There seems to be and emerging realization that the same way that social media have changed the way we think and do communication, advertising and PR, Social Media will inevitably also change the way we lead and the way we think about what leadership is.
We will see a new leadership role that will include all of what we already do and know – but that will also add completely new dimensions to what we have hitherto perceived as the leadership role.
A few sites and studies have recently caught my attention on this subject:
The Bertelsmann Foundation has published a report under the title “Web 2.0 and Leadership” – you will find it here.
From the introduction I quote:
“Need for a new leadership paradigm.
In the two decades of rising Web impact, the need for a new paradigm for leadership has become more and more apparent. Seven indicators of this needed shift are:
Leadership as an activity rather than a role
Leadership as a collective phenomenon
Need for individual leaders at higher levels of development
From organization-centric to network-centric leadership
From organizations as ?machines? to organizations as ?organisms?
From planning and controlling to learning and adapting
From Generation X to Generation Y
The paradigm that was dominant until at least the early 1990s assumed that leadership highlighted the dynamic between designated ?leaders? and ?followers? pursuing shared goals. At its best this paradigm allowed for participatory and shared leadership, but inevitably singled out the lone leader as a key player, tacitly reinforcing deeply-rooted myths around the importance of ?heroic? individual leaders and the usefulness of ?command and control? styles of leading.
While situations will continue to exist that are well-suited to this approach, it has become obvious that in the world that is emerging, the leadership resulting from this paradigm is increasingly limited.
A new leadership paradigm seems to be emerging with an inexorable shift away from one-way, hierarchical, organization-centric communication toward two-way, network-centric, participatory, and collaborative leadership styles. Most of all a new mindset seems necessary, apart from new skills and knowledge. All the tools in the world will not change anything if the mindset does not allow and support change.”
PriceWaterhouse a while back already published the report ‘How leadership must change to meet the future’ its conclusion came back to me when thinking of this subject :
“The strategic revolutions in today’s rapidly changing business environment clearly mandate a new leadership framework. To capitalize on developing trends and drive future success, organizations must begin building leadership strength now in the four leadership success quotients: agility, authenticity, talent, and sustainability.
But the formula for achieving leadership success is a moving target.
The leadership success quotients will evolve. Nevertheless, complacency is not an option. To quote an executive from our CEO survey, “Global trends are hitting faster, harder, and wider, with results that can be both exhilarating and devastating for companies, industries, and entire regions.
”The winners of tomorrow will be those organizations with strong leaders who demonstrate agility, authenticity, connectivity to their talent, and sustainability. They will use their skills to remain at the ready, anticipate and harness the power of change, and stay ahead of the shifting business environment.”
And finally I discovered a the blog of Ann Holman yesterday where she has published a post entitled “The emergence of social leadership”’
“If our customers and employees are demanding social experiences, social networking, social marketing, collaboration, co creation, connection, attention and a very human, intimate relationships with our organizations, our leadership style, behavior and delivery is going to have to modify and refine itself considerably. Future leaders will not direct the work but enable and facilitate the new skills people are acquiring.”
and then the follow up post from Ann Leadership in 2011 and beyond….
… leaders of the future no matter what product or service they offer, what geographical location or industry or sector, are going to need to have in depth, responsive and critical skills in enabling and facilitating its employees and customers to ‘bang their heads together’ on a regular basis.”
That means that future leaders will need to master the 4C’s:
Content – customers become creators as do employees
Collaboration – refers to the idea that social media facilitates the aggregation of small individual actions into meaningful collective results. Collective action goes one step further and uses online engagement to initiate meaningful action. Collective action can take the form of signing online petitions, fundraising, tele-calling, or organizing an offline protest or event.
Community – Most people understand that a community that has a large number of members (size) who have strong relationships and frequent interactions with each other (strength) is better than a community that doesn’t. However, a community is more than the sum total of its members and their relationships.
People don’t build relationships with each other in a vacuum. A vibrant community is built around a social object that is meaningful for its members. The social object can be a person, a place, a thing or an idea.
Collective Intelligence – refers to the idea that the social web enables us to not only aggregate individual actions, but also run sophisticated algorithms on them and extract meaning from them. The great thing about collective intelligence is that it becomes easier to extract meaning from a community as the size and strength of the community grow. If the collective intelligence is then shared back with the community, the members find more value in the community, and the community grows even more, leading to a virtuous cycle.
And if you want to take and even deeper dive – I can recommend reading “The power of Pull” and keeping and eye out for John Hagels blogs posts at edgeperspectives …
Something is defiantly cooking… ( Finally .. ;-) )