In Open Leadership – Charlene Li

“Be open, be transparent, be authentic are the current leadership mantras – but companies often push back. Traditionally, business is premised on the concept of control and yet the new world order demands openness”. (p1) Ms. Li provides why open leadership is so very important as the social technologies are spurning the transparency within organizations. I truly believe after the last several years of complete disregard for law and order and regulations of greed would be helpful if our organizational leadership took the ideology of letting go of the command and control style of management and were more transparent in their communications with their staffs. This situation could be our next tipping point to open leadership and be the commencement of a new beginning. It truly is a tall task, asking leadership to let go of a style of management that feels natural to a commander and chief. The transformation may have been brought on by the social technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and MySpace and enhanced with search capabilities with Google and Yahoo. Yet the true concern is letting go of the command and control style of management and truly embracing transparency in management. Organizational structures don’t tend to operate that way even though there is a great deal of desire to be open. It took Knowledge Management and the ability to transfer bits of tacit knowledge within our workforce years before it was embraced. There are four open-driver objectives to support the open strategy, they are:

  • Learn (harkens back to the learning organization – Peter Senge) – leadership must stay open and continually learn from their employees, customers and partners
  • Dialog – Communicate – internal and external – the value of our technology.
  • Support – Customer-Centric support internal and external
  • Innovate – Fostering the ability to be creative (p 53-54)

As we become more immersive in our social technologies to collaborate with others in the world there is hope that our leadership will become transparent and customer-centric with the messaging to help the transition to the ideology of open leadership. I support the effort that our leadership is making in this area. Ms. Li’s book provides several assessments for our leadership as a beginning step to reflect on their mind-set and what traits it will take them to either learn or unlearn skills and behaviors to take this genuine step forward to openness. If we can use this current time to assist our elected governmental officials to use some of this open leadership style to begin a new era of diplomacy and civility in our leadership it surely would be a tipping point in history. Our new man and woman of the year would be that of open leadership and showing honor and respect to the role of leadership on the cover of the Rolling Stone Magazine. Thank you Ms. Li for kicking off a positive effort! Li., C. (2010) Open leadership: how social technology can transform the way you lead. San Francisco, CA. Jossey-Bass.

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About Linda Savanauskas

An accomplished talent management professional with experience in curriculum design, development of learning strategies, and professional skills development training programs for the workplace. Collaboration in training programs includes small and medium size businesses (SMB) to larger organizations from Raleigh to Charlotte, North Carolina. Virtual instructor led training can be offered to any location.