Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Collaborative, values based leadership and the role of Social Media

I read with interest the following press release from Henley Business School - could it be that we have another indication that there is a significant shift in our priorities as raised in my last post. The key parts of the press release are abstracted below:

"Henley Business School has released a collaborative paper from five leading academics who offer their individual perspectives on the emerging task for business leaders in particular.

There are several common themes ... one of these is the belief that there will be a renewed emphasis on sincere, genuine, transparent, values-based leadership. This means the leader needs to empathise with values that reflect the priorities of all the stakeholders; employees, shareholders, community and society at large.

There should be a collaborative nature to leadership with the recognition that one person does not and should not hold all the answers or power. There is a need for robust governance and this should be backed by corporate structures that enforce that governance.

I know I am at risk of saying that the answer to any question is "Social Media" and fully admit to becoming a SM bigot but in this example there is clearly a role to be played by SM.

In my last post I suggested that the new coalition government may have happened upon the public shift to openness and collaboration but the research from Henley adds more weight to the argument that there is a shift happening. To effectively use social media we preach that organisational behaviours have to be; organic, transparent, authentic, trustworthy and community focussed. We also identify collaboration as a major benefit from SM tools.

The question in my mind is;

Has the use of social media made possible the shift to open and transparent behaviour OR has it forced that same shift to happen for fear of the negative consequences?

Let's be positive and assume the early movers to the new leadership styles are in the former camp .... but I bet there will be more followers in the latter!

As usual I would welcome you views.