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Adaptive Leadership and Bart Systems: Empowering Organizational Change


The idea of leadership is continuously transforming. Because of this, there are countless definitions of leadership. Leadership is therefore viewed as the activities, processes, commitments, or relationships made by managers to accomplish objectives as opposed to being seen leadership as the quality or talent of a leader (Oduol, 2021). The ability to lead is essential for overcoming complex challenges that come with our modern organizations. Given their position, managers are especially vulnerable to unexpected environmental events or changes during a crisis (Heifetz et al., 2009). People look up to leaders because they can provide guidance. Thus, there are incredibly high expectations and intense examination of their actions. Leaders must be able to understand their environment in order to portray change with high precision since crisis places new demands on them. Businesses in today’s fast-paced, technologically advanced environment have expressed a need for an adaptive approach to leadership that enables staff to show quick decision-making, improved staff collaboration, and strengthened work done by teams, some of which are now virtual (Harbison, 2016).

Effective leadership and organizational adaptation are essential for success in the dynamic Saudi public sector. This essay also examines the practical applications of the theories of BART Systems in the Saudi public sector. While BART Systems offer a framework for comprehending and managing organizational dynamics, adaptive leadership emphasizes the capacity to negotiate complex obstacles and drive group efforts toward change. This essay will outline each theory, discuss how it has been applied to fictitious situations in the Saudi public sector, assess its results, and highlight significant takeaways from its use.

Adaptive Leadership

Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky’s concept of adaptive leadership focuses on empowering people and organizations to adapt to and succeed in changing contexts. It highlights leaders’ need to identify adaptive challenges, develop adaptive capabilities, and delegate authority to involve stakeholders in creative problem-solving. The traditional managerial job description outlines the scope of duty, and work performed by those in authoritative positions typically involves the management activities of directing, planning, managing, and organizing.

However, Heifetz offers a very different definition of leadership. He views leadership as a series of tasks, including mobilizing an organization or a group of people’s resources to advance the challenging issues they face. Leadership can be used by those in positions of power and those without such roles (McAuley, 2020). He is suspicious of the conventional “leader-follower” model since it requires delegating work to the participants/subordinates and demanding results from their various duties.

Adaptive leadership focuses on the actions and behaviors of leaders as they help workers advance and perform better while overcoming the obstacles presented by a dynamic environment. Instead of merely adapting within the predetermined boundaries of the existing organization, the organization is encouraged to grow and thrive under this visionary leadership approach (Heifetz et al., 2009).

Effective leadership is essential to overcome obstacles and promote organizational success in dynamic sectors, especially the public sector, which involves many stakeholders with different preferences and ideas on handling different challenges (Dinh et al., 2014). Adaptive leadership offers a robust framework for developing leaders as agents of change (Harbison, 2016). In This part of the essay, I will examine the adaptive leadership theory and how I applied it in the Saudi public sector, emphasizing how it has aided my leadership development and sparked good organizational change.

Saudi Arabia has started on a resolute path to realize Vision 2030. This aspiration forces the public sector to drastically change how its organizations run and carry out their programs and services. I managed a Saudi Oil public sector team during significant regulatory changes. The organization’s objective was to ensure little interruption and maximize efficiency while integrating new policies and changing the organizational structure to replicate and cater to emerging modern needs.

Adaptive leadership provides a valuable paradigm for leaders to negotiate difficult situations and promote change in the fast-paced Saudi public sector. As managing director of one of the largest public oil refineries, I decided to use the adaptive leadership approach to bring transformational change to the organization. I have seen improvements in corporate outcomes, increased cooperation, and personal growth as a result of using the principles of adaptive leadership, such as advocating for openness and integrity in the organization.

I have been able to grow as a leader and contribute to the organizational success through increasing my self-awareness, accepting adaptable challenges, empowering others, and fostering continuous learning. The strength of adaptive leadership rests in its capacity to change not only businesses but also the leaders within them, making them agents of good change in a world that is changing quickly and adapting to new technologies and threats that can evolve into crisis (Peterson et al., 2020).

I realized I needed to grow as a change agent by putting the ideas of adaptive leadership into practice. The oil refinery industry, especially in Saudi Arabia, is a constantly changing sector, especially in terms of ensuring good safety standards and protecting the sector from sabotage by rising threats such as ISIS. My first decision was to change and improve safety standards by implementing biometric identification systems; I also fully took part in demonstrating to my colleagues the effectiveness of these systems and how they will aid in enhancing the safety and security of the refinery.

To enhance organizational transformation, I gave different teams in the company the tools they needed to take an active part in the adaptive process. I ensured they had more modern protective gear and communication gadgets that are crucial for maintaining the refinery and reporting on any issues. Through open communication and the inclusion of stakeholders in the decision-making process, I was also able to enhance my leadership skills and influence in the oil public sector of Saudi Arabia. I supported creative ideas to close the gap between current practices and the new regulations by encouraging a culture of learning and working in cohesion for the success of the whole sector. This method boosted teamwork, increased organizational ownership, and made the transition easier, which eventually raised organizational performance and efficiency (Hieker & Pringle, 2020). I also promoted a sense of shared responsibility for change by publicly discussing the adaptive problems and including important stakeholders, including employees and outside partners. By promoting open communication and creative problem-solving environment, I gave people the power to come up with and put into action solutions that were in line with the changing regulations in the Saudi oil public sector (Marques, 2015). As a result of the organization’s increased responsiveness and adaptability, efficiency, collaboration, and results all improved, and every employee felt part and parcel of the organization.

Key Learning Points

Self-awareness is valued by adaptive leadership as a crucial component of successful leadership. A leader has to view the organization in terms of a body that has different organs that work together for the wellbeing of the whole organism; thus, leaders should apply a humanistic approach towards subordinates and other stakeholders (Chughtai et al., 2023). I learned the value of reflection and how important it is to be aware of my own limitations, biases, and values as a leader. By self-reflection, I could identify various blind spots that would obstruct teamwork and decision-making (Kramer et al., 2019). I improved my awareness of my own emotions and responses through increased self-awareness, which enabled me to control them under duress that often occurs in the petroleum sector of Saudi Arabia. I was able to keep my cool, think clearly, and make wise decisions because of my ability to self-regulate. Additionally, self-awareness enabled me to understand how others were affected by my words and actions, which enabled me to modify my leadership style to better meet the requirements of my organization.

The mentality changes that adaptive leadership promotes toward adaptive problems is one of its most transforming features. I learned to embrace setbacks as chances for development and innovation rather than seeing them as impediments. Leaders must leave their comfort zones and consider novel approaches to problem-solving when faced with adaptive problems (Wang et al., 2018).

By accepting adaptive challenges and embracing knowledge and capacity building, I helped my staff develop a proactive mindset. I exhorted them to see difficulties as opportunities for innovation and transformation. The team experienced a sense of empowerment as a result of the perspective change since they felt encouraged to come up with creative ideas that could solve problems that accompanied the vast changes in the sector. Together, we overcame obstacles and used them as springboards for both personal and organizational development. This shift in mindset toward various administrative, technical, and technological difficulties helped my staff see them as chances for progress, which increased productivity in the public sector (Madi et al., 2023). I was able to address complicated issues with a proactive perspective and see them as drivers of innovation and organizational development because of the implementation of adaptive leadership.

In order to foster growth, adaptive leadership places a strong emphasis on empowering people. I understood the importance of including team members in the decision-making process as a leader in the Saudi oil and petroleum public sector. I helped to create an inclusive and collaborative atmosphere by recognizing their various points of view. The adaptive leadership approach helped improve employee job satisfaction as they view themselves as important components of the organization who are included in critical decision-making and policy creation (Chughtai et al., 2023).

I actively solicited feedback from the various management teams in my organization and encouraged them to contribute their thoughts. This inclusive strategy utilized their specific skills and expertise while also making them feel valued. I gave people the freedom to take responsibility for their job and make a real difference toward the objectives of the organization by sharing authority and responsibilities. In order to foster growth, adaptive leadership places a strong emphasis on empowering people (Mulyana et al., 2022). I promoted a sense of ownership, dedication, and cooperation among the team members by including them in the decision-making process and recognizing their many opinions.

Additionally, adaptive leadership encourages a culture of ongoing learning and modification (Craps et al., 2019). It recognizes that in order to survive in a changing environment, organizations must constantly develop. I promoted a culture of inquiry, growth, and resiliency within my team by fostering an environment that values learning from both wins and setbacks.

I pushed every member of the organization to think back on their experiences and glean insightful information. I fostered a culture of continual improvement by giving chances for training, skill development, and knowledge exchange. We were able to quickly react to changing conditions and keep one step ahead of the Saudi public oil sector curve because of our emphasis on learning and skill building.

BART Systems

Effective organizational management and leadership are essential for Saudi Arabia’s public sector to succeed in the face of several obstacles. In the modern public sector, different players from different regions are usually involved in various projects. The complexity of working with teams from different cultures and even languages can lead to confusion about the authority to report to, the work boundaries to maintain, the roles to adhere to, and the tasks allocated (Vakkayil, 2012). Adaptive Leadership and BART Systems are two theories that have been shown to be helpful in this situation. We can understand how BART Systems helps to organizational effectiveness by outlining the theory, examining its implementation in a real-world context, and emphasizing the essential takeaways (Macfarlane, 2020).

The Boundary, Authority, Role, and Task (BART) Systems theory, created by Gervase R. Bushe, offers a framework for comprehending and controlling organizational dynamics (Santos et al., 2005). It underlines how crucial it is to make these points clear in order to improve teamwork, communication, and overall organizational effectiveness (Kriesi et al., 2021). According to the notion, defining authority structures, allocating positions, and defining tasks inside the company are all necessary for organizational success (Bushe & Lewis, 2023).

BART System Implementation in Saudi Oil Public Sector

Working as a general manager in one of the biggest Saudi public oil companies, I came into a circumstance where interdepartmental disagreements and role ambiguity hampered collaboration and decision-making. To improve organizational dynamics, I applied BART Systems to define boundaries, authority, responsibilities, and tasks, enabling swift collaboration and communication between different departments and even stakeholders.

In the company, due to changes and restructuring of the organizational management, different departments were operating autonomously without a clear grasp of the limits and responsibilities assigned to them. Conflicts over overlapping roles were caused by this lack of clarity, which created a disjointed workplace. I applied the BART Systems theory by cooperating with department heads and important stakeholders after seeing the necessity for a systematic approach.

I improved transparency and collaboration at work by facilitating open dialogues and outlining expectations regarding boundaries, authority, positions, and duties. Employees became more aware of their roles and how their efforts supported the objectives of the company. Enhanced productivity, less disagreements, and better decision-making were the results of improved departmental communication and teamwork (Langley et al., 2019).

The organization was significantly impacted by the use of the BART Systems, and this approach enabled the company to streamline its activities for better results. We improved communication and collaboration at work by encouraging open dialogue and outlining expectations around roles, responsibilities, and authority.

First, the definition of borders assisted in creating distinct lines of demarcation between departments, lessening disagreements and encouraging cooperation. Each department improved its knowledge of its own area of accountability, preventing pointless duplication of effort and guaranteeing efficient cooperation. When an organization is made up of different teams and leaders, it is difficult to ascertain where one’s authority starts and ends, thus creating distinctive borders promotes the smooth functioning of the organization (Davis et al., 2021)

Second, defining authority structures enabled people and teams to make defensible choices within their assigned spheres of influence. Clarity and empowerment improved responsibility and sped up the decision-making process, producing outcomes that were more effective and efficient. Understanding the chain of command help in reporting on progress and smooth communication in the organization. It also helps reduce workplace frustration and stress due to a breakdown in the chain of command (Tamunomiebi & Mezeh, 2021).

Thirdly, defining roles and responsibilities clearly improved employee engagement, productivity, and alignment with company goals. People are aware of their respective duties and how they fit into the organization’s overarching objectives when they understand all the aspects of BART systems (Bushe & Lewis, 2023). The team members’ coordination and cooperation improved as a result of the greater clarity, which encouraged a sense of ownership.

Key Learning Points

Transparent communication is essential for the smooth running of any institution. Transparent communication only occurs when work boundaries, roles, authority, and tasks are clearly spelled out (Abadir et al., 2019). Implementing the BART Systems theory requires effective communication. For the organization to be clear about its borders, power structures, duties, and responsibilities, open dialogue and consistent lines of communication are crucial (Badura et al., 2021). Team members can achieve a common knowledge of expectations and reduce misunderstandings and conflicts by promoting open communication.

In my experience, we built solid communication lines, organized regular team meetings, and encouraged free discussion. We urged people to share their opinions, worries, and inquiries about their tasks and duties. This gave us the chance to clear up any confusion and make sure that everyone knew exactly what their responsibilities and limitations were.

Another essential component of the BART Systems theory is group decision-making. An atmosphere of ownership and commitment is promoted by including important stakeholders and department leaders in the decision-making process (Koksalmis & Kabak, 2019). This collaborative method enables a wide range of opinions, resulting in judgments that are more thorough and well-informed.

To combat the long, tedious process of decision-making in a multicultural and complex public organization, we implemented cross-functional teams made up of representatives from several departments to handle complicated problems and reach a consensus in order to put this philosophy into practice. This strategy made sure that all pertinent viewpoints were taken into account, leading to more practical answers. Additionally, we saw improved involvement and commitment to the execution of choices after incorporating employees in the decision-making process (Alshammari, 2020).

The BART Systems theory places a strong emphasis on the necessity of constant assessment and modification to guarantee organizational efficiency. Boundaries, authority structures, positions, and duties must frequently be reevaluated in light of the continuously changing organizational dynamics to make sure they continue to be in line with the organization’s objectives and circumstances (Swanson et al., 2020).

In my organization, we built a routine assessment procedure to assess the efficiency of the BART Systems architecture that has been put into place through constant group and person of authority assessment. This required gathering employee feedback, completing performance reviews, and determining the applicability of established limits, hierarchies, roles, and responsibilities. We made the appropriate adjustments in light of the findings to improve organizational dynamics and maintain our objectives.

To promote accountability and empower individuals and teams, it is essential to define authority and responsibility clearly. Employees feel trusted and empowered to make decisions within their specified regions when they are aware of their authority and responsibilities (Choi et al., 2019). This feeling of empowerment promotes job ownership and heightens both solitary and group contributions to the accomplishment of the company (Garavan et al., 2021).

We created precise job descriptions and laid out reporting mechanisms within our company to encourage accountability and empowerment. We made sure that each employee was aware of their obligations, authorities, and functions. Employees were emboldened to take initiative and make knowledgeable decisions as a result of this clarity, which enhanced productivity and overall organizational effectiveness.

In conclusion, the BART Systems theory’s application in the Saudi oil public sector has a significant positive influence on enhancing organizational dynamics. Organizations can improve communication, collaboration, and overall effectiveness by focusing on unambiguous communication, group decision-making, ongoing review and adaptation, and developing accountability and empowerment. In the dynamic Saudi public sector, the BART Systems concept offers a useful tool for negotiating organizational challenges and improving performance.


Frameworks for leadership and organizational management in the Saudi public sector, such as Adaptive Leadership and BART Systems, are quite useful. I have seen these theories’ beneficial effects on organizational effectiveness, teamwork, and adaptability by applying them to real-world circumstances. BART Systems enable leaders to mobilize group activities for change while enabling them to handle complicated obstacles.


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