggressively pursuing innovation, change, and learning (green). Navigating these fundamental tensions and achieving the appropriate balance is the stuff of leadership.
The Michigan Model—building on a half-century of faculty research and the CVF—operates on three levels of analysis: