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Jan 26, 2011

Favorite HBR "Imagining the Future of Leadership" Post #6 (Is Leadership or Effectiveness More Important?)

Tony Burgess asks whether we are more interested in leadership or effectiveness, and raises the issue of feedback mechanisms - how do we know whether we are effective?

While he uses an example from the military intervention in Afghanistan to illustrate his point, the complexities will be familiar to workforce leaders engaged in similar community building efforts here at home.

Note: The entire six-week Harvard Business Review blog series can be
accessed here.

Post
Jan 26, 2011

Favorite HBR "Imagining the Future of Leadership" Post #7 (Beyond the American Model)

Lan Lui's contribution challenges the universal model of leadership, emphasizing the importance of American scholars and leaders in particular integrating insights from cross-cultural inquiry into their assumptions. Leaders we have engaged in this project have identified the importance of cultural reference points linked not only to nationality, race, or ethnic origin, but to the many dimensions of life experiences different people bring to their work. Leaders, after all, are people.

Note: The entire six-week Harvard Business Review blog series can be accessed here.

 

Post
Jan 26, 2011

Favorite HBR "Imagining the Future of Leadership" Post #8 (New 21st Century Leaders)

Bill George, former CEO of Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc., argues that successful 21st Century leaders will focus their time and attention on four things:

  • Aligning people around core missions and shared values
  • Empowering leaders throughout their organizations and networks
  • Serving customers well (which is ultimately how shareholders and stakeholders are also staisfied); and
  • Collaborating - across boundaries of every description, because today's challenges are too large and too complex for any one business or organization to solve alone.

Note: The entire six-week Harvard Business Review blog series can be accessed here.

 

 

 

Post
Jan 26, 2011

Favorite HBR "Imagining the Future of Leadership" Post #9 (Leadership is More Than "Position")

Susan Ashford and Scott DeRue cite Bob Quinn in making a case for leadership as a state (of being) rather than an assumed role that comes with a title. We have heard versions of this idea many times during the course of our Leadership Project, with one respondent noting "(regional) leadership is like pick-up basketball." 

Implications?
As the authors of this post rightly observe, if we understand leadership as distinct from leader, new questions arise (like how do leaders become leaders in a group or network?) and we can begin to imagine new ways of cultivating leadership among people who may or may not boast a formal title.

Note: The entire six-week Harvard Business Review blog series can be accessed here.

Post
Jan 25, 2011

See you at the National Assocation of Workforce Boards (NAWB) Annual Forum!

We're heading to the NAWB Annual Forum next week where we hope to engage you in more discussion, learning, documenting and doing around LEADERSHIP, specifically, WORKFORCE LEADERSHIP. If you've got something to share, here are a few ways to get in touch:

  • Email Kristin Wolff [kwolff@thinkers-and-doers.com] or Vinz Koller [vinz_koller@spra.com]
  • Tweet Kristin Wolff [@kristinwolff] or the project [@WFLeadership]
  • Leave a comment on our website [insert link]
  • Track us down at the Conference - we're convening a discussion on leadership on Sunday, February 6, 2011 at 3:45 in Meeting Room 3 (Title: Workforce Leadership: What it is, why it matters, how to grow it).

Oh, and you can also call Kristin, of course, at 503.888.1022.

If you are interested in leadership, we want to talk to you!

Post
Jan 25, 2011

Favorite HBR "Imagining the Future of Leadership" Post #10 (It's Not About You)

In a post entitled, "It's Not About You," Deborah Ancona and Elaine Backman point to collective networks, rather than "great men" as an important focus of leadership inquiry, citing the revolutionary nature of this shift in practice and arguing for the need to incorporate alternatives to hierarchical leadership into our practice and theory. While they focus on the "firm" as the key actor, their findings are perhaps more relevant to leaders of community initiatives for whom hierarchical, command-and-control-centered models of leadership have never been particuarly accurate.

Recent work on "distributed leadership", thery argue, has shown that:

  • Leadership can be shared across divisions, even firms (or organizations)
  • Leadership can and ofen is assumed by individuals not in formal leadership positions
  • Change can occur from the bottom up.  

Yet, organizations and formal structures can play important roles in mitigating risk and accelerating growth.

These challenges of balance, leadership diversity, and alignment should be familiar to workforce leaders, and increasingly to the business and institutional leaders and to the interns and volunteers with whom they work.

Note: The entire six-week Harvard Business Review blog series can be
accessed here.

Post
Jan 25, 2011

The Future of Leadership: A Curated Collection of Insights from HBR's 2010 Series & Symposium

In June, 2010, Harvard Business Review ran a six-week blog series called "Imagining the Future of Leadership." Hosted by Nitin Nohria, Rakesh Khurana, and Scott Snook and edited by Ellen Peebles, the series featured some 40 posts contributed by thought-leaders representing diverse disciplines, experiences, and perspectives. The video embedded here is a nice synopsis of insights from a follow-up symposium convened on the same subject in June (2010).

We've whittled it down some and posting links and summaries of our top ten posts, together with a statement about why they are relevant to workforce leaders like you.

The entire series can be accessed here.

Post
Jan 25, 2011

Leadership Lessons: How to Start a Movement in Three Minutes

1. Do something great. 2. Embrace your first-followers as an equals (it's about the movement, not you). 3. Be public. 4. Repeat.

We love this video!

The one place we'd quibble with Derek is in his assessment of leadership as overglorified. While that may or may not be true, we think the lesson is that there are many ways to exercise leadership - first-follower is not the instigator here, but he does lead subsequent followers. We think there's plenty leadership roles for everyone. Even the person with the camera, whom we never see, makes it possible for all of us to learn something about leadership. That person is, in effect, leading the documenting of our lesson on leadership.

More TED Videos on Leadership.

 

Post
Jan 24, 2011

Leadership Development for Place-Based Change Initiatives: What Works?

Leadership Learning Community's Leadership Development Report

Leadership Learning Community drafted this report for the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The intent was to explore whether Evidence Based Practice methodologies could make foundation-supported leadership development efforts more effective, particularly for leaders advancing place-based community change efforts. While these methodologies (e.g., examining what works and under what circumstances) have worked well at the level of program and practice, they have rarely been applied to the question of leadership itself (e.g., what kinds of leadership is effective and under what circumstances?).

The report provides a brief overview of evaluation methodologies including: assessments, Theory of Change, EvaluLEAD, Action Learning and Action Research, Case Studies and Meta-analysis. It also reviews various leadership theories (Collaborative Leadership Theory, DAC Integrative Leadership Theory, and Theory U) in the context of place-based community needs.

A key finding (and one suggested by our own work) is that most leadership development programs target individuals and organizations even as we recognize that community leadership is about system-level change.

A summary is avaialble on Deborah Meehan's Leadership Learning Community blog, and the actual document is avaialable in PDF here.

Post
Dec 10, 2010

Workforce Leaders: Should You Prepare People in Your Community to be "Skill-Based Entrepreneurs?"

Fareed Zakaria on Restoring the American Dream

CNN Video, click for video to open in separate window

[Click to open link in new window].

Is Dan Pink's Free Agent Nation (or a version of it) finally coming to pass? That's what Fareed Zakaria seems to be suggesting. What do you think?

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