Co-Author of this Blogpost is Tina Dörffer
In the end of 2010 my colleague Tina Dörffer will publish a Web 2.0-Leadership study. The objective of the study is to understand the impact of internet on leadership – on the one hand as regards to a new emerging paradigm and understanding of leadership and on the other hand as regards to new tools of Web 2.0 and processes in institutions enhancing the effectiveness of the mission. There are people who claim that only mindset and content matter. Other people see the application and use of tools as the driver. From our point of view the mindset is a precondition and the skills and tools the vital means to the end. New technologies have an essential impact on leadership so that only “leadership 2.0” can be the suitable answer.
The content of the study is structured accordingly: As the precondition the authors outline the emergent patterns of a new paradigm for leadership. Supporting with concrete pioneer examples, the study then elaborates on examples & cases to describe the use of new web technologies across all sectors. Practical tips of how to go about and pointing to the potential limitations/threats are closing the brackets of the study.
At this point we would like to share the following preliminary results:
- There is no choice about whether to accept a new world, already present in/for many organizations at all
- Institutions and actors who don´t want to accept the rules of the (new) game have no chance to survive
- So the choice is more a question whether to deny or acknowledge and embrace changes
- But this choice acquires modified mindsets and skills
- Participation and less hierarchical processes are the key for future oriented institutions and leaders
There exist quite a few examples in governance and the business sector for serving as a good example for changed mindsets:
- Open government and government 2.0 are becoming more popular. Open data is seen more as a chance for making a better policy from the perspective of the administration. Participation can be seen not as a threat but as a chance for getting better results in the policy making process.
- In the business sector the boundaries around enterprises are eroding. This erosion enables deeper and more two-way communication and interaction with and among customers. In the end the cluetrain Manifesto is relevant for all companies.
- In the social sector individuals organizations are increasingly “networked,” using the Web to enhance their effectiveness in attracting support, collaborating with organizations with similar missions, and soliciting stakeholder feedback. The traditional institutions are facing a competition about power of the people.
What does this all mean for leaders in the political, social and economic sphere?
From the authors’ point of view “Leadership 2.0” is an activity and not a certain role, which belongs to a person lifelong. Roles can change and the current leader of a team or department can be the future leader in his own domain without having people who follow him in a hierarchy. If so, the status of leadership has to be defined in a modified way. Formal leadership is increasingly temporary while content leadership is not limited. “Command and control” – in content driven institutions – are former demanded qualities. Now it is more a question of being open minded and an enabler. Anyone who has an own domain can potentially exercise leadership.
From our point of view the most interesting question in the end is how to cope with these new standards of leadership from the perspective of traditional institutions? How in your institutions and as actors do these institutions react once they get to know that this development goes to the core of power and formal authority? What is your experience? What lessons learnt can you share? What trends do you observe? What pioneer examples are you aware of?