What happens when nobody stands out from the crowd?
Great leaders can be found in many places and many companies. Some of have spent careers fine tuning their portfolio of interpersonal skills so that they’ll be effective when the going gets tough. But let’s face it. Knowing where to turn for unique leadership skills can be a challenge.
It’s often difficult to find “the real thing” among a crowded field of would-be originals.
To shed some new light on what it means to be a collaborative leader, let’s ask a few questions to help bring the seach into better focus. For starters, let’s take a look at the foundational semantics, and some of the critical dynamics that we think are important in this space.
- Q1. Skills. What are the key skills that a collaborative leader must possess?
- Q2. Styles. In “Primal Leadership” (2002), Goleman calls for adopting 1 of 6 styles: visionary, coaching, affiliative, democratic, pace setting, commanding. Which apply here?
- Q3. Behaviors. How can we recognize a collaborative leader from among others who are less collaborative?
- Q4. Mindset. How can leaders adopt a collaborative mindset?
As we review the complex and evolving Team Dynamics (Ch.15) in The DNA of Collaboration, again and again we find leaders must play key roles to guide organizations through collaborative processes. This discussion is a starting point for more to follow.
We look forward to your insight on this important thread.
Chris Jones @sourcepov
Join the conversation: Friday April 26th 1p at GMU Founder’s Hall, Arlington VA
Organizations in the 21st century have grown increasingly risk averse, causing many people inside them to take a defensive view of the world.
Small wonder that collaboration – the open exchange of ideas in an effort to solve problems – has a grown increasingly difficult. More and more we hear about collaboration and it’s benefits, via sage advice from outsiders and edicts from above. But there’s a simple question facing us. It often goes unasked and stays unanswered.
Do we have the courage to collaborate?
On Friday April 26th, at the Chesapeake Bay OD Network (CBODN) 2013 Annual Conference, from 1-2:15 pm, James Alexandar and I are taking on this topic. The conference theme is “Courageous Leadership” and it explores how OD practitioners must challenge what we think we know about achieving success in the 21st century organization.
I’m Chris Jones, @sourcepov from Twitter, and I’ll be heading up from Charlotte to join in the conversation.
James and I will explore a variety of the key elements in the equation, but ultimately we’ll focus in on Culture, lack of Trust and Fear. These elements invariably shape and constrain behaviors in today’s organizations, in spite of efforts in the opposite direction. Most of the time, the odds seem stacked against us. The ability to take on the challenges requires an immense amount of courage. Success requires leaders who are willing and able to release their death grip on control. The discussion on Friday will explore some core precepts of OD, then tackle the implications of key barriers. Then we’ll share some very specific insights on how collaboration accelerates in a high-trust, low-fear workplace, giving participants hands on experience with collaboration in an open exchange. We’ll navigate from a “risk averse” mindset to a “risk-enabled” one, tapping ideas from my book The DNA of Collaboration: Unlocking the Potential of 21st Century Teams.
(c) 2013 Amberwood Media Group
Since December, we have sought to understand how Linear Thinking and intention traditionally combine to create an organization’s culture. Now, to get to the next level, let’s look at how Spiral Thinking and alternative approaches to Organizational Learning can help culture evolve in new ways.
You may be asking, what’s Spiral Thinking? Stay tuned for a consolidation post here in the near future, but here’s a 2009 post by Robert Twigger that does a good job of laying out the concept.
Keep in mind, our goal is to fill in the Collaborative Learning framework we started back in December, shown here. We’re continuing to explore ways to get there. We’d love your ideas.
In our MON 3/11 #CDNA chat, Astrid Kowlessar will guide a discussion that takes us to the next level of dialog, as we explore:
- Q1. Does culture or intention change when we apply Spiral Thinking?
- Q2. How is creating a Culture of Learning different with Spiral Thinking?
A big #CDNA thanks to Astrid for offering to facilitate this session. She’s our first guest moderator, and we’re hoping the first of many.
Will see you guys online.
Chris & Astrid