leadership ... in a networked world Who Is Leading WikiRevolutions? Don Tapscott About Leaders And Followers Gunter Dueck Leading A Culture Of Innovation Ken Robinson Leading From The Edge John Hagel III Leadership In A Flat Organization J.P. Rangaswami Leadership Must Walk The Talk! Martin Spilker A Wake-up Call For Despots Lee Bryant Political Leadership Goes WE Sabine Donner You’ve Got To Be The Change You Want To See! Ismael Khatib Rien ne va plus! So Let’s Start A New Game! Peter Kruse / Thomas Sattelberger Traditional Management Stopped Working! Luis Suarez / Stephen Denning What A Little Nuance Can Do! Itay Talgam Doing It The Wiki Way Frank Roebers When Brand And Corporate Values Meet! Hermann Demmel Facebooked? Klaus Doppler / Andreas Nau The Power Of Horse Sense: Leadership Through Values Beate Hausmann
“There’s no WE without YOU!”
leadership ... in a networked world we_special_/
“Thank you to ... ... Bertelsmann Stiftung whose generosity first made this issue possible. They gave us the creative freedom to let this magazine grow”.
we_team Paul had digits thrust upon him. An old school freelance translator, he was happily churning out stuff like expertises on counterfeit Oscar statues before being lassoed by a tribe of digital natives who appreciated his wide knowledge of the predigital past, his dislike of jargon and keen sense of what makes a shapely English sentence.
Tina is a project manager, an impresario of creative thought. She’s passionate about new approaches to leadership and the role of the Web in spurring innovation and unleashing the maximum potential in any organization. She initiated and heads the Bertelsmann Stiftung leadership series with studies, master classes and a span of virtual activities.
Gudrun is a hard working woman and mother. Work means writing. Education and health are the issues she is passionate about. She loves the idea of the Web even though she has still to take the plunge. Let her work speak for her – flip through pages - and -. Dominik is a creative planner and media educator. But first and foremost he´s an activist, intensely curious about humans and the tools shaping our future. He focuses on open and institutional innovation and its underpinning processes, and also designs and runs innovation camps to find innovative ways to crack problems.
Ulrike is consultant, author, visionary, free spirit and digital native rolled into one. Her belief in the Internet’s ability to empower people and change our lives and worlds for the better drives all her work, whether it be investigating global megatrends or establishing grassroots self-help projects in Africa. Bea is a graphic designer – marshaling words into lines and pages of print.
Who Is Leading
Rien ne va plus!
So Let’s Start A New Game!
Peter Kruse/Thomas Sattelberger
About Leaders And Followers Gunter Dueck
Traditional Management Stopped Working! Stephen Dennning/Luis Suarez
Leading A Culture Of Innovation Ken Robinson
Leading From The Edge John Hagel III
Leadership In A Flat Organization J.P. Rangaswami
Leadership Must Walk The Talk! Martin Spilker
A Wake-up Call For Despots Lee Bryant
Political Leadership Goes WE! Sabine Donner
You’ve Got To Be The Change You Want To See! Isamel Khatib
Great Web Sites For Leadership
editorial In this issue we turn to the question of how the WE correlates with leadership in a networked world. I think that the WE turns leadership completely on its head. In a world in which the WE is in constant flow and highly connected, leadership models which aren’t flexible in structure, speed and agenda will simply fail. What do I mean when I talk about WE? From a company point of view the WE has many different faces, depending where you’re aiming at. It can be a department, a group, the whole company payroll, the management team or, if you cross the company borderline to the outside world, the WE may include your partners, your competitors, customers, unions … and yes, CASES
even the entire economy and society the company is embedded in. All these different WEs are connected and collaborate on various levels. They build multiple layers – and they do af-
What A Little Nuance Can Do!
fect the company. Sometimes to the good, sometimes to the
Doing It The Wiki Way
So understanding these WEs and reaping their full potential
to drive the company forward is a huge challenge for leaders. It’s essential to be aware of the core values that hold and bind
When Brand And Corporate
them together. As a leader you have to know the driving forces
behind the WE. Only if you are in SYNC with them – or at least
if you have a feeling for which way the wind’s blowing – people will follow you. Empathy is all-important!
Facebooked? Klaus Doppler/Andreas Nau
Yet it’s just as important to know what drives the WEs in these unpredictable moments of change when they join forces and set something very powerful in motion – network effects.
Re-thinking Leadership: A Cloud
Something we have just seen in Tunisia, Egypt or something of the kind Nestlé experienced with Greenpeace. So leaders today are challenged by these network effects – no matter
The Power Of Horse Sense
whether they’re in politics, business or society. It’s in the net-
works themselves that leaders have to build their reputation. Leaders are no longer appointed; nowadays they are chosen.
In the following positions, conversations and cases you’ll hopefully find more than just mere hints on how to navigate within and between these various permutations of the WE, and on how to manoeuvre safely through what can be uncertain and unpredictable waters. In order not just to survive these challenges but to actually thrive on them, WE think a fundamental shift in leadership is needed.
Imprint: Ulrike Reinhard | Faehrweg | Neckarhausen + | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sabine Donner Don Tapscott
JP Rangaswami Peter Kruse Thomas Sattelberger
Itay Talgam Hermann Demmel
Stephen Denning Luis Suarez
Tahrir Square, Cairo, March
Who Is Leading WikiRevolutions? Interview with Don Tapscott
There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come is a quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry that Don often uses in his talks. And the time has come! The world is changing – and we can watch it change! Now that the internet has slashed the costs of collaboration, companies, governments and people can very easyly and instantly connect and start something very powerful. We truly enter a networked world with game changing principles. Don is saying that no matter if the changing system is a nation, a government, a company or a university, the five organizing principles of collaboration, openness, sharing, interdependency and integrity are still the same …
# game changing principles, WikiRevolution, MacroWikinomics, horizontal government, transparency, integrity, collaboration > related articles: John Hagel III (p. ), Lee Bryant (p. ), Sabine Donner (p. ), Frank Roebers (p. )
Don Tapscott ... is one of the world’s leading authorities on business strategy and innovation. He is the chairman of Moxie Insight and was founder and chairman of the international think tank New Paradigm before its acquisition by Moxie Insight. He is a fellow of the World Economic Forum and Adjunct Professor of Management at the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Don is the author of 14 widely-read books including 2010’s Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World (co-authored by Anthony Williams).
What we saw in Tunisia and Egypt and may see in
Don, let’s start with our WE-question. How has your under-
more Middle Eastern countries, wasn’t possible until
standing of WE changed since the rise of the Internet?
only recently. Today with the Web it is possible and we have these WikiRevolutions! What the Web does is it
Don Tapscott: You may remember when Time
radically drops the transaction and collaboration costs
Magazine published the Person of the Year and it was
of dissent and rebellion so large numbers of people
“YOU”. Back then it was all about user-generated con-
can come together as peers and do something extra-
tent – content produced by “YOU”. Today they should
ordinary – including bring down a government.
make it “WE” or “US” because it’s no longer about users generating content, it’s about users collabora-
ting. But more than that, it’s about creating some kind
But what does this mean for leadership? One of the biggest
of collective intelligence. Together we can perhaps
problems we are facing in Tunisia, and probably in Egypt as
even create some kind of consciousness that trans-
well, is that there is some kind of power vacuum, a lack of
cends individual human beings.
opposition, “absence” of leadership – there is neither a leader
You see, in MacroWikinomics we’re talking about the
in the revolution nor any organized structures, any kind of
five organizing principles: collaboration, openness,
“so-called” opposition, who can take-over. How can leader-
sharing, interdependency and integrity. You can see
ship evolve? Is it indeed still needed?
these principles being brought to bear on all kinds of different institutions. And even on nations, as we are
Don Tapscott: It’s an extraordinary problem! Indeed
seeing right now in the Middle East. We have seen the
there is this huge vacuum and with that comes risk.
fall of the Tunisian and Egyptian governments and we
The vacuum can be filled by the old regime coming
don’t know what’s next. You see people now collabo-
back in. It can be filled by extremist elements like Is-
rating together in a massive way, with enormous
lamists who can come in and destroy secular society
power including the power to bring down autocratic
and democracy and take us back centuries. It’s a quite
governments! So the WE in these cases has become
astonishing problem. To me it means that the West
pretty big and powerful.
has a big responsibility to make sure that there is a rule of law to encourage the creation of some kind of
interim government. It’s also important not to have
In your talk at lift11 you mentioned that in Egypt and
elections right away so as to give time for new groups
Tunisia there were no leaders anymore leading this revolution
and parties to get organized and have a real chance of
winning. We’ve seen this partially – even though the West was hesitating to get heavily involved – when
Don Tapscott: Yes!
President Obama in fact contacted Mubarak and said,
in an orderly way or really bad things can happen.” Of
You call it a ’WikiRevolution’...
course Obama was right about that.
“Look, you’ve got to move along, you’ve got to do this
It’s a nice change and also a challenge for US foreign Don Tapscott: Well, it is a WikiRevolution. It’s my term
for a peer-produced revolt enabled by social media and lacking a traditional vanguard. In a WikiRevolu-
tion there are leaders but they change constantly
It would be a nice change, yes indeed.
depending on the situation. You do know the Macro-
Leadership in a networked world, what does it look like?
Wikinomics video I put online: the murmuration of
Are we going to lose all kinds of hierarchy? What is the
starlings. In it I ask whether companies, institutions
picture you see Don?
and governments can adapt to starlings’ behaviour and learn from their ability to manoeuvre “in a com-
Don Tapscott: That’s really an interesting question.
mon sense” as the flock turns and dives through the
One of the new ministers of the Tunisian government
air. I think this can be done.
– whom I talked to in Davos – foresees that this horizontal revolution will lead to a much more horizontal
government. That’s the term he used. Now he didn’t
really explain what that means, but it’s a pretty juicy
How does transparency fit in with this concept?
proposition. We’ve talked about this in MacroWikinomics and termed it government as a platform.
Don Tapscott: Well, transparency is one of the princi-
Government as a network as opposed to an old indu-
ples of these new network models. We need to build
strial-age bureaucracy …
transparency into every institution whether it’s the fi-
of science or education and so on. Transparency is a
nancial system or governments. Whether it’s a model But isn’t that different from a platform?
good thing – sunlight is the best disinfectant! Also transparency drops transaction costs, so you get bet-
Don Tapscott: Well they’re both. A platform is an in-
ter innovation, you get lower costs, you get things
stance of a network. We talk about network govern-
happening more quickly when you bake transparency
ments whereby we network all kinds of capability in
into the DNA of any entity.
society to create public value. One of the ways a network government can do that is by creating a platform
where others can self- organize, and you create a plat-
How do you bake transparency into a company’s DNA?
form by just creating raw data. Governments provide data that enable individual, civil
Don Tapscott: For starters the CEO needs to drive this.
society organizations, private companies and other
A CEO sets the corporate culture by their own be-
governments to create their own networks to do
haviour whether they intend to or not. Companies
something. To solve a problem in society, to deliver a
need to default to transparency rather than opacity
service, rather than governments doing this by them-
and to do this they need what I call a transparency
selves as they did in the past.
strategy. They need to think through what information they can be provided to customers, shareholders, em-
ployees and business partners and why that would be
Where do collaboration and leadership meet?
of benefit. My book The Naked Corporation, written with David Ticoll almost a decade ago shows how.
Don Tapscott: The concept of leadership has changed fundamentally.
The downfall of the Tunisian government was brought
What about the correlations between hierarchies and networks?
about by a new kind of leadership, a collaborative, collective leadership. There was no great orator, no great
Don Tapscott: Hierarchies won’t go away, not in my
visionary selling a vision. There were neither command
lifetime. But increasingly things get done in networks.
and control lines nor an executive responsible for
In networks that go beyond the boundaries of the
orchestrating all this capability. It just happened. And
corporation, so boundary decisions are very critical
it happened almost overnight! We saw a new kind of
and it’s a part of this strategy. Networks usually per-
leader. Leaders who work together in networks, who
form better than traditional, vertically integrated cor-
understand that their own interests are consistent
porations. The future is about networks, but there’s
with the interests of the many. We still need people
a big transitional period. Hierarchies still perform
who stand up and inspire or motivate. We need super
certain functions. They’re a good way of organizing
smart people who provide leadership in a more tradi-
work and labour and having certain accountabilities
tional sense, but increasingly they’ll lead through the
and responsibilities and so on, but increasingly they’re
people, not over the people.
not going to be the modus operandi in the core architectural principle of an enterprise that the network is.
tual property, interdependency and integrity. We have
How do integrity and interdependency fit in with this
a new communications media enabling us to rebuild
networked model of leadership?
Don Tapscott: If we are serious about rebooting busi-
ness and the world, then we must not only be able to
What kind of effect did the shutdown of the internet in
talk innovation, but do innovation and do it fast. Every
stakeholder involved must summon the courage and creativity to reinvent themselves, using technology
Don Tapscott: Oh! That was clearly the end. When
and collaboration as an enabler, a catalyst and a driver
they did that, if anyone was not sympathetic with the
of change. The goal is to provide better outcomes for
young protestors, it made them so. It was a statement
citizens and users. This is not about tinkering at the
on the lack of integrity on the part of the Government.
edges; this is about devising, living and experiencing
Integrity is about being considerate about the inte-
a new model of innovation that is fit for the st cen-
rests of others. It’s about abiding by your commit-
tury. The five principles we discussed earlier – open-
ments and about being open, about being honest.
ness, collaboration, sharing, interdependence and
When Mubarak shut down the internet, that was it.
integrity – should define how st century corpora-
People just said, “You know this government is just not
tions, citizens and nations create value, compete and
acting like it’s interested. It just doesn’t have integrity.”
collaborate together in a global marketplace and a global society. This is very different from the hierar-
It’s just not a viable strategy to shut the internet down
chical, closed, secretive and insular approach to we-
because increasingly the internet is a foundation for
alth creation, social development, politics and
commerce, for work, for learning, healthcare and so-
problem solving that dominated the previous century.
cial discourse. Shutting down the internet will have the impact on your own country of a successful and
massive general strike.
Your message in MacroWikinomics is actually that you can transfer these 5 organizing principles to any kind of field
we’re living and working in.
So my last question is, if you had to name a couple of companies who are really performing well in this networked
Don Tapscott: Yes.
world, which ones would you name and why?
Don Tapscott: Best Buy, certainly. It’s a company in a
Is it really the same to run a company, a university or
brutally competitive market place – consumer elec-
even a nation?
tronics – during a huge economic recession. Their main competitor went bankrupt. Best Buy survived
Don Tapscott: Of course not, but the organizing prin-
and it is doing well. The reason they’re doing well
ciples are the same!
is because they’re empowering young people. No ’WikiRevolution’ needed there! They used networks
We are going through fundamental change, not just
and they changed their business model. They are not
through some interesting set of changes. I think many
a retailer of consumer electronics any longer, they’re
of these institutions have an industrial age architec-
becoming a company that builds relationships with
ture and modus operandi. They come out of the in-
consumers where there’s a deep exchange of values.
dustrial age. And what is going on today is not some
One of them being that people buy stuff and pay
aftermath of an economic slump or a big weird social
media revolution thing – it’s a turning point in history where we need to rebuild all of these institutions. Of
course science is very different from the energy grid,
Thanks a lot.
but the organizing principles for the new model are the same – collaboration, openness, sharing intellec-
Don Tapscott: My pleasure, as usual.
About Leaders And Followers Interview with Gunter Dueck
Dueck argues that you’re only a leader if the people you’re leading are followers, not mere subordinates and if you work together with them in pursuit of a vision. Asked about the role of Web 2.0 he’s rather critical and explains why Web 2.0 has yet to prove it’s scalable. In his wise and witty way, what he is demanding is nothing less than radical change in the way we lead our companies and nations.
# follower, Machiavelli, vision, courage, persistence, creativity, Bluepedia, web . > related articles: Ken Robinson (p. ), J.P. Rangaswami (p. ), Itay Talgam (p. ), Frank Roebers (p. )
... is an IBM Distinguished Engineer. Before joining IBM in
What does leadership mean for you?
1987, he was professor of mathematics at the University of Bielefeld, Germany. His fields of research include information
Gunter Dueck: Work is roughly divided into two parts:
theory, combinatorics, optimization and management theory.
change and run. One part – run the business – deals
He worked for several years at the IBM Scientific Center as
with the smooth running of commercial affairs while
a researcher in optimization and has also managed an up-
the other – change the business – deals with moder-
coming business in this field. He founded the Business Intelli-
nization, change and innovation. On top of this there’s
gence Services (Data Warehouses, Data Mining) for IBM
a metacomponent dealing with the way you work,
Central Europe, and has spent many years working for
manage, and bring about change, and this too is sub-
strategic direction and cultural change. In 2009 and 2010, he
ject to transformation, especially now in the age of
led the “Dynamic Infrastructure”and “Cloud Computing”
.. Leaders are the ones who set the way forward for
business of IBM Germany where he is now CTO.
the company staff, innovation and transformation of work – and this is a path fraught with great uncertainty that is bound to be paved with many errors, and much hardship and trouble between the little triumphs on the way. For me, you’re only a leader if the people you’re leading are followers and not merely subordinates. To some extent, leadership always involves being a trusted “father or mother”: the people you lead are also entrusted to your care. we_magazine: In what sense entrusted to your care? Gunter Dueck: That’s the way I see it but perhaps I’m a bit old fashioned! In my view the boss also takes care of their employees, tends to their well-being and professional advancement. In the future people are going to have to take a great deal more work on board that has to do with managing networks of relationships, and for them to be able to do this, they often need coaching and leadership through example.
communities work well – up to say people, any fi-
Are there different types of leadership models for
gure beyond that needs to be organized. This change
“change and run”?
of character when a structure grows beyond the mark – which is the limit at which most people know
Gunter Dueck: Of course there are! Running a busi-
everyone involved – is quite independent from the In-
ness has to do with experience, tradition and a mature
ternet, isn’t it? That’s what I think, at least.
corporate culture. So naturally people are frightened of changing things. “Never change a winning team”
or “If the IT is working well, leave it well alone!” In his
How do you change employees into followers?
book “Anxiety. Using Depth Psychology to find a Balance in Your Life” (Die Grundformen der Angst),
Gunter Dueck: There are quite a number of ways to
Fritz Riemann says that fear of change is closely rela-
do this. You can simply coerce them. Or you can per-
ted to the obsessive personality whereas change is the
suade them, persuade them, persuade them. Mainly
exact opposite – the hysterical principle frightened
it’s done by coercion. Basically, change managers ex-
that everything will always remain the way it is. The
pect too much of their employees and because they’re
one principle improves on the status quo, the other
well aware that their expectations are too high, they
often makes a radical break with it in sheer exaspera-
don’t believe that their employees will follow them
tion. This is why there’s always a spiritual struggle bet-
willingly. So coercion is needed. And if coercion has
ween the up and running, the profit making and the
to be applied, let it come in the form of a short, sharp
tried and tested on the one hand, and the forces for
shock – that’s what many of the gurus recommend.
change and renewal on the other. And the two sides
And this shock numbs employees into a state of apa-
are constantly badmouthing one another – it’s “air-
thy as though they’ve been struck by a catastrophe
heads who ruin everything traditional” versus “nepo-
from which they emerge two days later to resume
tistic stick-in-the-muds who resist all that’s new”.
their work. By far the most difficult of all these varia-
Nowadays companies in general are much more hea-
suit of a vision.
tions is to work together with the employees in purvily engaged in switching over to change than they used to be. At meetings you’ll find the sworn advoca-
tes of change up at the front propagating drastic
And who sets the vision? Or is it made collectively?
transformation in which “everybody must play their
Do the so-called Web 2.0 tools help in making it?
part” while you usually feel a wave of chilly scepticism coming from the audience – not a surge of bright en-
Gunter Dueck: Oh, a good vision is the first thing you
thusiasm in answer to the call. True leaders can go
need! Most people imagine that everyone can have a
beyond this divide and move things forward while
vision. Yes, they can but not necessarily a good one.
also taking their people with them.
Most people also imagine that anyone can make a vision. Yes they can if they have the power to do so
but their vision must not necessarily be good, must
And what kind of changes has 2.0 brought about on the meta-
it? Most of the Amazons and Googles start with a vi-
level you mentioned?
sion that attracts increasing numbers of disciples. But the vision was there beforehand!
Gunter Dueck: Search me! . fits neither into the old world of hierarchies nor the new world which con-
I don’t believe that a vision can be created by a load of
stantly demands figures-based performance enhance-
people. Do visions emerge from brainstorming sessi-
ment. Individually tailored performance targets do
ons? No, they don’t! So what should be better with
indeed put individuals in cages! . could establish
.? But what you can do with . is to decide on
completely new forms of the type that work well in
which credo or code of ethics you’re going to follow;
small companies. But to do this, . must show that
you can set the values on which a community rests.
it’s scalable. And that’s by no means obvious. All small
cult it is to rule and be loved and how much easier it
What’s the philosophical component – if there is one at all –
is to make yourself feared.
in your understanding of leadership? And the problem of our times, sad to say, is that Gunter Dueck: Philosophical component? There’s al-
people just pass over Machiavelli without making any
ways the variants of leading people as people or lea-
real efforts to avoid being hated, a point which he was
ding them as subordinates. The one is about natural
at such pains to warn against. Leaders are respected!
forms of cooperation between colleagues; the other has to do with coercion of performance results through
the exercise of power, but also with remuneration mo-
Does this impley that leadership means power?
dels and the threat of job-cutting to make savings.
If so, what are the best ways to exercise this power?
These two layers have always been around throughout history. I’d like to quote here Machiavelli’s “Prince”:
Gunter Dueck: Leadership means that responsibility has been conferred on you to move things forward.
“Men have fewer scruples about offending someone
This responsibility is something that people can cer-
who is well loved than they do about offending so-
tainly recognize. For instance, the German chancellor
meone who is feared; for love hangs on a band of obli-
has such authority and competence. Yet she’s accused
gation which, given the unfortunate state of human
of sitting on the fence too much. Employees want
nature, is ruptured on every occasion when their own
good clear leadership! Children want clear guidance
advantage at stake while the fear of punishment is a
from their parents! Leaders can give this when they
constant dissuasion. Nevertheless, a prince ought to in-
lead – and everybody’s satisfied. But if they’re not up
spire fear in such a way that, if he does not win love, at
to the job, if they’re too weak or not respected, they’ll
least he avoids hatred; because being feared yet not
wield formal power like a weapon, issue commands –
being hated is a state which is achievable and which he
and nobody is convinced. That’s the cold side that a
can achieve by keeping away from the property of his
real leader has no need of. If I really have to order
subjects and from their women. And when it is neces-
something to be done, I feel that something’s not
sary for him to take someone’s life, he should only do so
quite right with me. I mean that generally speaking. If
on proper justification and with manifest cause. But
I’ve got to order my kid around as a father, there’s
above all else, he must keep his hands off the property
something wrong with me – especially if the kid wants
of his subjects, for men are quicker to forget the death
to see me as the man who gives guidance …
of their father than the loss of their patrimony.” we_magazine: Machiavelli was only concerned with how the prince
How far do you consider that the internet supports this
could keep his hold on power, not with motivating his
whole leadership and management process? Or is it just a
subjects so that the economy could boom through
kind of necessary evil?
their hard work. But you can see from the quote that today’s management methods, politics, and fre-
Gunter Dueck: Figure management is now basically
quently the education system too, have a lot in com-
done on the internet which is making it more and
mon with such ways of holding onto power. But are
more powerful. But leading people by the internet is
strategies for holding onto power also the best ones
problematic. Would you raise your child via Facebook?
for earning money, realizing visions, winning elec-
OK, I can understand your idealism about . but .
tions or bringing up children? The really fine art is to
can only do what it can do. Web . doesn’t have to
be a true leader. Only there are a great deal more
mesh with everything.
management posts, parliamentary seats and children than there are people who really understand what’s needed to move forward and be a role model. This is why a great many people have interiorized their Machiavelli who constantly reminds them how diffi-
An IBM report from last fall, a survey of 3,000 top managers
Is there really something like creative management?
worldwide, said that creativity is one of the key issues top
Or does creativity belong in the creative department and
management will have to take on board in the coming years.
not with the guys in suits?
What does creativity mean to you, and how do I lead my employees to be creative?
Gunter Dueck: To my mind “creative management” implies that you come up with bright ideas every
Gunter Dueck: Isn’t that what they’re all saying now?
second day. But it doesn’t work like that. A company
But what the survey says – and you quote it – is that
can live off one bright idea for years and it makes a
it’s the top management that should be creative.
whole mountain of work. Take BMW, for instance,
Which doesn’t necessarily mean that each and every
which latched onto the idea of building cars from
employee has to be so. Nor can they all be.
ultra-lightweight carbon instead of heavy sheet metal which means that the batteries of the e-cars have a
In any case who is really creative? Creativity is some-
much longer life. OK, that’s the idea. Only now you
thing like innate intelligence which tends to be pretty
need hundreds of millions in investment! You need
rare. It’s what we now miss in top management. I
the courage of your convictions. And persistence!
don’t even think that we need that much creativity.
Before you taste that final success! Edison said that
Major companies have big problems coping with the
genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine per-
various realities of the internet. Telecoms are seeing
cent perspiration. All this chatter about creativity
their fixed networks crumble away, banks and insu-
hasn’t got the slightest whiff of perspiration. That’s
rance companies are disappearing into the Net along
why I call it chatter.
with books and publishing houses, energy suppliers must learn IT to operate balance area agreements
while IT itself is vanishing in the cloud and all types of
In our last interview you said that as cloud manager you held
administration are being automated … The point here
no direct responsibility for human resources at IBM … which
is to get on top of all these upheavals. And to do so
basically squares with the follower principle we’ve just talked
you don’t need that much creativity but you do need
about. What kind of personal experiences have you made
a whole lot of courage to take a long cool look into
the future. Most companies deep down inside just don’t want to do this. That’s the problem. All the crea-
Gunter Dueck: As cloud manager, I was just the virtual
tive ideas are already there, only actually implemen-
boss of my people who had simply been asked to
ting them is a hard and painful process because the
work together with me but who all still had their nor-
legacy from the past weighs so heavily. In small com-
mal line managers (who always wants to grab a slice
panies, on the other hand, creativity is a real joy be-
of the work for themselves). I much prefer it when
cause there aren’t any bridges to burn. That’s why we
people are motivated enough to come and work with
see companies slowing down and dropping by the
me because that means I don’t have to keep records
wayside while others are born and grow up big and
because I am not there “top-down” boss. I’ve never
strong! To give you a case in point – you can easily
had any problems with people refusing to work with
take joy in building e-cars, only it won’t be so easy if
me just because I wasn’t their real boss. You can read
you’ve given your heart and soul over the past deca-
in my Bluepedia column how I managed an entire pro-
des to building gasoline-driven vehicles.
ject only working with volunteers. All on overtime – but that went well because I took care to ensure that the work really was enjoyable!
Fotocredit: Wesley Fryer
Leading A Culture Of Innovation Interview with Ken Robinson
Ken Robinson stands for a radical rethink of our school systems. A rethink that cultivates creativity and acknowledges multiple types of intelligence. But such a rethink doesn’t only hold true in education: companies too need to liberate their staffs from active disengagement from their work and create a company culture where employees can really unfold their full potential and be in their element. The company will then be free to celebrate the full range of diversity in its staff and reap the benefits coming from a vibrant internal culture. An internal culture which evolves symbiotically with the changing external cultural environment in which they are aiming to grow.
# creativity, imagination, innovation, the element, out of our minds, education, creative leadership, culture of innovation, creative cultures > related articles: Gunter Dueck (p. ), Ismael Khatib (p. ), Itay Talgam (p. ), Beate Hausmann (p. )
Sir Ken Robinson ... is an author, speaker, and international advisor on education in the arts to governments, non-profits, education, and arts bodies. He was director of The Arts in Schools Project, Professor of Arts Education at the University of Warwick. He was knighted for his services to education in 2003.
we_magazine: A culture of innovation – what does this mean to you?
Companies are like organisms : they have their creative flush of youth after which they tend to settle down into sedate middle age and may well suffer from
Ken Robinson: Organizations usually talk more about
a hardening of the categories and lose all their origi-
innovation than creativity. Often what they think of as
nal vitality and suppleness. A culture of innovation is
innovation actually aims too low. In practice, a culture
an antidote to decrepitude. The trinity of principles –
of innovation depends on cultivating three processes,
imagination, creativity and innovation – is a force for
each of which is related to the others: imagination or
revitalization that can give the company new life at
the ability to bring to mind events and ideas not pre-
any point of its development.
sent to our senses; creativity which I define as the process of having original ideas that have value; and
So consciously engaging the whole staff in the crea-
innovation – the process of putting ideas into practice.
tive life of an organization can have huge benefits while unconsciously disengagement can have expen-
Innovation may focus on any aspect of on organizati-
sive consequences. A Gallup study estimated that
on’s work but aiming straight for innovation without
‘actively disengaged employees’ cost the US economy
developing the imaginative and creative powers on
alone between $ and $ billion a year and later
which it depends would be like an athlete hoping to
studies show that engaged employees are more pro-
win a gold medal at the Olympic Games but with no
ductive, profitable and create stronger customer rela-
intention of exercising beforehand. Just as success in
athletics depends on building physical fitness, a culture of innovation depends on the processes of imagination and creativity that give rise to it.
we_magazine: What role does a creative leader play in introducing a culture of innovation?
So the starting point for companies should be to adopt a new metaphor for human organizations and
Ken Robinson: Being a creative leader means ensu-
to replace the outdated idea of employees being me-
ring that everyone in the organization is playing to
chanized cogs in the wheel of a business machine.
their creative strength and feels that their contribution is valued as part of the overall performance. Lea-
ding a culture of innovation means engaging with two
Why is a culture of innovation so important – why now?
cultural challenges: external and internal.
Ken Robinson: Many organizations are still based on
In the natural world, successful organisms live sym-
a theory from the beginning of the th century
biotically with their environment. If they are to sur-
whose premise is that human organizations should
vive, let alone flourish, organizations need to have a
work like machines and that the main role of leader-
vibrant internal culture, which evolves symbiotically
ship is to improve profitability by increasing producti-
with the changing cultural environment in which they
vity. We definitely should go beyond this.
are aiming to grow. The task of a creative leader is to facilitate a resilient relationship between the external
Yet this basic conception of the organization is fundamentally inimical to fostering the culture of innovation upon which the future of most organizations now depends. Human organizations are not mechanisms and people are not components in them. People have values and feelings, perceptions, opinions, motivations and biographies, cogs and sprockets do not. An organization is not the physical facilities within which it operates: it is the lively network of people within it.
and internal cultures.
questions and no ‘right’ answers.” Being creative is
What does the role of a creative leader involve?
not only a matter of inspiration. It requires skill, craft
What kind of skills should such a leader have?
in the control of materials and a reciprocating process of critical evaluation.
Ken Robinson: The essential skill for leading a culture of innovation is understanding the difference between
And thirdly, the creative leader should disseminate the
a human organization as a mechanism and as an or-
idea that we can all learn to be more creative. Profes-
ganism and being able to shift from one to another.
sional development is at the heart of creative cultures
This is a fundamental shift on various levels and it re-
but often organizations are reluctant to invest in it.
quires time and full commitment from the board.
Many take a short-term view of training needs. This
Being a creative leader involves strategic roles in three
away at organizational loyalties and the sense of com-
can ultimately be counterproductive because it eats areas of focus: personal, group and cultural. Within
mon purpose on which creative cultures depend. The
each of these there are three core principles of prac-
better approach is to invest in the talents and loyal-
tice which are organic processes that should feed into
ties of the staff.
each other in a continuous cycle of mutual enrichment.
we_magazine: That’s the personal level, what about the group level?
As I’ve emphasized in my latest book “Out of Our Minds”, the education system blunts the creativity of
Ken Robinson: More often than not creativity in or-
far too many children. An initially strong imaginative
ganizations is driven by teams, where there is a flow
faculty is blunted and coarsened by the time they
of ideas between people who have different areas of
leave school. And the same fate applies to the careers
expertise. So the second role of a great leader is to
of many company employees.
form and facilitate dynamic creative teams. Creativity understood in the way that it thrives on diversity; loves
So the first role of a creative leader is to facilitate the
collaboration and does take time.
creative abilities of each and every member of the organization. A creative leader does this by recognizing
Diversity is a tremendously powerful resource for
that everyone has creative potential. No matter in
teams and for the workforce as a whole. Not all com-
which field he/she is working in. Many organizations
panies have woken up to this. There is still a tendency
associate creativity with specific functions yet for in-
for leaders and managers at all levels to hire people
novation to flourish it has to be seen as an integral
who look and seem like themselves, which might be
part of the organization rather than as a separate
understandable from a cultural point of view but
function. Releasing untapped talents and abilities is
which creates long-term problems for the flexibility
about being in your element. Yet being in your ele-
and creativity of the organization as a whole. Yet a
ment is not only about aptitude, it’s about passion,
more diverse workforce enables a company to be
it’s about loving what you do. Being in your element
more in tune with the needs of the changing cultural
is about tapping into your natural energy and your
environment in which it is operating.
most authentic self. When that happens, as Confucius once said, you never work again.
Collaboration is not the same as cooperation. Cooperation only requires that the efforts of different people
Secondly, the role of a creative leader is to nourish
be synchronized in some way. Collaboration is more
imagination as an essential part of growing a culture
than that. It involves people working together in a
of innovation based upon that innovation is the child
shared process in which their interaction affects the
of imagination. As Peter Richards puts it, a creative or-
nature of the work and its outcomes.
ganization “is first and foremost a place that gives people freedom to take risks ... a place that allows
Finally, on the group level, creative insights can take
people to discover and develop their own natural in-
time to develop and creative leaders understand that
telligence … and a place where there are no ‘stupid’
time is an essential resource for innovation – think of
Google where engineers can use percent of their time for discretionary projects. we_magazine: And on the cultural level? Ken Robinson: The quality of the creative work of individuals and groups is deeply enmeshed in the culture of the organization as a whole. So creative leaders should promote that creative cultures are supple, that they are inquiring and that creative cultures need creative spaces. The processes of creativity can be stifled by a sense that ideas are unlikely to travel up the organization or will not be taken seriously if they come from the wrong places. Innovation can be stifled by pressure from above to deliver results over the wrong timescale. Loosening hierarchies means that those who run the organizations should be accessible to those who work within them. The need for continuous innovation involves reviewing some of the most established practices in leadership. Willingness to listen in leaders is paramount. It leads to more harmonious senior management discussions, enhanced trust and speedy decision-making as colleagues cease second guessing each other, and is also leading to more delegation and to more empowerment of younger members of staff. And finally the physical environment – the habitat – is a powerful embodiment of organizational culture. The traditional design of office buildings and spaces is rooted in the th century. These are hardly the right environments for stimulating imagination, creativity and innovation. we_magazine: Can a culture of innovation be achieved without commitment on the part of the board? Ken Robinson: Creating a culture of innovation will only work if the initiative is led from the top of the organization. The endorsement and involvement of leaders means everything, if the environment is to change.
Fotocredit: Claire Gaul
Leading From The Edge Interview with John Hagel III
“As we begin to understand that the WE really is a global WE, we will need to rethink our institutions and our practices,” says John Hagel. In this interview John sides with a world of pull in which we define new institutions and practices – coming from the edge and moving forward in small but rapid steps towards, and within the framework of, a long term vision.
# power of pull, innovation, coming from the edge, new role of leadership, world of warcraft, transformation, change > related articles: Don Tapscott (p. ), Lee Bryant (p. ), Stephen Denning / Luis Suarez (p. )
John Hagel III ... is an author and former McKinsey consultant who specializes in the intersection of business strategy and information technology. In 2007, Hagel, along with John Seely Brown and Lang Davison, founded the Deloitte Center for Edge Innovation. Hagel is involved with a number of other organizations, including the World Economic Forum, Innovation Exchange, the International Academy of Management, and the Aspen Institute.
John, to start with our WE-question: How has your
In one of your articles you mentioned that you can only
understanding of WE changed since the rise of the internet?
be a leader by creating leaders … what do you mean by this?
Has it changed?
When we look at companies, many of them structured in strict hierarchies … how can everybody be or become a
John Hagel: I think it has changed in the sense of the
opportunities available to expand on the notion of WE – to include anyone and anywhere. I think in the past
John Hagel: I think one of the challenges we have is
when we talked about WE it was the WE in our local
to really redefine leadership. We’ve talked about the
community, the WE in our corporation, the WE in our
notion of moving from a world of push to a world of
country. But now there really is a global WE that is
pull – unfortunately most of our institutions are or-
connected in very powerful and increasingly rich ways
ganized around push concepts. And in that context if
that make change happen much more effectively than
you’re a leader you’re measured by the number of
your followers – the number of people who will follow your direction, your instructions and execute what
your vision is. I think that this form of leadership is
So you do relate WE closely to transformation and change?
increasingly challenged because today – in a more rapidly changing world – if you just have followers,
John Hagel: Yes! I definitely do!. Our institutions were
you don’t have a lot of innovation and experimenta-
all built around much narrower versions of WE. And I
tion going on to figure out what is the best way to
think that as we begin to understand that the WE
adapt to the unexpected changes we are experien-
really is a global WE, we will need to rethink our in-
cing. So I do believe that the new role of leadership is
stitutions and our practices.
to develop other leaders, to continually enhance the leadership capability of anyone who is drawn to them. So that all of them together – collectively – can experiment, innovate and find more effective ways of addressing the changes that are going on around us. we_magazine: But is this what we really see inside companies? Or is it more wishful thinking? John Hagel (laughing): It’s certainly not widespread at this point in time! I think you’ll find this kind of leadership emerging in certain parts of companies. Mainly on the edges I would say. These tend to be the areas where there aren’t very effective policies, no detailed manuals written on how things need to get done. There is “free space” which can be filled by individuals who simply take action. I think there’s an instinctive sense on the part of leaders on these edges that they need people who are willing to take their own initiative, willing to lead in their own domain and cultivate this new kind of leadership capacity. Because that’s the only way to be really successful on these edges.
You suggest that companies should move on in small
But then we need the processes and tools which enable
steps rather than have some big master plan … How does
and support this kind of reflection, don’t we?
this affect leadership? John Hagel: I think we certainly need tools. But I’d say John Hagel: I think that the challenge of leadership
that more than processes we need practices – if I can
and its great opportunity is on the one hand to make
make that distinction. A process is very tightly defined
sense and on the other to make progress. One of the
and tightly integrated. I think practices are something
things people look for in times of great uncertainty
you would do instinctively at different points in time.
and change is somebody who can help them make
One of the things we’ve learned from the World of
sense of it all. Somebody who can see the pattern and
Warcraft – this amazing online gaming environment –
help to guide and focus on where the real opportuni-
is the degree to which teams in games sit back and re-
ties are. That’s one level of leadership. The other level
flect on the various actions they’ve taken. This is a very
is to make progress. In terms of making progress in a
powerful way to learn – and this is something a leader
very rapidly changing environment – typically if you
ought to be encouraging everyone to do.
develop a detailed blueprint it’s massive – that blueprint will be rapidly shown to be a total mismatch
given the unexpected changes that have happened.
Do you think that playing World of Warcraft is a good exercise for becoming a great leader?
A far more effective process for this kind of environment is to start with small changes, small moves that
John Hagel (laughing): Well, I have actually gone on
go in the most interesting or high potential parts of
record as encouraging younger students to consider
the environment, parts where you can demonstrate
whether they should go to business school or become
the impact of change and where you can learn very
guild leaders in World of Warcraft. Actually there are
quickly. So one of the roles of a leader – I believe – is
an increasing number of executives around who rose
continuingly encouraging people to reflect on the ex-
to where they are now because they were guild lea-
periences they have had. One of the things we tend
ders and developed a set of leadership skills in a very
not to do – particularly under more and more time
uncertain, very challenging environment where you
pressure – is we never step back and say: How did we
don’t have command and control kinds of mecha-
do? What did we learn from that experience? What
nisms – where you have to influence, you have to mo-
worked? What didn’t work? And I think leadership in
tivate people to do things. And that is indeed a very
small moves smartly made is much quicker in encou-
powerful set of skills – increasingly so in the business
raging this kind of reflection and learning. We learn
faster when we make these small moves … we_magazine: Besides your arguments for these tiny little steps, you want to see a clear vision from a leader. Where will the company be in 20 years? Isn’t that a contradiction? John Hagel: It’s a potential contradiction. But it can be resolved. I think the danger in small steps is you can fall into a very incremental pattern and never really change what you are doing in any fundamental way. You just marginally enhance your current set of activities. If you have a long term vision, however, then you can make short-term choices about these small steps and if needed adjust them to achieve your longterm vision. So it’s working from the outside in as opposed to just saying what do I have today, where can
I move in a short period of time. And once again it
not going to be as effective in pulling in the resour-
sets in motion that learning process. Because as you
ces and the people you need to be successful. At the
take these small steps – depending on their outcomes
extreme, the third level of pull that we talk about is
– it will help you to refine your view of the long term
pulling out our full potential as human beings and the
future. Yet on the other hand the long term future
full potential of our institutions. And here the role of
helps you to evaluate which of the small steps are
leadership is to give us a sense of our potential abi-
going to be most helpful …
lity to imagine what could be accomplished and to motivate us to head in that direction. So I think in this
context leaders are very inspirational in terms of hel-
So this long-term vision is a kind of frameset …
ping us to understand what our full potential really is.
John Hagel: Exactly. It’s part of that ‘making sense’
aspect of leadership. If you can say, yes, there’s a lot
But pull is not only about platforms and potentials, it’s
of uncertainty in the world but generally we are
also about a different set of leadership skills, isn’t it?
headed towards the long-term vision, then this direction has implications for what we need to be doing in
John Hagel: Totally. You have to have a skill in terms of
the short term in order to be successful. This gives the
dealing with ambiguity; you have to have a skill in
organization, the people who are engaged with you,
terms of your willingness to take more initiative on
a much clearer sense of why they are taking these
your own which is why this notion of leaders needs
small steps, and where they could lead. And again it
to foster other leaders. More than just having people
drives that learning process.
who follow orders, you have to have a sense of how to connect much more effectively. One of the things that
is more and more central to a world of pull is that you
Doesn’t this prove your saying “flow instead of stock”?
build trust based relationships with more people. So more flow is coming …. That’s another set of skills that
John Hagel: Yes. It just highlights another aspect of
is quite different from what we have right now.
leadership that often gets overlooked. Particularly in our current institutions, we tend to think of leader-
ship within the institution: how do you motivate wit-
Change, transformation often starts at the edges of companies
hin the institution, within the company? In this new
– not in their center. But can you lead from the edge?
world where flows are becoming more and more central, where flows cut across institutions, I increasingly
John Hagel: I think you can. Not only can but need to.
think the role of a leader is to identify potential lea-
Again my sense in having worked with very large in-
ders outside the institution who could help in making
stitutions over long periods of time is that it’s extra-
sense and making progress. A leader creates an envi-
ordinarily hard to get change to happen within the
ronment where they can connect in a much more ef-
core of a large institution. So the only way to really
fective way than people can just in their own
mobilize and get that critical mass of support for the
institutions. We need to go across institutions and
change agenda is to start with a promising edge. Es-
create a much larger movement …
sentially, when we talk about the edges of companies we are talking about promising new growth plat-
forms. They are not significant parts of the business
How does the world of pull affect leadership?
today; they don’t generate much revenue or profita-
John Hagel: We believe it makes leadership even
have the potential to scale very rapidly and become
bility; there are not that many people yet. But they do more central to success. But it also fundamentally
really central to the business over time. And one of
shifts the tasks of leadership. So one of the roles of
the exciting things with current technology like cloud
leadership that we’ve talked about is helping to create
computing and social software is that you can scale
scalable platforms of pull. We need platforms that can
these edges much more rapidly than you could in the
scale to millions of participants not just a few. You are
past. It’s being thoughtful about which edges have
this potential to scale. Using these edges to pull in the
people who have real passion and risk taking ability
If we look now at Tunisia or Egypt. The opposition,
helps drive change on the edge, and demonstrates
the people, they are kind of “unstructured” right now.
through example the impact that can be achieved.
There is a real lack of leadership, a vacuum …
This way you start pulling more and more people and resources from the core of the company out to the
John Hagel: … yeah, there is! I believe though that
edges. Because they now see it is possible and they’re
before new leadership can emerge there needs to be a
confronted with the sheer rapidity of its growth. So it
vacuum to attract it. I am actually much more of an
motivates more and more people to participate and,
optimist that it will emerge. I think the key driver of
ultimately, if you do it right these edges become the
these revolutions are those people without much ex-
core of the enterprise.
plicit ideology or thought – it was an instinctive sense on the part of the younger generation that the deve-
lopment of their talent was being sacrificed and that
Isn’t this idea similar to leadership by innovation?
they needed to oppose the institutions that prevented them from developing it in the way they needed to
John Hagel: I think that what we should look at is the
develop it. I think the motivation driving this is very
interesting reframing of innovation in the context of
positive. I think that by and large – with some excep-
leadership. Today in almost every company when you
tions – it’s been accomplished in a non-violent way
talk about innovation you talk about innovation of a
simply by making a statement. And making a state-
new product, a major new technology breakthrough,
ment is once again a very positive indication that a dif-
maybe a process innovation, maybe a business inno-
ferent approach is at work here which will ultimately
vation. But what we are talking about here is institu-
lead to the surfacing of leadership. And this leader-
tional innovation – innovating a new set of relation-
ship will give a more explicit voice to the agenda dri-
ships across institutions that will drive more rapid
ving this action.
value creation and enhance flows. That is leadership through innovation. The leaders of tomorrow are going
to be those who innovate at the institutional level –
Many people are asking for somebody within the company
not just at the product or technological level.
who is head of this new kind of leadership. Some people call him/her the social business manager … But isn’t such a
demand a contradiction in terms?
Does this leadership model only apply to companies or is it valid for governments as well?
John Hagel: This is indeed a very difficult question. At one level the whole notion of social business is where
John Hagel: The leadership question does extend be-
leadership is much more distributed and diffused and
yond companies. It involves all institutions whether
everybody is taking the initiative and leadership. But
they’re educational institutions, non-governmental
there is a transition period – the question is how do
institutions and certainly governments. The challenge
you get there. And how do you deal with the enor-
for all of us is the institutions we have built under the
mous inertia and resistance at the core of these insti-
model of push. On a fundamental level we need to
tutions. Where there are – to understate the difficulty
rethink how these institutions will operate in a world
– huge entrenched interests deeply hostile to this new
of pull. What kind of leaders we need not only to na-
world of pull. So I think there is a need for some form
vigate the transition but also to successfully lead these
of leadership to emerge. Typically from my experience
new kinds of institutions. So it is an issue for govern-
it emerges more on the edges of the enterprise. It’s
ments. I think the turmoil we are seeing around the
some business executive who has been given the re-
world is the result of push government institutions in-
sponsibility of driving a major new growth initiative.
creasingly struggling to adapt and deal with the
The business executive instinctively realizes that the
power of pull.
old approaches are not going to be very helpful and that makes him or her more willing to take risks. And usually they are deeply passionate about what they
are doing, so they tend to attract other people within the organization who have passion as well … who are excited by this area where rules and processes are not well defined. And yes, there is a lot of risk but there’s a lot of upside and reward if you succeed. In my experience it’s rarely anyone coming from the existing senior management of the large company itself … we_magazine: Can all this happen without top-down commitment? John Hagel: It certainly would help to have commitment from the board. I think you rarely get commitment from the entire senior management team. Typically you’ll find one or two senior managers who are willing to be kind of sponsors, willing to say we are going to provide some protection for the change agent on the edge … But it’s rare to see an entire leadership team saying: We are going forward … we_magazine: … coming from the edge seems to be THE way! John Hagel: Exactly! Exactly!
Leadership In A Flat Organization Interview with JP Rangaswami
Ever since discovering information technology in the late seventies JP Rangaswami has felt that there is a disconnect between its potential and the actual value created in the hands of the end user – one of those strange cases of high investment in research only producing high dissatisfaction with the results. But change is in sight and we are now in a new world – he says – where we really are able to get the services we want – scalable and elastic, just when we want them, truly on demand. Now it is indeed possible to realize and build the things that we have long been talking about.
# loss of control, collaboration, sandbox capacity, enterprise ., gaming > related articles: Gunter Dueck (p. ), Lee Bryant (p. ), Stephen Denning / Luis Suarez (p. ), Frank Roebers (p. )
JP Rangaswami JP is salesforce.com’s first chief scientist, and a multi-award winning and highly esteemed pioneer in the field of cloud computing. He believes it is only a matter of time before enterprise software consists of only four types of application: publishing, search, fulfilment and conversation. Rangaswami has a wealth of experience down in the arena. Before joining salesforce.com he spent four years at BT in London, most recently as chief scientist of the BT Group. He firmly believes that now is the time to demonstrate the value of information technology in simple terms rather than by complex inferences and abstract arguments.
What kind of impact does enterprise 2.0 have on leadership?
So you would NOT say that leadership belongs to the network?
JP: The first impact is that we used to organise in hier-
JP: Leadership absolutely belongs to the network but
archies because it was very expensive to sit and com-
the financial aspects of leadership are not easy to
municate with everybody. The costs of collaboration
model. So while hierarchy is necessary for these fin-
were exceedingly high. But with the Web they’ve
ancial aspects, actual leadership doesn’t need the
come down to almost zero! And with today’s tools it
hierarchy at all.
is possible to flatten the organisation and to have feedback loops for a large number of people without
aggregating them. Because whenever you aggregate
What kind of skills will future leaders need to have?
you start summarising data and that weakens the communications process.
JP: Well, we actually have been dealing with this ques-
The second thing these tools do is they accentuate
tion for the last twenty years. Initially we used terms
and enhance lateral communication. So now you can
like soft-hands leadership, then we saw servant-lead-
find out what the information flows in the organisa-
ership types of teams. I myself have been speaking
tion actually are. Because our departments, functions
for some time now about leadership having to back
and structures aren’t the actual organisation itself,
down. It’s a hard question in various ways. Why would
they are just a way of trying to manage it. And this
you want to hire a really smart person and then tell
was needed at a time when we didn’t scale well, when
them what to do?
we only had analogue ways of dealing with the data stream. So I think the big change for organisational
leadership is that with these tools and structures flat-
That’s kind of stupid.
tening a hierarchy becomes affordable. JP: Yeah, it is stupid! You might as well have gotten a we_magazine:
dumb person if what you want to do all the time is tell
Are you saying we don’t need any hierarchies at all?
them what to do! We are living in a world where the most valuable asset to any organisation is the com-
JP: No, no, no. There will always be hierarchies. There
mon knowledge of its employees.
has been a considerable amount of research about
So how are you going to leverage this? You start to
emergent behaviours and swarming phenomena.
learn from things like open source communities or –
When you see birds in flight, you can question wheth-
one of the things I have now been following over the
er these sorts of behaviour actually need leadership.
last six months – designing for loss of control.
But in the corporate world we still have requirements to deal with – such as reporting cycles and the plan-
ning horizons either of the owners or the sharehol-
Designing for loss of control?
ders. So while we may see a willingness to take on emergent behaviours, the company still has to be roo-
JP: Yes. You actually make it a design objective that
ted in the financial construct of quarterly reporting
you do not have control of the edge. Now what does
and annual reports of figures, accounting charts and
this look like? Today Telcos have to deliver services and
so on. This means you need to have at least enough
phones without knowing what device is on the other
hierarchy to fulfil these requirements.
end. Previously, most of the time they knew the device on the other end, the device belonged to them, they knew its colour; everything was controlled endto-end. Today we are in a different world where you can buy your phone from anybody and the Telco still has to provide the services. IT is now facing a similar problem. It used to be lock-down desktops, now more
and more people are asking to bring their own (open)
ronment. And then you go out to find other people
laptops to work. This means a loss of control for IT
you want to work with. That kind of structure will start
reflecting itself in an organisation.
Why are IT departments behaving like this?
If you build these networks, in the way you just
JP: It’s because of risk management. You know as they
responsible for what they are doing?
described, doesn’t it also mean that people become more say, nobody got fired for buying IBM or Microsoft. But the large corporations that said this are now facing
change at an unprecedented speed. Today they may still say “you will not, thou shalt not”. But behind the
scenes they are all busy working out how to do it. IT
Would you say that this new kind of leadership also
said the same thing about BlackBerrys, and mobile
requires new ways of remuneration?
phones, even about laptops. Yet all these things still happened. It is going to happen, it’s just a question
JP: Yes. I think you will find that historically one of the
of when. And of course we are always going to be
reasons why it has almost never been possible to in-
faced with critical issues like safety and security.
troduce team bonuses is because the incentive struc-
There’s a tension between privacy, confidentiality and
tures were not about sharing, but about hoarding
secrecy on the one hand and collaboration, sharing
power and information. What I think we will end up
and community on the other. There is also a genera-
with is payment in two forms. One kind of payment
tion conflict as the older generation are still saying
that has to do with your skills and what you contri-
“You’re crazy, thou shalt not share, information is
bute to the company – this is the horizontal resource
power” while what the kids are saying is, “I’ll share
element which you price according to the market. And
what I do, I’ll share what I feel, I’ll share everything
above and beyond that is the reward for success which
and something beautiful will happen.”
If you look at the organisational chart of smaller companies,
Do you see any good examples already out there?
it still says ’director’, ’head of’, with a couple more levels of hierarchy tagged on. What would a modern organisational
JP: Go back to video games. Even when you’re playing
chart look like?
rudimentary games, it becomes quite clear that if you complete a quest certain things will accrue to you and
JP: We tried to change this organisational structure a
your team. There’s a pot of gold, extra weapons, per-
number of times but we didn’t have the information
haps an extra life and so on. This has always been the
flows or the infrastructure to do it properly. What you
case in gaming. Now when you go through massively
need is the dynamic reallocation of resources which
multiplayer games, you see groups of people acqui-
becomes possible with a matrix.
ring prizes for completing quests or missions, and
I am personally learning more from video games. In
there is a way of sharing which tends to be equitable.
today’s video games the first thing you see is a fea-
It gets worked out with the game mechanics. If we
ture like a sandbox or training ground. It’s a simula-
look at this as a company, we are sure to find ways of
tion where you are not playing the game, you’re just
finding solutions for rewarding team-based success.
learning. This kind of sandbox capability is going to come out everywhere at work. After you finish it, you are able to go in and have a basic under-standing of what powers you have, what tools you have and you also have a dashboard with feedback from your envi-
When you open up these silos within enterprises you allow
Would you say that bigger companies find it much more
leaders by reputation to emerge. Isn’t there a conflict between
difficult to adapt than smaller companies?
them and the leaders pinned down in the organisational chart?
JP: I don’t know. Everyone cites the case of IBM and how the elephant learnt to dance. When you have
JP: I think we are going through a transition. As the
scale you put things into place in order to protect that
hierarchy moves towards the network, there are going
scale from instability which tends to get in the way
to be some tensions. But role-based leadership and
when you are trying to adapt quickly. The small orga-
outcome-based teams are going to operate in a par-
nisation finds it easier because it can operate better
allel world to the classic career development hierarchy.
in an amorphous state. It does not need to have all
If the reward mechanism is right then the people who
the answers. Large organizations need to have a little
are on-the-job leaders will not want to fight to be-
more certainty about what they are doing, but when
come functional heads. The big challenge is that the
they do have this certainty they can execute at scale.
historical model said we believe in a flat organisation
So I do not know whether the tortoise or hare will win
and collaboration, but under the surface what really
because I do not think of it as a race. They are two
mattered was your head count and the size of your
different kinds of animal with two different speeds …
budget. We would say one thing, but we couldn’t ac-
It’s similar to seeing how China has adapted to the in-
dustrialised world. Some people would have said it’s
Take me as an example. Today, I am in a job where I am
not possible; it looks like command and control. But
really enjoying myself, but in terms of the number of
when you dig down deeper, you find that the culture
people I have reporting to me, it’s the same as on my
did indeed allow sideways collaboration. John Sealy
first day at work: zero. These are the final stages of
Brown and John Hagel have written some great studies
leadership that I am learning about, leading through
on this. I think their last book is absolutely essential
influence and guidance. You still are accountable for
for understanding the organisation of the future.
results, but you do not have any of the end-to-end control. This means that your reputation matters; the way you behave will determine whether people will listen to you or not. And it’s not a one-way street. If you do not understand authority, you cannot use it. So I must first understand whose authority I am under and then say what my soft-hands leadership is. How do I guide and help and assist people who do not work for me?
Leadership Must Walk The Talk! Interview with Martin Spilker
For many years Martin Spilker worked closely with Reinhard Mohn, founder of Bertelsmann Stiftung, a formative background that is apparent in this interview. Within his own field – corporate culture – Spilker investigates the impact Web 2.0 tools have on the day-to-day work of his colleagues and has started his first pilot project – a wiki for processing a program proposal for submission to the board.
# corporate culture, Reinhard Mohn, partnership, cooperation-based dialog, responsibility, web ., intrapreneurship > related articles: Kruse / Sattelberger (p. ), Doppler / Nau (p. )
Martin Spilker ... born in 1959, is a member of the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s management committee and head of Corporate Culture/Leadership. Since 1996 he has served as personal advisor to Ms. Liz Mohn. He studied political economics, business management, economic psychology and economic history at the University of Paderborn and the University of Klagenfurt.
we_magazine: What does corporate culture mean to you, Mr. Spilker?
we_magazine: Yes, but haven’t we now moved away from corporate culture? Is leadership for you synonymous with corporate culture?
Martin Spilker: There are many different definitions of what corporate culture means! We have a norma-
Martin Spilker: I think that leadership is a key factor in
tive understanding of corporate culture with its roots
determining corporate culture – and vice versa. Yet it
in the work of Reinhard Mohn after the war. It’s based
seems to me that the new directions taken by leader-
on principles which were important to him as an
ship are even more important. Professor Stephan
entrepreneur, and it foresees that motivation and crea-
Jansen of Zeppelin University recently described it as
tivity mainly arise when people are given the free rein
the transformation of “leadership from the top down”
and opportunity to act as entrepreneurs. On the other
to “leadership from the outside to the inside”! This
hand, this also means that they bear the responsibi-
will increasingly involve a shifting of skills towards
lity for their actions. Responsibility of employees and
what I call the six c’s – skills and abilities in communi-
managers was a central issue for him. Freedom and
cation, cooperation, criticism, conflict-resolution, crea-
economic success are not possible without responsi-
tivity and tackling complexity.
bility. This idea also covers delegation of tasks and assignments. And obviously this means that employees
should share in the company’s business success. In the
How is Web 2.0 changing your understanding of leadership?
s, Reinhard Mohn was one of the first German entrepreneurs to develop a model of employee partici-
Martin Spilker: I was very impressed by Jeff Jarvis’s
pation in profits.
book “What Would Google Do?” From the very first
mechanisms can arise for managers, employees, cus-
How would you define leadership?
tomers and suppliers when new technologies enter
Martin Spilker: First and foremost leading people
Greater transparency and possibilities for participation
means serving people, as Reinhard Mohn remarks in
are bound to change what we mean by leadership. I
his book “Success through Partnership”. The manager
think that authoritarian or patriarchal leadership has
has to define the agenda, but he also makes sure that
had its day. The advent of new technologies means
employees have free space to bring in their own ideas
that employees are now much more closely involved
and participate. This means that a cooperation-based
in processes, that it's easier to delegate responsibility
pages it was clear what shifts in power and control
the management process. I deliberately say “can arise”.
dialog is inititated between employees and managers
and that you have many more opportunities to gene-
to achieve a joint understanding on the common
rate participation. It's much easier to have your say. In
goals. I believe that’s one of the most important
such a setting the basis is a joint understanding of cer-
things – that this identification with the goals of a
tain parameters – costs, quality and deadlines – in
company but also with the tasks and duties of the in-
which entrepreneurship can emerge. For me, these
dividual employee really does take place and that a
are the parameters within which self-responsible teams
basis of shared understanding about them is created.
act. we_magazine: What do Web 2.0 tools mean for company employees? Martin Spilker: Company employees must be put in a position where they can actually use these new possibilities for participation. This is why I also sometimes use a new concept of diversity which doesn’t just escribe the relations between man, woman, young person, old person, national or foreigner, even when there are still a lot of open questions here. The new concept
of diversity responds to such questions as “Who is
to a certain point and no further!” On the one hand,
ready to shoulder responsibility?”; “Who is perfor-
it would certainly be great if this form of company
mance-conscious?”; “Who has a certain affinity with
identification and management of deadlines, quality
technology?” Because it could very well be that those
and costs could give us company employees who em-
people who don’t come to terms with new technology
body the spirit of intrapreneurship in all their actions.
will very quickly find themselves left behind.
But I suspect that our overall workforce is in two minds about this: we have a handful of employees
who really are innovative in what they do, and then
Would you say that “bottom up” can’t function
we have the others who would rather stick to carry-
without “top down”?
ing out orders. Don’t get me wrong – both ways are neccessary to keep your business running.
Martin Spilker: At the very least “bottom up” would
Which brings me to the question of speed: when we
soon encounter its limits. If leadership doesn’t em-
think of speed, we think that each company has diffe-
body leadership-style behavior, if it doesn’t send out
rent divisions which work at different speeds. Perhaps
clear signals, if it fails to indicate that this or that par-
some people would rather work in administration
ticular thing is what is wanted, then employees are
and would feel themselves very much at home there.
pretty quickly going to realize that those at the top
Others are bound up in project structures. In my opi-
aren’t really serious. This is why it’s so important that
nion it’s one of the biggest tasks for management as
each leader is always aware of what kind of incentivi-
well as HR to harmonize these different speeds into a
zing messages they’re sending out.
Is it really the case that employees get the feeling that the
If you had to put these risks into a nutshell what would
boss really does stand behind the process? Or do you let things
you say? Apart from the ones already mentioned, what
pass now and again?
would they be?
Martin Spilker: If you’ve set a particular course, then
Martin Spilker: On the one hand you have to be aware
somewhere along the line there must be consequen-
that it all goes hand in hand with a certain loss of
ces if people don’t stick to it. This doesn’t mean these
power and control. Whoever believes that they can
have to be serious consequences. But employees
control a whole raft of processes is completely on
should have a very clear understanding that if they
the wrong track – particularly against the backdrop
don’t get involved in the set course, there will be con-
of new technologies. Such processes are immensely
sequences for them.
difficult to control, if they can be controlled at all. It would be good for leadership if they could bring
people on board who might possible have a different
Talking about intrapreneurship – how much entrepreneurial
viewpoint. And then it might occasionally happen that
spirit do salaried employees actually show? Is this something
somebody, quite wrongly, gets a bad rating.
you encourage or not?
But on the other hand standard theories have to have
Martin Spilker: Well, obviously it would be wonderful
employees with new technologies. Because there’s a
sufficient sensitivity and prudence not to overburden for management if all their employees were bubbling
great danger that employees might be stretched be-
over with exactly this kind of entrepreneurial spirit –
yond their limits by the permanent state of availabi-
coming up with creative ideas, seeking to implement
lity this puts them in. I’m thinking here about the
innovative concepts and thinking about ways to fi-
work-life-balance, although that’s a misleading term
nance them. That is by far the best case scenario. But
because it suggests that on the one side there’s
we have to be realistic. There are certainly a great
“work” with all its tribulations, anxieties and efforts
many employees who, when push comes to shove,
and on the other there’s “life” with all its exuberance
would rather say “I’m not prepared to take that risk”
and joie de vivre. I think it’s more a question of achie-
or “Shoulder responsibility by all means, but only up
ving a proper “lifebalance”. But, sure, you’ve also got
to see how employees cope with the issues of new
technologies. They really must be able to assess what
My last question is if we look for a moment into the theoreti-
kind of information is important for them and how
cal side of management, where do you find your main ideas,
they should deal with it.
your line of thought reflected?
Martin Spilker: On the one hand, most certainly in the
What we’ve been seeing over the past twenty years in
practical experience you always glean from corporate
many companies has been mainly optimization processes,
life. I tend to stand for a new form of a “behavioral
automation … today, however, innovation is very much
theory of coperate culture”. This means you have to
at the forefront.
be aware of what kind of incentives you’re setting. Standard theories of management with their challen-
Martin Spilker: At this point I’d like to quote my men-
ges in terms of sustainable economic performance,
tor, Reinhard Mohn, who wanted to “get many minds
sustainable HR policy-making, sustainable develop-
to think”. This basically means give people the space,
ment of corporate culture but also of new technolo-
give them the possibility to step aside from hidebound
gies are now all reaching their limits. I believe that
processes and develop something new, try it out and
there are now completely new laws at work and that
test it. It’s also absolutely essential in this context
people like Don Tapscott, for instance, play an impor-
that people be given the leeway to make mistakes
tant pioneering role in sensitizing people to the fact
and learn from them. And this, I think, can be very in-
that much of what we discussed in the past simply can’t
structively applied to the age of Web .. Traditional
be dealt with in the same way in the age of Web ..
company management aligns itself to process optimi-
Although – and I should emphasize this – the keysto-
zation. “Cost reduction”, for instance was always the
nes of delegation, co-determination, partnership and
big number one issue. Yet costs – and particularly
decentralization still provide a pretty solid founda-
communication costs – might not play that big a role
tion. If a corporate culture is aligned with management
anymore. I think that there’s still a need for process
and socialized on such a basis, I am convinced that it
optimization, also due to the introduction of new
has great chances for success in the age of Web ..
technologies. But it’s still essential to involve people in these changes so that we can develop fresh ideas from a wide variety of sources and keep the dialog rolling. Networking people – whether it be in face-to-face talks or via Web . – is still the best way to generate ideas for me. That’s why I’m firmly convinced that those companies who spark innovation through new technologies are the ones who’ll keep their competitive edge. Today there isn’t just one winner because copying products is now much easier and quicker. Take the mobile phone, for instance, and see how quickly copycat products came on the market. Earlier on it would often have taken decades before somebody lost their monopoly position or pioneering role; now it’s often just a matter of a few months. Obviously this is why I’m such an advocate of innovation combined with speed!
A Wake-up Call For Despots By Lee Bryant
The world might have forgotten the name of Mohamed Bouazzi but the young generation in the Arab world never will. While the majority of their parents’ generation were forced into submission and silence by fear, young Arabs are vocal, articulate and daring. In particular they see through the hypocrisy of governments who have long claimed that the only alternative to them is chaos and radical Islam. Tunisia and Egypt proved this wrong. In his article Lee focuses of whether and how social technologies are impacting on our governments and us as citizens. It’s a debate about the power of transparency, the increasing ease with which people are able to coordinate collective action, but it’s also about the changing nature of distributed leadership and coordination.
# Morozov, Jay Rosen, Egypt, government, leadership, social media, transparency, Tunisia > related articles: Don Tapscott (p. ), J.P. Rangaswami (p. ), Sabine Donner (p. ), Ismael Khatib (p. ), Frank Roebers (p. ), Doppler / Nau (p. )
Lee Bryant ... co-founded Headshift in 2002 to focus on the emerging area of social software and social networking. He’s played around with words and computers since the age of 10, and has a strong belief in the empowering potential of the internet. He is also a board member of a social enterprise, Involve, and a trustee of the Foundation for Science Technology and Culture.
The Guardian’s innovative timeline of events in the Arab
speak-to-tweet and others managed to create alterna-
world shows just what a snowball effect was set off by
tive routes to the internet for those brave or motivated
the happenings in Tunisia at the end of . These
enough to use them.
events, which are ongoing and by no means complete, have re-ignited the debate about whether and how so-
But how much of a role did social media really play
cial technologies are impacting on political protest and
in these events? There has been a long and sometimes
the future role and behaviour of governments. It is a
polarised debate about the importance or otherwise of
debate about the power of transparency, the increasing
online social tools in revolutions and political change
ease with which people are able to co-ordinate collec-
over the past few years. Clay Shirky, whose book Cogni-
tive action; but it is also about the role of hard and soft
tive Surplus quotes examples of protests in South Korea
power in international affairs and the changing nature
and other places to demonstrate the new reality of on-
of distributed leadership and co-ordination.
line people power, has been seen as an advocate of the power of the internet to effect political change, although
In Tunisia, the suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi was the
his position is far more nuanced and well-informed than
spark that lit the fire of protest against a corrupt regime,
critics suggest. On the other side of the debate, Evgeny
but the impact of the earlier Wikileaks revelations about
Morozov represents the school of thought that says the
the behaviour and finances of President Ben Ali and his
internet is simply another tool or technology that can
family cannot be underestimated as it fuelled the under-
be used for good or ill, and in that sense it’s no different
lying anger that Bouazizi’s protest ignited.
from previous technologies that have been assimilated by both protestors and regimes alike. Less well in-
Inspired by events in Tunisia, Egyptians began their hi-
formed about international affairs, but perhaps better
storic Tahrir Square occupation that would eventually
known, is Malcolm Gladwell, who has also contributed
lead to the ousting of President Mubarak and signifi-
to this debate. During the Egyptian uprising, he wrote:
cant change in the national government. Whilst it was the military that played the key role in tipping events
“But surely the least interesting fact about [the protests] is that
towards a change of regime, the Facebook group set up
some of the protesters may (or may not) have at one point or
by a local Google employee played an important role
another employed some of the tools of the new media to commu-
in the initial mobilisation of the protest.
nicate with one another. Please. People protested and brought
In both Tunisia and Egypt, and to an extent in Libya as
before the internet came along.” 6
down governments before Facebook was invented. They did it well, the main impact of social technology was probably the way in which it allowed ordinary people to both
This is precisely the kind of article Jay Rosen recently
send and receive information about the protests with-
referred to when he wrote his excellent and detailed
out being limited by mainstream and government media.
roundup of this debate and its limitations on his
The contrast between the pathetic attempts at old-fa-
PressThink blog (the “Twitter Can’t Topple Dictators”
shioned propaganda and the raw reality of mobile
article). Rosen points out that Gladwell and others are
phone videos, tweets and other snippets from people
setting up a straw man to knock down when they claim
on the ground perhaps also reminded citizens of Tunisia
that many commentators are too uncritical and excita-
and Egypt just how wide was the gulf between their
ble in their view of the role of social media in political
Twentieth Century leaders and the culture and beha-
change. He also points out that many of these articles
viour of young people in these countries today. There
are based on the idea that social media is not a primary
were, of course, attempts to shut down the internet and
cause of protest, but fails to acknowledge its impor-
other desperate measures, but services like Google’s
tance as one among many factors that contribute to it,
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive//mar//middle-east-protest-interactive-timeline http://wikileaks.ch/cable///TUNIS.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east- http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles//clay-shirky/the-political-power-of-social-media http://www.edge.org/rd_culture/morozov_shirky/morozov_shirky_index.html http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk///does-egypt-need-twitter.html
and he quotes David Hume on the mystery of how go-
But even this use of social technology to organise pro-
vernments stay in power to highlight the point that cau-
tests is a point of contention, with Morozov and others
sality is rarely clear or obvious in these matters:
arguing that is also exposes protestors to state scrutiny.
“Nothing appears more surprising to those, who consider human
Morozov gave a talk about his book The Net Delusion,
affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the
where he defended his argument, clarified a few miscon-
At the SXSW Interactive Festival in Texas in March ,
many are governed by the few; and the implicit submission, with
ceptions about his views and shared some very inter-
which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of
esting and informative observations about the way
their rulers. When we enquire by what means this wonder is
technology is being appropriated by regimes as well as
effected, we shall find, that, as force is always on the side of the
protestors. For example, he said the Chinese govern-
governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion.
ment aims to mobilise its online supporters within two
It is therefore, on opinion only that government is founded;
hours of an online protest bubbling up, in order to gua-
and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military
rantee containment. The fact that they have rapid re-
governments, as well as to the most free and most popular.”
sponse teams ready to do this so quickly obviously testifies to how much importance they place on the in-
This quote touches on where I think much of the poten-
ternet, but it also shows how they are able to leverage
tial of social technology to democratise societies can be
their power advantage to suppress dissent, even online.
found. Hard power is concentrated in military and po-
Morozov also responded to Clay Shirky’s point about
lice forces. The soft power of opinion may be stronger
the so-called ‘dictator’s dilemma’ – the fact that shut-
in aggregate, but it is highly distributed. Perhaps the
ting down the internet in response to protests can also
most exciting capability of social technology is the way
cost the state billions in lost revenues – by saying that in
in which it can aggregate lots of small, low-cost indivi-
cases such as Libya, where the stakes are very high, lo-
dual actions at scale to produce network effects. If we
sing $-bn by shutting down the net is not a big deal,
look at the role of Facebook in helping co-ordinate pro-
so we shouldn’t count on this logic.
tests, it provides a low-risk, low-cost way of gently registering disapproval and an intent to protest, thus
More worryingly, Morozov quoted a number of exam-
lowering the barriers that might put off all but the bra-
ples where regimes are using social technology to crack
vest and most committed. But when you see tens of
down after protests, for example by going through Flickr
thousands of people demonstrating the same level of
groups and crowdsourcing the identification of indivi-
commitment and intent, the network effect becomes a
duals in photographs to gather intelligence and to punish
source of courage and support for those who decide
them for taking part. He said that the Iranian govern-
to take their protest onto the streets. So it becomes
ment is believed to be working on the use of facial re-
easier to test the waters with a low commitment action,
cognition software to speed up this process, which
and also easier to approximate aggregate levels of sup-
would be a frightening way to turn the transparency of
port and commitment before taking action.
social tools against protestors.
Othman Laraki, who works for Twitter, tried to express
Morozov is a well-informed thinker on international
this in an equation that seeks to identify the point at
relations, and despite the gaps in his knowledge about
which the perceived costs of repression are outweighed
open source software, security, crytopgraphy and other
by the perceived mass of protestors ready to make a
areas highlighted by Cory Doctorow in a Guardian article
stand. In his blog post outlining the equation, Othman
critiquing Morozov’s book, he is somebody to be taken
argues that social media reduces the cost of dissent,
seriously. But he is so focused on institutions in the inter-
whilst increasing the cost of suppression.
national system that he perhaps misses the countervai-
http://pressthink.org///the-twitter-cant-topple-dictators-article/ http://zarnotes.blogspot.com///economics-of-dissent-how-twitter-and.html http://www.reuters.com/article////us-usa-internet-clinton-idUSTREEP http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology//jan//net-activism-delusion?cat=technology&type=article
ling force of people power that the internet is helping
(or a diplomat), when asked to do something they know
to orchestrate. Morozov fears that if the US State De-
to be wrong, might have in the back of their mind the
partment buys into what he regards as hype about the
possibility that one day they could be called to account.
liberating potential of the internet, then it might be used as a political tool against regimes the US disagrees with.
Second, we have seen the huge power of transparency
As someone who was part of the Praguebased Transiti-
to disrupt the cosy web of business and political rela-
ons Online, and presumably with exposure to the Voice
tionships that has grown up around corrupt regimes
of America in Europe, Morozov understands the fine line
throughout the world. As the BBC’s Robert Peston
between “foreign” funding of independent media and
argued in a blog post about corporate deals with unde-
outright propaganda intended to bring about political
mocratic governments, there is almost always a public
change acceptable to funding countries. There is clearly
interest in transparency for large corporate contracts
a danger that the United States and other governments
with governments, but this can sometimes come into
could do more harm than good by funding and sup-
conflict with perceived national interests that are often
porting internet initiatives intended to foster unrest in
disguised in opaque international deals.
other countries, and we have already seen at least one example of how this basic idea could be misapplied,
The flip side of this, of course, is that leaders who are
with the outsourced mass ’sock-puppetry’ of the US go-
capable of using social networks to amplify their own
vernment’s Operation Earnest Voice. Morozov is quite
influence and vision can succeed in new and interesting
right to warn against this kind of stupidity.
ways. Whilst the internet is partly a vehicle for celebrities, it can also occasionally catapult real people with compelling stories into the global limelight, and this
So what have we learned from these events about
can be a powerful force for those who lack conven-
leadership and forms of organisation?
tional hard power in the international system. Leadership in a networked world is a complex question, and many
First, I think the blunt instrument of Wikileaks’ ap-
emerging political or protest movements tend to either
proach to transparency has provided a wake-up call for
eschew the idea altogether in favour of continually ne-
diplomats and leaders of all kinds. Of course diplomacy
gotiated co-ordination, or they vest authority in a figure
and leadership sometimes require different messages
deemed to be widely respected and often at a stage in
for different audiences, and being economical with the
their career when they are not seeking the trappings
truth is probably a fact of life. But from now on, any
of office, like Alexander Dubcek during the Velvet
leader or diplomat behaving in an outright immoral or
Revolution in Czechoslovakia or, more recently,
duplicitous way will know that at some point their
Mohamed ElBaradei in Egypt. I suspect we will see new
words (assuming they are written down) can come back
hybrids of strong networked leaders combined with dis-
to haunt them. Just as Othman Laraki suggests that social
tributed, democratic systems in the future, as all the evi-
media are lowering the cost of protest and increasing
dence of history suggests there is still very much a role
the cost of repression, so has Julian Assange argued that
for leadership in promoting and sustaining change.
his mission is to dramatically increase the cost of bad behaviour, thus incentivising leaders to close the gap
Third – and this is what gives me most hope – people
between what they say and what they do. This can only be
outside the Middle East are starting to learn through
a good thing, in my view. I think of Wikileaks as doing
their exposure to real people and raw information that
for transparency what the war crimes process has done
this region is not populated exclusively by cartoon
for the rules of war – it is an imperfect, blunt instrument,
extremists or angry, disempowered but uninformed
selectively applied, but it does mean that a commander
masses. Instead, we have seen the sophistication and
http://boingboing.net////us-military-launches.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston///does_transparency_kill__of_d.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Dubcek http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_ElBaradei
subtlety of the political views of young people who are
But what we have not yet seen is how social technology
little different from ourselves in terms of their aspirati-
can play a role in constructing and maintaining post-
ons and behaviours. Far from bringing conservative Is-
protest organisations, networks and civil society struc-
lamists to power, which was an argument used by those
tures that can spawn democratic institutions for the
who wanted to prop up corrupt leaders, these events
future. In many so-called Western states, we are facing
are likely to lead to a blossoming of different positions.
Twenty-First Century problems with old, creaking Twen-
Islamists are likely to play a key role, as indeed our own
tieth Century bureaucratic institutions that do a very
conservatives do in Europe and the United States, but if
poor job of utilising people power as a fuel for service
you want a vision of the future of this region then look
delivery, collective action and the smooth running of
instead to the rapidly growing ranks of confident, pro-
society. In Egypt and Tunisia, the question is how to
ductive and connected young people in Egypt or Tur-
maintain the positive energy of the protest movements
key who are finding their voice, and combining old and
rather than just use it to elect new faces to the old
new, secular and religious, local and global ideas to
institutions. This is a longer term challenge, but one that
make sense of the modern world.
might yet demonstrate a potential for social technology that is much wider and deeper than what we have seen
The past six months have been a period of breathtaking
so far in stimulating and supporting democratic move-
change, and from Wikileaks to Facebook groups and
Twitter, social technology has been at the heart of events as a key factor, if not necessarily a cause. But whilst it is becoming easier for people to join together to represent their common interests, and turn weak ties and small acts of commitment into powerful network effects, we should not get carried away. Under extreme conditions, it is possible for threatened regimes to turn the internet off almost completely in certain areas of the world. Until we have peer to peer mesh networks or some other form of truly distributed connectivity, the existence of the internet should not be taken for granted.
Political Leadership Goes WE By Sabine Donner
What makes good political leadership today? The answers to this question could fill entire libraries. But why not ask the people directly affected – whether they be on the “receiving end” as citizens or on the “giving end” as politicians? We asked 5 people from 3 continents for their personal insights and their own perspectives. What we got is a truly global snapshot. The people we’ve chosen are as diverse as they can be in terms of their personal and professional backgrounds. Every country has its unique set of problems and its own social and cultural context. One thing they have in common, though, is that they are all “Transformation Thinkers” – part of a global network of inspired young leaders with a strategic vision, people committed to driving their countries towards development, democracy, peace and security in a changing global and regional environment. The Transformation Thinkers program is an interregional dialogue on good governance and democratic change created by the Bertelsmann Stiftung together with the German development agency GIZ in 2003. It has pursued a cross-regional and cross-sectoral approach since the very beginning, and is led by the conviction that political leadership is crucial for promoting change. It aims to provide a knowledge platform for the exchange of experience between change-makers worldwide. Despite all their differences and all the cultural and regional specifics, their answers show that they do indeed in many ways share a common perspective on the issue of political leadership. Their expectations are realistic, modest and huge at one and the same time. No one calls for a strong man (or strong woman!) to run the show alone. What is needed to tackle the complex problems of our times is a participatory, multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach, integrating personalities who set their own interests aside for the greater good, and who are able to reconcile rather than disrupt in order to get people involved. Political leadership today has to be team work. The internet has – to various degrees in every country – changed the rules of the game. Political leaders are expected to be innovative and open enough not only to react to these changes and play by these rules, but to expand them to a point where communication leads to action. Nothing more. Nothing less. Political leadership goes WE.
# BIT, Transformation Thinkers, Egypt, Guatemala, Bulgaria, Ecuador, Albania, political leadership, participation > related articles: DonTapscott (p. ), Lee Bryant (p. ), Ismael Khatib (p. )
Sabine Donner is responsible for the project “Shaping Change – Strategies of Development and Transformation” at the Bertelsmann Stiftung. Sabine holds an M.A. in Political Science, German Literature and Russian Language and Literature from the University of Freiburg. Prior to joining the Bertelsmann Stiftung in 2001, Sabine worked as a freelance journalist for several German newspapers and radio stations. She is one of the organizers of the Trans formation Thinkers conference series. Together with Hauke Hartmann and Matthias Jäger, she coordinates and publishes the Transformation Index (BTI), which offers data and detailed country reports on the quality of political transformation, economic development and governance in 128 countries. Martín Arévalo de Léon (Guatemala) is Program Officer for Haiti at Interpeace, where he is developing a strategy to establish a decentralized and participatory dialogue process for peace and development. Originally trained as biochemist and microbiologist, he had a successful career in management before leaving the private sector to engage in public policy design, analysis and implementation. In 2004, Martín was responsible for facilitating the participation of civil society groups in the formulation of security sector policies at the Security Advisory Office to the Guatemalan Congress, and was later appointed Deputy Secretary at the Presidential Secretariat for Peace, the cabinet-level office responsible for the coordination and implementation of the Peace Accords where he led the government’s efforts to restructure the reparations program for victims of the internal armed conflict. Ibrahim Hegazy (Egypt) is chairman of the Department of Management and head of the Marketing Faculty at the American University in Cairo. He also teaches at the Alba Graduate School of Business in Athens and at the International School of Management in Paris. Ibrahim is an elected member of the board of directors of the Egyptian Advertising Association, Egypt’s non-governmental association which brings together all professionals working in marketing communications and advertising in Egypt. as well as a member of the board of directors of Egypt’s Tourism Authority. Ibrahim has received a number of international awards in marketing, marketing communications and teaching. Georgi Kamov (Bulgaria) is managing partner of Nextdoor, an innovation consultancy that aims to transfer innovative solutions from all over the world to Bulgaria, southeastern Europe and the Black Sea region. Georgi has a seven year track record in implementing new ideas in government institutions and non-profit organizations. He has worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and the Bulgarian School of Politics. María Paula Romo (Ecuador) has been an MP since 2009. She is a founding member and political activist of the “Ruptura de los 25” movement that was part of the government coalition in Ecuador. In January 2011, María Paula and other members of the movement left the coalition in protest at President Correa’s plans to hold a referendum on legislative reforms that would entail changes to the country’s constitution. As a member of the Constituent Assembly of Ecuador, María Paula contributed to drafting the new constitution adopted in 2008. Blerta Selenica (Albania) has been Director of the Department of Public Administrationat the Ministry of the Interior of Albania since 2007. Prior to this, she was a training manager on legal issues at the Training Institute of Public Administration in Tirana and had worked as a human rights advocate, lawyer and project coordinator for a wide range of NGO projects.
María Paula Romo: A leader is someone who knows how to listen, some-
What constitutes good political leader-
one who is committed to investigate and learn. I do not believe that you
ship for you? What leadership skills
need extraordinary skills or have to be some kind of messiah in order to
are most needed to face the problems
be a good leader. You just need communication skills and above all hard
of our times?
work and discipline. Georgi Kamov: Good political leadership can be described as nothing more and nothing less than the ability to put the interests of society above your own. This has always been a problem but it’s the essential leadership skill of our times. Other key skills include openness, and a good understanding of the role of technology. Here’s another way of looking at it: leaders should be able to see the future and build a bridge to get there. Ibrahim Hegazy: Good political leadership is listening to the voice of the people as represented by all of its different social classes, and getting the people’s key representatives engaged as an advisory board in the political decision-making process so that political leadership can develop the appropriate national strategy that can serve the younger generation who will inherit the legacy of national strategies made by the present political leadership. Blerta Selenica: Good political leaders, in my opinion, should carefully identify the needs of the common people and represent them faithfully, keeping strong integrity and resisting the temptation of corruption. Good political leaders should be concerned with the future of their nation and not only with the next election outcome. When convinced by arguments, they should have the courage to make the right decisions, even if these prove unpopular at times. Good political leaders should be able to guarantee transparency of governance, should be able to communicate their vision effectively to the people, and, above all, should be willing and able to work in a team to achieve the best results. Martín Arévalo de Léon: Good political leaders should have an understanding of the key issues and should be able to take a down-to-earth approach towards them (regardless of their political philosophy). They should also be able to make social groups come together rather than creating divisions on whatever subjects. Patience, good communication skills, the ability to listen to different points of view and to create common ground with consistency and credibility are crucial skills for any political leader.
María Paula Romo: Leaders are both part of the problem and part of
Looking at the current situation in
the solution. Their behavior and attitude may – and must be! – part of
your country and the key challenges
the solution, despite the fact that they might well create some conflicts
your country is facing, what role does
on their way to achieving it. I believe that political issues have much in
political leadership play? Is it more part
common with pedagogy; this is why a political leader must become an
of the problem or part of the solution?
example to emulate through his or her democratic, honest and considerate practices. Georgi Kamov: It’s both – and I think this is the same anywhere you go. Political leadership is necessary in order to push reforms forward. It is also necessary for the opposition in order to counterbalance the ruling government. On the other hand, it is also part of the problem – the problem of transition, or, more precisely, the lack of it. The ruling elites of years ago still manage to hold on to power, turning political leadership into political “steering”-ship. This makes the rise of fresh, unbiased leaders a real problem. Ibrahim Hegazy: The first and main role of political leadership in Egypt after the th of January Revolution is to rebuild the lost trust between the people and the “Nezam” (Arabic for the political system as represented by the government). The second role of political leadership is to communicate a swift, concrete and detailed roadmap for the implementation of the promises the new political leadership is making in response to the Revolution’s demands. These promises are derived from a new process of listening to the voices and demands of different social and economic sectors in Egypt in an attempt to regain the lost trust. The third role of political leadership is to combat the huge and unbelievably cancerous levels of corruption that are now surfacing in Egypt. The fourth role is to calm different economic sectors by responding to the different demands now presented in every governorate in the form of demonstrations and sectarian civil strikes. The fifth role is to bring back social justice by reducing the huge gap between rich and poor sectors in Egyptian society. As the new political leadership has been appointed based on the advice and recommendations of the young people leading the th of January Revolution, it should be considered as part of the solution and not part of the problem. Blerta Selenica: In my country, Albania, it seems that most political leaders share the same vision of integrating the country in the EU as a factor of stability and security in the region, through membership in NATO – which has already been achieved – and other international organizations. Even so, key administrative reforms are sometimes blocked or slowed down through unproductive political debate in parliament and unneeded conflict situations that impede reasonable compromise.
Martín Arévalo de Léon: Political leadership in Guatemala is focused on personal and group interests rather than on national issues and challenges. Most political parties are formed around strongmen and do not promote internal democratic processes. Offices are always filled in line with the leader’s interests or with the sums of money individuals donate to the party. Political vision is always fixed on day to day issues rather than on strategic actions to bring about development or economic and social growth. In general, political parties are part of the problem since they do not fulfill the intermediary role between society and state. They are only active during electoral processes and do not really respond to social demands.
María Paula Romo: This is a complex question and our country’s pro-
If you were elected president of your
blems cannot be solved with simple short answers. Even so, in terms of
country, what are the three key
Ecuador’s problems we – speaking as a member of a political movement
strategic actions that you would
called Ruptura – believe that investment in education, free public health
take that would most accelerate your
and honest labor policies which can guarantee equality for men and
women are some of the key strategic actions we would take to accelerate our country’s transformation. Furthermore, building a strong democratic order around our public entities through active social participation would also help achieve that goal. Georgi Kamov: The president of my country does not hold much power. Nevertheless, I would focus on these strategic actions: . Keeping society active on major issues – constantly initiating debates at home and abroad. . Forming flexible expert groups on a wide range of problems which include prominent figures from at home and abroad. . Stimulating education on human, citizen and political rights all over the country. Ibrahim Hegazy: As president of Egypt, I would take the following strategic actions: . Change the Egyptian constitution and bring it in line with the st century generation with consideration given to the changes that have taken place since the present constitution was initially tailored to protect political leadership – not the people. . Combat widely prevailing corruption and bring corrupt officials to justice; strengthen the rule of law and attempt to regain lost trust. . Reduce the economic gap that has led to social injustice among different social sectors. . Stimulate foreign and local direct investment since economically Egypt has to keep moving forward at all costs.
Blerta Selenica: . Introduce final regulation of the land ownership issue. . Establish a stable and fair election code. . Implement further anti-corruption measures. Martín Arévalo de Léon: . Strengthen public institutions (mainly the judiciary). . Improve the education system. . Establish a social-economic forum to set the trends for the country’s development.
María Paula Romo: Even though internet usage in Ecuador is not yet
How does the internet/new techno-
pervasive, new technology and social networks are still an interesting
logy/social networks affect political
and effective way of communication. Politicians have always had their
leadership? How does it shape or
own ways to get their messages across, but social networks have become
change people’s expectations and
a better way because they make us more reachable by enabling people
attitudes towards political leadership?
to express their ideas, complaints and opinions in a fast, easy and inex-
Are there innovative ways in which po-
litical leaders could react to this change? Georgi Kamov: It profoundly changes the whole political game. People not only want to be informed – they are starting to demand the right to be informed! How can the public sector stay silent if I am bombarded with information from all other areas in my private and social life? How can I have my local supermarket let me choose the things I buy there and not have my local authorities ask me whether I would like to keep the park dog-free? The most innovative way for a leader to react is not to have a Facebook page for Q&As – this is already a must. It’s to find the ways and means to turn opinion-gathering mechanisms into action-oriented mechanisms – in other words, to follow up on what has been said by citizens. The internet is just another means of communication – the most important question is whether it leads to more action or just “fake” action. Posting a comment on the problem of homeless people in an MP’s blog or joining a cause on Facebook does not at all mean that you’re doing something significant about it. Ibrahim Hegazy: The internet – and more specifically the use of social media – played a vital role in igniting the spark that led to the th of January Revolution in Egypt. Furthermore, social media is now the main communication channel between different sectors of the population and the government. It is now also the main square for discussion and voting on issues of national concern to Egypt.
The Higher Council of Military Forces (the governing body of Egypt after the resignation of Mubarak) has established a page on Facebook to communicate with the people. The Egyptian government has also established websites for complaints, inquiries, suggestions, virtual demonstrations, and sectarian demands. This is just the start, and the variety and depth of ways in which social media are used as a new venue for listening to the people is expanding day by day. In fact, many political parties as well as newspapers are moving towards social media and the internet to deliver their news and listen to what the people want. And yet, a note of caution should be sounded here about the use of the internet and social media. We have started to notice fake, untrue and manipulated photoshop/adobe kind of images that send out wrong messages, ferment chaos and fuel ethnic conflicts with a view to creating states of instability and social unrest that prevent the country from moving forward to reap the benefits of the Revolution. Blerta Selenica: New communication technologies enable political leadership to get up-to-the-minute feedback from interest groups and individuals. By making use of electronic means of communication, people expect that their voices will be better heard by political leaders. The blogs used by an increasing number of politicians to communicate directly with the public are one good example of innovation. Martín Arévalo de Léon: As people have only limited access to information technologies in Guatemala, the internet still has only a very limited effect on political discourse. In theory social media have the potential to raise greater awareness of the issues at stake and to produce greater public participation. In theory yes, but not in our reality where only a few political leaders are tapping into the potential of the internet, given the general lack of access.
María Paula Romo: I would like to see leaders, both men and women,
The way forward: what kind of political
with strong democratic ideals who care about human rights, who are
leadership would you like to see evolving
well educated, who understand and try to solve the complex problems
in your country within the next five to
that our country is facing. Leaders who can work together with different
people as a team, not individually, to achieve the goals the country needs. Countries in Latin America don’t need one leader, one sole face; they need lots of leaders who can put their differences aside to work together to solve the problems.
Georgi Kamov: Open. Problem-solving. Bottom-up. Fearless. Tech-savvy. Moderate. Forward-looking. Being able to see and act on the big picture and the big challenges worldwide. Hungry for change and innovation, not hungry for power. … But evolution does not take from five to ten years, right? Ibrahim Hegazy: Within the next five years, I would like to see a political leadership in Egypt that is based on pushing and working strongly for ethnic unity, social justice, economic growth, food self-suffiency, the rule of law, and the safeguarding of human rights, flagging separation between the “State” and the “Mosque/Church” yet based on a clear national identity proclaiming that Egypt is a moderate Arab country with Islamic identity and character since the majority of its population (well over %) are Muslims. This idea of clear national identity should reinforce freedom of religious practice for all Egyptians regardless of their religious doctrine. This also means that the rule of law should be civilian not religious. It further means that all Egyptians should be united as Egyptians sharing the same problems and suffering the same pains regardless of what religious doctrines they might hold. Like human beings, countries should also have their own unique personality. I also expect Egypt’s new leadership to build more bridges with the European Union and the Western world based on the understanding of Egypt’s sovereign rights. Blerta Selenica: I would like to see more accountable political leaders, accepting responsibility for their failures and willing to compromise for the greater good of all citizens. Martín Arévalo de Léon: I would like to see political leaders who are more aware of the challenge involved in the fact that large parts of the population are marginalized, have no access to basic social services and lack the opportunity to participate in high-skilled labor that drives economic development. They should be more authentic in terms of the people’s desires and expectations, but also have a sound knowledge of the limits and constraints of the paths to follow.
You’ve Got To Be The Change You Want To See! Interview with Ismael Khatib
I met Ismael Khatib for the first time at the opening of Cinema Jenin in August 2010. It still gives me goose bumps when I think about the first screening of “Heart of Jenin” in Jenin. And so does Ismael’s story. It’s hard to look into his melancholy eyes without thinking how apocalyptic it must be to lose one’s own child. As a mother of a boy myself, this goes beyond everything else in sheer horror … No matter what the driving forces behind Ismael’s decision were – I’d say that Ismael did something truly extraordinary. And to quote Gandhi as I’ve done in our headline “You’ve got to be the change you want to see!” Instead of seeking revenge Ismael’s family allowed his son’s organs to be transplanted into Israeli children. Ahmed’s heart went to Sameh, a Druze girl in Pklin; one kidney went to Mohamed, a Bedouin boy in the Negev; and the other to Menuha Rivka, an Orthodox Jewish girl in Jerusalem. But the story doesn’t end with the transplants. Ismael Khatib still travels to visit the families and children that received his son’s organs. He is truly building a bridge between Israelis and Palestinians. On a very personal level he is driving the peace process between these two countries forward and is a shining example – not appreciated by everybody in Jenin – which goes far beyond any political argument. A true leader in this so deeply irrational conflict. The interview that follows is very personal in nature. Thank you to Fakhri Hamad for being our interpreter during our conversation. And thank you to Youssef Meddah for listening to the audio file in Arabic and giving us the important details!
# Heart of Jenin, cinema jenin, Ahmed, Sameh, Pklin, Menuha, Israel-Palestine conflict, last victim, no more war, Palestinians, Freedom, Peace now, peace culture > related articles Ken Robinson (p. ), J.P. Rangaswami (p. ), Lee Bryant (p. ), Sabine Donner (p. )
Ismael Khatib ... was born in 1965 in the Jenin refugee camp after his family was expelled from its home in a village near Haifa in 1948. He grew up in Jenin and as a young man joined the Fatah movement. He participated in the First Intifada, the Palestinian uprising, and was imprisoned by Israel on three different occasions. After he was released for the third time, following his father’s advice, he quit the Fatah, got married and opened a clothes store. He later closed this store and opened a car repair shop which was shut down when the separation barrier was built by Israel. He had six children when his son, Ahmed, was shot by an Israeli soldier who mistook the toy rifle he was playing with for a real one. Ismael’s momentous decision to donate his son’s organs, to Arab as well as Jewish patients, received great international attention. It was documented in the film “Heart from Jenin”, and became the inspiration for the Cinema Jenin project. Recently Ismael Khatib has opened the “Cuneo Centre for Peace”, affiliated to the cinema.
Ismael Khatib: … Yeah. But this is what is needed. I
Ismael, by donating your son’s organs to Israeli people, you
finally found out. I found it out the hard way though.
truly took a leadership role in the Israel-Palestine conflict – at
Living under occupation is something very difficult
least in Jenin where you live. Why did you do so, and also what
and I guess very hard for anyone to imagine. The
is your understanding of leadership? I mean, doing such a
Palestinians have suffered it for more than sixty years
thing, coming out of a city like Jenin and especially from the
now. We’ve tried different ways, different methods
refugee camp, you must have been aware this would be a
to fight against it: demonstrations, writing on walls,
kind of watershed.
throwing Molotov cocktails, weapons … but still the occupation is there. It’s still there. Nothing has
Ismael Khatib: Losing your own son is the worst thing
changed. And it goes on and on and on with no … no
which can happen to you in your life. It goes beyond
end in sight. My personal struggle, my personal fight
anything I’ve experienced so far. It creates a hellhole
in the very beginning was social. First of all I was try-
in you which never stops aching. So donating my son’s
ing to help the community. Then it escalated: I took
organs wasn’t an easy decision, it was probably the
part in demonstrations and then I went on to thro-
most important and difficult decision I’ve had to take
wing Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers and their
in my entire life.
checkpoints in town.
Donating his organs and letting them continue to live
The problem in these years, starting in with the
in other children gives me at least the feeling that
Intifada was that there was a lot of violence on both
Ahmed is still somehow around. I loved him so much
sides. There were a lot of suicide bombings in Israel
… and this is a way to see him still alive. He isn’t gone
and the Israeli army overran Palestine … and in
for ever. This is my story with Ahmed.
it hit my son. Ahmed.
In general I believe children are the leaders of the fu-
This was so painful, so gut-wrenching – I can’t express
ture. They are the ones who will carry out the future,
it in words. To lose a member of your own family
who can reach a position to make decisions and maybe
whom you love so much – Ahmed, my son – he was
they will contribute to solving this Israel-Palestine con-
gone. I had lost my son. Why? What for? Who would
flict. For sure, the reaction to my decision was – and
be next? This moment of my life made me change my
still is – very controversial. I expected this. Jenin is one
way of thinking. I was ready to find a philosophy, a
of the places in the West Bank which suffered most
new philosophy, different from the one I used to have.
from the massacres of the Israeli army. Especially du-
I started thinking about setting up a new initiative and
ring . It was hell here in Jenin and especially in
sending a new message to Israel and the entire world:
the refugee camp where I lived with my family. Many,
The fight has to stop! No more war! I wanted to tell all
way too many people had to die!
the Israeli women who are also losing their sons and
When Ahmed was shot by the Israeli soldiers I thought
their children that it is now time to put an end to this
it’s more important to find a solution for this situation
than to take revenge. When I decided to donate his
This is why I reached out to the enemy and made
organs to people no matter where they came from or
peace with them.
what religion they belonged to, I really hoped that Ahmed would be the last victim in this conflict. At
least among the kids. I wanted to send out this mes-
What was the reaction on both sides? How did they take it?
sage to make Ahmed the last victim in this conflict. Ismael Khatib: You mean in the different communiUlrike Reinhard:
ties, in the Israeli and Palestinian?
You were very active in the fight against Israel and have already been imprisoned several times. Ismael, why did you
change your mind and why did you take this decision in a
totally opposite direction. NOT taking revenge but reaching out your hand to the enemy and giving them life is a comple-
Ismael Khatib: During these last sixty years there were
tely different way of thinking …
times of good relations between Israelis and Palestinians. Probably because a lot of Palestinians were
working in Israel, and had a lot of Israeli friends. I wor-
ported my decision. He wrote several letters to me
ked as a car mechanic in Israel. I had a lot of Israeli
that I am not going to donate to the Israelis, I will do-
friends and also customers. And this was true for
nate them to people, to humanity.
many Palestinians. We were even invited to celebrate
What I see is that all of us are humans and WE are the
with them and we invited them too. But this became
sons of Abraham, we and the Israelis. WE feel the
so much more complicated in with the First Inti-
same – but the politicians are always trying to sepa-
fada. We can really say that our relations went com-
rate us, to provoke us and they always keep the fire
pletely downhill – we were almost disconnected. But
burning. They don’t see us as “equals”. But WE are.
I still have Israeli friends. And I have made new ones,
And this is what I am living for now.
not only with the families who received Ahmed’s or-
This has nothing to do with what the politicians and
gans, but also with different people throughout the
military people want and do.
It’s the very reverse of that …
There is a huge and very important difference between those who command this terrible occupation
and the Israeli people who want to live in peace just as
Ismael, when you now see what’s going on in Tunisia, in
much as we do. I know that.
Egypt, and to some extent in Jordan, that people really go
So what I can say about the feedback to my decision
into the streets and drive change – can this be a role model
is that far more than people from both sides, both
for your own activities? Could you think about starting
Palestinians and Israelis, contacted me as a key per-
something even bigger? Do you see anything in Palestine like
son, wanting to contribute and help to support fin-
this? The people standing up together against politicians?
ding a solution to finally put an end to this conflict in a peaceful and permanent way.
Ismael Khatib: This is what I am trying to do everywhere I go. I talk to people. I am an ambassador of
this WE. WE as people have to walk together and put
It always seems that even though there is a “WE” among
pressure on the politicians to change the situation.
the people, on a political level there is no “WE” at all. So,
Israelis and Palestinians but also the international
couldn’t your example be something like a role model for
community. Peace can only come from those people
who aren’t in high places, people who are down at the grassroots level. It can’t come from those in high places.
Ismael Khatib: In the Israeli community, the people themselves, they don’t play any big role in making
peace because the Israeli community is controlled by
What does it take to get such a movement started?
the military. The military, they don’t believe in “WE”,
What does it really take before the people stand up, go onto
they believe much more in “I”. If they weren’t con-
the streets and really demand it?
trolled and steered by the military, if WE the people could have a say – WE would have solved the problem
Ismael Khatib: I believe we still need a lot of effort.
a long time ago. We would be living in peace!
Our movement – if I can call it a movement at all – is
We need people in Israel who believe in peace, who
still in its infancy. There is a long way to go. And it
believe in WE. Who believe in WE as human beings.
needs a lot of energy and strength. Many people from
Then peace would be an easy step to make.
all over the world need to participate and get invol-
The Palestinians support my decision. President
ved. years ago there were only a few hundred
Mahmud Abbas personally called me and supports
people engaged in the peace process. Today there are
me everywhere I go. So do the other ministers and
thousands … and hopefully in a few years there will
ambassadors of Palestine. Most Palestinians are pacific
people – we love peace and we love the idea of a free
Today in Germany maybe one million people are
sovereign Palestinian state – with Israel as a fair
aware of our conflict. Maybe a few more. But this is
neighbor. Even Zacharias Sbadi, the former chief of
not enough. We need more. Many more people have
the Al Aqsa Brigade who figured at the top of the Is-
to believe in peace and act to bring it about! Freedom
raeli military’s liquidation list believed in WE and sup-
needs a lot of strength and persistence. Many people
still don’t know much or anything at all about Pale-
That’s why I started my centre and that’s why I am still
stine and our conflict. I’ve met people all over Europe
involved in the Cinema Jenin project. I want people to
who thought Palestine was Afghanistan! With my en-
live and breathe a culture of peace.
gagement and with my initiative I spread the word
It all needs time though. It’s a very slow process. We
and raised awareness. On my tours I tell the world
have to change people’s minds and their behavior. We
about the occupation and about my solution – and in
can now see the very first positive results from our
doing so the movie “Heart of Jenin” helps me a lot. So
work. The cinema brought together two families who
I do think I’m making an impact and helping achieve
used to consider themselves enemies. Yael from Haifa
a solution. Even though the Israelis don’t always like
who lost her husband in a suicide bombing and the
it and sometimes make it difficult for me to travel.
family of the suicide bomber became friends. They
But I am sure that the number of people who want
came together and now they are good friends. And
peace will grow. I’ll give you an example. Peace Now,
this is part of the peace culture which we are teaching.
which is an Israeli peace movement, started with less than one hundred followers. Now they are thousands.
And it’s like that everywhere. Revolutions are happe-
Do you think there are many people out there who share
ning everywhere. So the fact that there are peaceful
this kind of understanding?
revolutions in the Arab world will show the world that the Arab peoples want peace! We need a lot of people
Ismael Khatib: No, not yet. To be very honest, even
to contribute and this takes time. It’s a process. We
here in Jenin – where all this happened – they don’t.
need everyone who is interested in peace to partici-
We are facing a lot of difficulties from those still in
pate in some kind of peace initiative.
power, from the authorities. In all kinds of ways they prevent us from going forward in teaching peace cul-
ture. They are fighting us.
In the beginning you said that the kids are the leaders of our
We had to stop some programs with the Israelis. We
future. I think education is crucial to this whole process. The
didn’t want to lose the community so we stopped
kids on both sides seem to grow up in an environment where
them. There are still many among us who are NOT
they get told that the other side is the enemy. They are raised
interested in peace, who have the power to suppress
in hate. How can they ever become peaceful leaders?
initiatives like ours, people who are simply corrupt.
If we numb them by hammering hatred and fear into their
They are very influential, much more influential than
minds, if governments and media build up a world of distrust
and fear … how can we ever convince these kids that they have a chance to make change happen?
Ulrike Reinhard: Ismael, thank you so very much!
Ismael Khatib: I agree with you one hundred percent. The last sixty years of teaching and educating kids – and even adults – about the very worst aspects of the enemy on the other side, this will not lead to anything. It will just keep this conflict running and running and running. I believe that there need to be schools and peace centers in Palestine and Israel which teach something we could call a “peace culture”. If we start this now – and I already started my cultural institution two years ago – we need maybe ten more years before we can roll out a real peace process. This is what I am doing. I can’t influence the politicians – at least not all of them – to build schools which teach a culture of peace …
Great Web Sites For Leadership
Wikipedia: Leadership LeaderTalk began in February http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Leadership http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Talk:Leadership
as the first group blog by school leaders for school become “the place to go”
Please dive into the discussion
for insightful, thoughtful,
and talk sections as well!
reflective commentary about
and Enterprise .
leaders. Since then it has
what it means to be a P- administrator today. LeaderTalk expresses the voice of
the administrator, a voice that
Imagining the Future
era of school reform.
It is a vibrant online commu-
Open Leadership could be the
nity of superintendents, prin-
catalyst for positive changes
cipals, educational leadership
that workplace visionaries
professors, and central office
have long dreamed of. But to
break through everyday orga-
often goes unheard in this
Harvard Business Review –
nisational inertia there is a key
A six-week blog series on
ingredient that is still missing:
how leadership might look
ongoing practices in organisa-
in the future.
tional awareness and reframing
that can undo the cycles of
The MIT Center for
smart and well-meaning
people create in their work-
defensive behaviour that even
places. This article gives some http://ebusiness.mit.edu/
great links and examples on open leadership.
The MIT Center for Digital Business was founded in . Their mission is to be the l eading source of innovation, knowledge creation, dissemination and utilization, in management theory and practice for Digital Business.
Knowing vs. Learning http://www.businessweek.com/ managing/content/jan/ca _.htm
International Youth Leadership Network
Perhaps the three most important words in a leader’s voca-
bulary are “I don’t know.” These words, followed by an empowering phrase such as
The International Youth
“but let’s figure it out,” are
Leadership Network is an
the keys to the innovation
online forum is a full-featured
castle. Fearless humility expo-
social network designed to
ses possibilities. Great leaders
foster interaction and long-
understand that when you
lasting connections between
are afraid to expose your
young leaders passionate
own fear, ignorance, or blind
about the change and diffe-
spots, you are shutting out
rence they can bring about to
the very people – members of
this world. The IYLN brings
your team – who could help
together young people inter-
you make inspired connections
ested in unique capacity buil-
that spur innovation.
ding programs that strengthen their leadership potential, as well as professionals interested
Fast Company – A letter
in mentoring these future
from the founding editors.
Just check the date ;-)
Yes, May , !
Ten Fatal Flaws That Derail Leaders http://hbr.org///ten-fatal-flawsthat-derail-leaders/sb
Harvard Business Review –
Deep Democracy Institute http://www.deepdemocracyinstitute.org/
The Ten biggest mistakes of Leadership.
The Deep Democracy Institute was created in . It is a think tank that researches the various spoken and unspoken issues on on our globe for developing multidimensional leadership, that thinks right and feels right.
Rien ne va plus! So Let’s Start A New Game! A conversation between Peter Kruse and Thomas Sattelberger
Peter Kruse and Thomas Sattelberger met in July 2010 in Bonn for a three hour conversation on how the internet and the speed and scale of its complexity is challenging a huge company like Deutsche Telekom AG. Sattelberger described the change as “a dramatic transformation. While change used to be incremental or step-by-step, change is now something whose intensity and complexity we have no way of anticipating. There’s no textbook or manual you can read to prepare yourself for it.” He agreed with Kruse that network organizations are much more “elastic” in absorbing the pressure for change and scale and much more “responsive” due to the multiplicity of perspectives they contain.
# enterprise ., push culture, pull culture, entrepreneurship, business models, hierarchy, networks, corporate culture, competition, self-organization, “level three” leadership, reflection, blog, network, Deutsche Telekom, Nextpractice, change, tit for tat, openess > related articles: Don Tapscott (p. ), John Hagel III (p. ), Martin Spilker (p. ), Hermann Demmel (p. ),
Peter Kruse ... is managing partner of nextpractice GmbH and honorary professor for general and organizational psychology at the University of Bremen. The main focus of his work is on the development of new methods for the promotion and use of collective intelligence and the professionalization of entrepreneurship as a means of building a stabilizing form of culture.
Thomas Sattelberger ... born in 1949, Thomas Sattelberger has been executive director for human resources at Deutsche Telekom AG since 2007. His previous engagements were with Continental AG, Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Daimler Benz AG. His main interests are in strategic planning for human resources, global talent management and international labor costs management.
Sattelberger: Yes indeed. We talk about Enterprise .
When push and pull-strategies collide, is this the point where
from two quite different perspectives. On the one
the downside of Enterprise 2.0/Web 2.0 becomes tangible?
hand we talk about Enterprise . in terms of the old corporate logic like availability, control, directives and
Sattelberger: When it comes to Enterprise . I’m al-
performance management, and on the other about
ways worried about whether people are exploiting
Enterprise . as a pull culture – to elaborate on your
themselves. The unconditional way they devote them-
term – as a kind of laid-back entrepreneurship that’s
selves to a particular issue or to the network itself. I
young, cool, edgy, back to nature and individualistic.
have to ask myself how I can avoid becoming autistic
These are two completely different worlds which we
and how I can achieve a proper work-life-balance. And
need to address very seriously as Deutsche Telekom.
how I can build a suitable framework for the em-
Because there’s no doubt in my mind that here we are
ployees here at Deutsche Telekom. The network
facing a potential downside of Web ..
model comes most starkly to the forefront in start-up corporate cultures and their dedication to / avai-
Kruse: If you live in a corporate culture which is more
lability. In a major corporation like ours we also need
in line with the old logic than the technical opportu-
to ask how individual staff members are coping with
nities Web . offers, you really expose it to the dan-
the issue. Can a company dispose of its employees just
ger of misuse. That’s true enough. And I’m ever so
as it pleases – anytime, anywhere? I don’t think so. For
slightly anxious about this because in doing so you
instance, we have introduced an email policy that
run the danger of destroying the positive aspects. And
explicitly states that employees have the right NOT to
that’s exactly the point where the exploitation criti-
respond to emails over the weekend.
que kicks in. This means that it’s important and abso-
Kruse: And this leads us on to a really fascinating
their weight in shaping and steering the transition
point. We need to distinguish between two forms of
from a push culture to an aspirational, inspirational cul-
culture that are fundamentally different. On the one
ture of pull.
lutely essential for leaders and managers to simply pull
hand we’re talking about a push culture in which everything, as it were, has its own hierarchical order
and beat. And obviously / availability is an affront
How would you rate the risk that “open knowledge” turns
to any company whose culture is based on target
people into motivated day laborers handing on their
agreements, control structures, and a primary focus
on management and regulation. Employees are subject to relentless pressure which they have no means
Kruse: There’s no risk at all. From the moment I feed
of avoiding. So when a company introduces a push
intellectual capital into a network I – as an individual –
culture to operate new media, the outlook becomes
become and remain attractive for this particular
very bleak for the people who work there. Because
network. And whenever you’re attractive within a net-
self-motivation is then indirectly turned into self-ex-
work, whenever you add value to the network, you
ploitation – controlled, as it were, from top-down.
will get something back. That’s just the way networks function. Sattelberger: Does this apply to companies as well? Kruse: Yes. And with it we quickly come to the point where we have to discuss applicable business models and how to allocate the capital gained. Sattelberger: OK, the question of value and countervalue. There too I think that initial enthusiasm ...
Kruse: … can pretty soon have the dampers put on it.
Sattelberger: Enterprise . deals with hierarchies and power, informality and relationships, collaboration
and openness. In my opinion these are all key values
Kruse: That’s right! But even so, there are still certain
their full potential in today’s business world. What
basic rules in the network which can prevent this hap-
we’re seeing now is only their first budding.
in this “new” corporate culture which haven’t reached
pening. One of them, for instance is “tit for tat”. This means that if my trust has once been misused in the
Kruse: Basically this “new” type of corporate culture
network, then I will withdraw from that network. This
needs to nurture two drivers. Firstly, it needs to pro-
is the highest damage I can inflict on it – no matter if
vide space to manage creative processes, to share
I act as an individual or a company. An almost allergic
knowledge and thus extract the maximum amount of
creativity from the system that’s possible this side of self-exploitation.
Sattelberger: Which shows that work with and in
And secondly, it must address the fact that we’re not
the network is really work that carries a great deal of
going to get one step further with purely competitive
models. In the next few years we’re going to see totally new forms of cooperation between companies,
Kruse: Carries dignity and confers it on both sides. In
new forms of both horizontal and vertical coopera-
a network you really have to be very straight forward
tion. Cooperation has taken on a new dimension of
and very open, and you simply have to bear in mind
meaning for companies, and they are now investig-
that withdrawal from a network really is a hard hitting
ating new ways of vertical and horizontal working
penalty. Normally you’d always ask yourself where
your power in the network comes from. The powerful
To give you an example, integration between manu-
person in a network is the one who feeds in, who adds
facturers and suppliers is now being completely re-
value, who creates benefits, it’s usually not the per-
engineered. Beforehand the model was that buying
son with the money.
from suppliers put the manufacturer under pressure
In networks the people with the real power are the
and that you extracted maximum added value through
consumers and customers – it’s no longer providers
the negotiation of good prices. Nowadays this is no
of goods and services. And the same is true in com-
longer enough. Nowadays we are in a situation where
panies. In the next few years we’ll most likely see that
people realize that they have to work together to
employees will become a lot more aware of the power
open up new markets. And this realization all of a sud-
they hold. Power is no longer structured in hierarchies
den is breaking down company boundaries. Compa-
from the top down; it’s something that employees
nies are ready to collaborate in a totally new and
want to share in too. And if the company doesn’t let
highly dynamic way.
them participate or fails to nurture the right kind of environment – well, their names might still be on the
Sattelberger: But then what we’re basically speaking
payroll but they are blocking out company ideas. And
about is that the way in which we shape competition
who’s going to pick up the bill for the damage? At the
has developed from monopolistic types of competi-
end of the day it will be the company itself.
tion – swallowing competitors as we’ve seen in the recent waves of mergers and acquisitions – into a
highly cooperative type of competition of the sort we
This seems to turn corporate culture into a key strategic
see with strategic alliances and networks.
issue for the company ... Kruse: Yes. I think that’s exactly the kind of direction Kruse: It sure does! Strategically speaking, creating
it’s taking. New technologies are a vital factor in drasti-
and building such a corporate culture is absolutely
cally reducing the costs of cooperation. We now have
crucial because it has been elevated to a new level of
the technological opportunities to drive this kind of
importance by the advent of networks.
cooperation forward. Beforehand, it used to be much more cost intensive and so it was always much chea-
per to stay securely within company boundaries. In
Kruse: On this level of principles and values a leader
other words, cooperation is set to be a key competi-
– or actually anybody in the system – has to be aware
tive factor – however absurd this may sound at first
of the fact, that it’s increasingly important that you
yourself become your own role model – that you walk the talk, as it were. People will no longer assess you
by your operational side, they’ll rather tend to eva-
Does this “new” corporate culture demand new management
luate you on your values-based side. Are you acting
structures and leadership?
and leading according to your values? This is a tremendous upgrading of the importance of the role
Sattelberger: (laughing) That’s a very difficult ques-
model function within the concept of leadership.
tion to ask of someone like me with my patriarchal
Competence in some field of expertise no longer
style of leadership! But seriously it’s a very important
stands alone as a quality for leadership; in future what
issue and I do worry about it! How should I change
will carry clout are role models on the values level.
myself? What should the frameset look like for my
And this could certainly lead to the situation in which
employees? Where are the boundaries?
an employee much further down the hierarchy has in fact a lot more to say than me, the leader at the top ...
Kruse: When I talk about self-organization, new management structures and leadership, I often hear criti-
Sattelberger: … and in order to achieve this, we ma-
cisms to the effect that I’m moving too much on the
nagers have to become actors within the network.
level of general principles and not going into sufficient detail – that I’m not sufficiently specific. Even so,
Kruse: (laughing) I’m pleased to hear you say that!
I still think that as soon as you start to reflect on these
This is the central point. It’s crucial! What you really
issues you have to elevate the form of leadership into
have to do is to dive into the networks, “swim” in it as
a higher form of abstraction. You are working on buil-
if it were the most natural thing in the world and sim-
ding the frameset. You no longer have, so to speak, the
ply become part of it. You as one among many others.
opportunity to delve into all the operational details
That’s the only way of finding out which directions the
because that’s an area in which you really have to pro-
various currents are taking, and it’s the only way of
vide maximum room for maneuver and development.
getting network feedback to the impulses you feed in.
The question that needs to be asked here is how can I create this framework and have it accepted by all the
Sattelberger: As a manager I lead an election cam-
stakeholders in a company? And here we are up on
paign for the hearts and minds of other network par-
the values level.
Which is often a difficult level to deal with. I totally
Kruse: Yes, you’ve got to keep pitching for reputation
agree with you because basically it’s leadership on a
metalevel – “level three” leadership above commandand-control and also above performance contracting.
Sattelberger: Even though as a member of the exe-
And this level isn’t more simple, it’s more complicated.
cutive board you wield power through your function
What I’m increasingly concerned with are questions
nowadays it’s becoming increasingly obvious that
like does my style of leadership allow my association,
managers can’t survive when they aren’t accepted by
the social organism, to remain intact? So that my ex-
their people. When they lose the assent of their
pertise stays there and feels at home. How diversified
people, they become hollow shells, empty vessels with
must a system become to be responsive to outside in-
no heart and soul in the network. This is something
fluences? But also to what extent does the strength of
we mangers have to recognize and accept.
the system depend on the integrity of its players? I can see from my own experience that I now take much longer periods of reflection in my interactions with people. And that outcomes are often much more open than they used to be.
we_magazine: How do you yourself operate in these networks?
we_magazine: How far would you subscribe to the idea that corporate culture – or communication to the inside – is only the flipside of
Sattelberger: I am clearly dependent on help from
brand communication or communication to the outside? And
other people. Producing something unique like a blog
that the more a company masters this synchronization, the
post requires a great deal of energy. People help me
better a market player it will be.
– for instance by researching the hard facts. In that way I can produce something in minutes which
Sattelberger: Pressure to synchronize is clearly in-
otherwise would take me twice the time. Every now
creasing. Organizations are diversified and have many
and then when it’s a particularly “hot” topic, I make a
voices. But you have to hear the melody when the
personal intervention and give the subject my perso-
choir sings. And the melody clearly refers to the values
of a company while the voices are more brand-related.
Take, for instance, my blog post on women’s quotas in
Kruse: Actually it’s always been the case that brands
the company where I intervened on two particular
don’t belong to the company but rather to the dis-
points. Although – you’re always better off with the
course between company customers. Only now –
benefit of hindsight – my intervention should have
driven by social media – this fact has become startlin-
been a lot more “personal” in nature. I was too „stick
gly obvious for the first time. And the contradictions
to the rules“, too “statesman-like”. I think in networks
are becoming steadily more visible too: everybody can
you have to be much more direct, crystal clear and au-
spot them straight away.
thentic than in traditional types of communication whose style is often colored by propaganda and too
Sattelberger: This means that at some point the theme
hifaluting – which simply puts people off. So here too
of Enterprise . will also be reflected in a higher
I am facing another challenge: I have to find MY way
brand authenticity and – hopefully – a brand identity
in terms of how I comment and argue.
with fewer contradictions.
Kruse: I think so too. You have to be to the point and
Kruse: You can actually take this idea a very long way.
quick off the mark. If you are authentic, you can be
If company employees become participants in the
quick on the draw because all that PR-polishing isn’t
discourse on the brand, then they really do become
needed any more.
brand ambassadors – as we used to say about company field reps. Nowadays it’s not the field reps who
are brand ambassadors, it’s all the company staff. The
And then there’s also the question of how much time
entire company! And so straight away there’s the
I spend networking. At the moment I’m none too sure
question: how should we react when individual em-
how much time I can allow myself. I do feel that the
ployees post a comment on a company or a brand and
network is a place I should be in order to respond
suddenly trigger an avalanche?
spontaneously, quickly, directly and authentically – and to keep in touch with what’s going on. So I need
Sattelberger: Would you advise taking disciplinary
to rethink the way my work is organized. And that’s
action against them?
another true challenge. “Networking time” doesn’t yet figure on the agenda of a board member at Deutsche
Kruse: Certainly not! But you’ve got to be clear about
exactly what you’re doing when you open the floodgates and the waters start to gush. Because there’s no certain outcome as to how things are going to develop. And once you’ve released water, it flows ...
Sattelberger: That’s also something I worry about –
Kruse: Thank you. That is a key statement I can im-
just how much the floodgates should be opened? You
mediately subscribe to. The fact that we are intensi-
can’t open them just a bit! When they’re open, they’re
fying our work with this network on the outside
completely open, not just slightly ajar ...
constrains us to adopt this network culture on the inside. Traditional internal power structures have sim-
Kruse: … that’s the way it is! Difficult to control!
ply begun to totter. And this means that the issue of power is one that we’re going to spend a lot of time
Sattelberger: … sure! When management and staff
on over the next few years. Don’t you agree?
operate within the same network, when all the various departments in a company do so, when all these day-
Sattelberger: A rather flippant remark has just come
to-day cultural interactions bear fruit, the risks of the
to mind which says – most things in life are to do with
floodgates opening is tremendously reduced. So even
sex and love, money ... and power, the basic forces
when someone “sends up a rocket” the majority of
and motivations that drive people. The really inter-
people will raise their voices and say we don’t see it
esting question is whether in fact the Web can work
that way at all.
against this human genetic wiring – whether the Web can induce large-scale, long-term change in power
Kruse: Yes, this is an experience you can really make.
structures? Has the network really got the power to
When a company has a resonant baseline, so to speak,
tame – or to put it more elegantly – to sublimate basic
discourse will not turn into scandal – it will always
start to balance itself out. This is simply the way networks function.
Kruse: What we are now involved in is nothing less
Let me highlight another benefit companies can
done or – on an even broader basis – how nations
achieve when they and their employees become part
should be governed. It’s a complete reversal of what
than re-writing the story of how business should be
of the network. They gain a certain understanding of
we’ve known so far! Today, however, we are dealing
the social dynamics in their environment that can be
with a situation where consumers, customers and
highly profitable and beneficial to the company. When
citizens sometimes wield more power than companies
we have company staff engaging with these dynamics,
and governments themselves.
we have people who are very close to the brand.
And at least I’ve learned that when we change the
People who simply know what’s happening with the
rules in a system, we pretty much start a new game.
brand. Many retail companies are really proud to see
And if you ask me how the game will end, I’d just say –
their employees becoming something like highly desir-
let’s first start to play it! Even so, with regard to com-
able and sought-after network partners for their custo-
panies I’m already pretty certain that if they don’t
mers. Customers make special efforts to engage with
change their rules they’re going to have long-term
particular staff members endowed with a particular
problems in the globally networked markets we now
expertise in the network – quite independently of
where these people stand in the organizational structure. This is very well worthwhile developing because it offers a different kind of representation. A representation which strengthens ties to the customer. Sattelberger: Once again, this underlines the increasing importance of values in corporate culture. Brand ambassadors can turn into brand renegades. And when that happens big time, it’s pretty dangerous. It creates a kind of whirlpool effect. The more people are active in the network, the more we managers are forced to promote internet democracy and set the frame!
Fotocredits: Stephen Denning: Michael G. Stewart / Luis Suarez: Andy Piper, Joan Guerrero, Lars Plougmann
Traditional Management Stopped Working! A conversation between Luis Suarez and Stephen Denning
I am really pleased to have this conversation in we-magazine. It started out with a brief Twitter chat between me, Ulrike Reinhard, and Luis in which I asked him if he would be willing to contribute to our leadership issue. “Sure”, he said ;-) Lucky us! The idea was to get Luis interviewing/talking to some “leadership” insider. So we contacted Stephen Denning, who immediately agreed to join the conversation. It went on for almost 4 weeks on piratepad: asking, answering, discussing, expanding. For me – and I think for our readers as well – it offers some great insights on why traditional management doesn’t work anymore …
# leader’s guide to radical management: re-invent the workplace for the st century, -CEO-READ, World Bank, Telcos, Social computing, social software, BlueIQTeam, KM, knowledge management, ditch corporate email, social software tools, new localism, sustainable economy, global marketplace, new kind of leadership, human, delighting your clients, social CRM, SCRM, CRM, co-creation, enterprise . > related articles: John Hagel III (p. ), J.P. Rangaswami (p. ), Lee Byrant (p. ), Hermann Demmel (p. ),
Stephen Denning ... is the author of some award-winning books. His most recent work, The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management: Re-inventing the Workplace for the 21st Century was selected by 800-CEO-READ as one of the best five books on management in 2010. From 1996 to 2000, Steve was the Program Director, Knowledge Management at the World Bank where he spearheaded the World Bank’s award-winning knowledge sharing program. In November 2000, he was selected as one of the world’s ten Most Admired Knowledge Leaders (Teleos). Steve now works with organizations in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia on leadership, innovation, business narrative and most recently, radical management.
Luis Suarez ... has been working at IBM for 14 years. In that time he’s specialised in the fields of Knowledge Management, Collaboration, Community Building and for the last 9 years in Social Computing (Enterprise 2.0) and Social Software. He is currently working within the BlueIQ team, at IBM Software, as a KMer, Community Builder and Social Computing Evangelist, helping accelerate the take-up of social software both inside and outside the firewall. In his spare time, he has been running a rather successful experiment to ditch corporate email and rely more heavily on social software tools. It was featured in the New York Times.
Luis Suarez: Steve, in your book you mention the con-
Stephen Denning: The new localism is a wonderful
cept of “new localism” as perhaps an opportunity to
thing, so far as it goes. But it’s romantic and unreali-
help shape the leadership of the st century, in a
stic to think that it can replace the global economy.
world that is rather distributed, global and virtual.
It’s a question of scale.
How do you envision the role of leadership as the key balance that would need to happen between that new
Luis Suarez: I agree and I am not saying that it is going
localism and our global culture / economy? Do you
to replace globalisation, by far (Although I wish it
think that both local and global leaders could co-exist
would eventually ;-)). But what I think it’s going to do
in a sustainable manner by taking their clients to a
is to help us understand how globalisation needs to
smarten up on how certain business processes and modus operandi work. With simple things like why do
Stephen Denning: I refer to “the new localism” in
I have to purchase apples grown in Italy when on my
which a number of books have been written about the
own island they are grown in an amazing quality and
possibility of returning to a more local approach to
are cheaper to the consumer. Plus the new localism of
work in order to combat the malfunctions of the mo-
buying from folks who “know” you. However, there
dern workplace. Books such as The Craftsman by Ri-
are some aspects of globalisation, like purchases of
chard Sennett, Deep Economy by Bill McKibben and
electronics, that will remain global. I think it’s going to
Shop Class as Soulcraft, by Matthew Crawford. For
be a combination of the two that will help us intro-
these writers, the solution to big business is small
duce the concept of a sustainable economy, because
business. Yet my conclusion is that these calls for a re-
so far the global one alone has only got us into trou-
turn to a local approach to work are romantic but un-
ble. Like I said, I am not saying it’s negative, just say-
realistic. There is no way that the local store is going
ing it needs to become smarter, and closer to the
to be able to produce a flat-screen television. So long
as people want flat-screen televisions or their equivalent, globalization is here to stay. As a general econo-
Stephen Denning: I agree that the new localism can
mic theory, the new localism may be nutty, but I also
help us achieve insights in the global marketplace. It’s
point to the grain of truth within it: the importance of
important however to draw the RIGHT lesson, which is
a clear line of sight from those doing the work to
not, “Let’s do everything locally!”. The right lesson is:
those for whom the work is intended, and the possi-
“Let’s delight our clients the way local firms do!”
bility of focusing work on delighting those people as a way of relieving the threat to the human spirit posed
Luis Suarez: One of the things that surprised me tre-
by boring, meaningless labor.
mendously in your book is how powerfully it advocates a new kind of leadership/management where,
Luis Suarez: That’s a very good point, Steve, and I
above all other values and traits, the main characteristic
wholeheartedly agree that globalisation is here to
demanded from this new kind of leadership is being
stay. However, I would like to point out that there may
human. Is the business world humanising the enter-
be smarter ways of remaining global, but with local
prise? What role do you think social computing will
execution; starting with small things like transport of
play in helping accelerate this transformation and ma-
goods, mainly food supplies, for instance. I wouldn’t
king us all more human, touching on those insights
say that it could replace globalisation, but it can cer-
you shared in some of the stories about the benefits
tainly help it to become smarter in its execution so
from this new localism?
that resources are utilised more wisely. I think that aspect of sustainable economy is going to become rat-
Stephen Denning: I agree that this is mainly about a
her important for businesses to survive and also as
shift from a focus on things to a focus on people. In re-
an indication of how they too can become more
trospect, we can see that the th century was a gi-
human, as you hinted above. I think that new localism,
gantic experiment to see how far we could get by
as romantic and unrealistic as it may sound, will help
focusing on people as things. Much was achieved. The
globalisation wake up and smarten up on how it exe-
standard of living in rich countries increased by a
cutes across the globe.
factor of fifty in the course of the century. But by the
end of the century the experiment had come unstuck.
Stephen Denning: I hope all of them learn and
Both customers and employees had come to resent
change, rather than die. I am doing my best to achieve
being manipulated as things. So organizations started
that. However realistically, not all will survive. The
becoming less and less productive. By contrast, firms
death rate is accelerating. The life expectancy of a firm
that treated their employees and customers as people
in the Fortune is down from around years half
were able to delight their customers and began put-
a century ago to currently under years, and hea-
ting the thing-driven bureaucracies out of business.
ding towards years, if things continue as now.
We’re still in the early stages of the transition, but you can already see the impact in terms of the perfor-
Luis Suarez: That’s also another very good point and
mance of old stalwarts like GE and Walmart, compa-
it seems to come pretty close to the perception of how
red to Apple and Amazon.
businesses penetrate markets in the millions; the typical example of how radio, TV, cinema, then Face-
Luis Suarez: These are some very good points, Steve.
book, iPhones and its Apps have reached millions in a
I see that same transition you mention from a focus
much shorter period of time seems to reflect how
on things to a focus on people as the transition from
much shorter they stick around in the markets, if they
a labour based economy into a knowledge based one.
are not capable of adapting themselves to the new
The so-called knowledge economy of the st century
laws of how markets operate.
surely makes perfect sense when you think about how crucial and critical the role of knowledge will become.
I find it rather interesting to see all of this, working myself for a company that on June th this year will be marking its th anniversary. I myself have been
However, how do you envision that leaders of labour
working there for aslong as that average of years
based companies will be making that transition into
for most of the Fortune . Flexibility and adaptability
knowledge based ones, where they need to empower
to the markets is surely going to remain a key aspect
their employees to take plenty more responsibility, if
of how businesses want to prevail over the course of
they are not willing to let go of control and still think
they can rule through command and control? What steps do leaders need to embark on in order to help
But let me ask the next question Steve: I was wonde-
that transition be as smooth as possible? Or do you
ring whether you feel our current leadership will be ca-
think it will be done rather disruptively, in a semi re-
pable of transforming themselves into becoming more
human, and therefore more sustainable both within the corporate world and our society. Or rather do we
Stephen Denning: I spell out in the book how various
have to wait for a new generation to make that happen?
companies have made the transition. None has done
Do you envision our current leadership giving up their
it “disruptively, in a semi-revolutionary fashion.” In-
control, power and greed that easily? How much is re-
stead, the revolution happens through economic for-
ally at stake to provoke that radical management shift?
ces: if the firm doesn’t delight the client, the firm goes out of business.
Stephen Denning: I believe that the change will happen inexorably because it is driven by the economics.
Luis Suarez: I am glad to see that they haven’t revolu-
The new organizations will put the old ones out of
tionalised the way they work, but are rather preparing
business. In this re- spect, the creative destruction of
themselves for a natural path of evolution into what
capitalism really does work. For these old-school ma-
they want to be in the st century. Alas, we have to
nagers and organizations, the writing is on the wall:
recognise as well that not all businesses out there will
change or die. In the arena of health care, we have
make that transition. Like you said, they will probably
seen that people faced with the choice of behavioral
cease to exist. I just hope their number doesn’t exceed
change or death, often choose death. So some mana-
the number of those which evolve. Or perhaps it
gers will cling to the current ways of acting until they
are forced out of their jobs and out of business. Others will embrace the change and move into the fu-
ture. It’s hard to say now what the proportions will be.
As to Social CRM, the name is a horrible leftover from
Obviously, I am doing my best to persuade these ma-
the th Century. CRM implies manipulating the cus-
nagers that change is a better choice than death. Only
tomer and manufacturing demand – the very oppo-
time will tell how many respond.
site of what I am talking about. Social CRM is not much better. As one site at http://mashable.com/ /
Luis Suarez: These are some rather interesting insights
//social-crm/ puts it: “As mentioned above, I don’t
and I sure hope they will make that change and shift
necessarily agree that Social CRM is the best name for
gears. However, we all know that most businesses
this kind of process because CRM has typically enabled
today still self-regulate themselves based on profit
one-way conversations with customers, with a dis-
share, growth and generating more revenue. So I
proportionate focus on technology. The name CRM
think as long as businesses keep up with these goals
stands for “customer relationship management,” which
it will be a challenge for them to shift. I wonder whet-
is a misnomer because the company no longer controls
her the real key element to make it work will be what
or manages the relationship – the customer does.”
you mentioned in your book as “delighting your
Social media can be a wonderful thing if it is people
clients”, which is certainly a whole lot more than just
talking to people about real experiences. Once you
“good enough”. Do you think that customers will use
are talking about “managing the customer relation-
this unique opportunity to shape up the leadership of
ship”, you are into something entirely different and
the corporate world and push the mantra of being de-
lighted and move away from the “good enough”? If so, what repercussions would that provoke in the busi-
Luis Suarez: I was recently at a webinar event with
ness world? Will itt be the birth of a new CRM, what
Paul Greenberg, the coiner and father of SCRM and his
some folks have claimed as social CRM shaping up the
arguments were more along the lines of instead of
next generation of leaders?
“managing the customer relationship” it would be all about “facilitating the customer relationship”; on hel-
Stephen Denning: As you might say, “these are some
ping the customer be at the center of the whole equa-
rather interesting insights.”
tion and to listening to what the customer have to say
However it’s actually pretty simple.
about one’s products. I think social tools have
Firms that don’t delight their clients will go out of
changed that perspective of CRM, since most of the
customers are already interacting amongst themsel-
Punto. End of story.
ves and out of the control of their vendors. Therefore SCRM, in a way, has got a lot more to do with enga-
Luis Suarez: Not sure that I agree with you. To give
ging customers on that process of co-creation.
you an example ... in various countries there are some businesses who still take advantage of the monopoly
I am not sure it’s a legacy from the th century. I
they have enjoyed over the decades and their pledge
think it’s more an attempt to make CRMs more social,
of delighting the clients is almost non-existent. In fact,
human, engaged and purposeful. More in line with
quite the opposite. Yet, quarter after quarter their re-
what the customer wants and not what the vendor.
venues grow big time. One example: most European Telecoms, specially in southern Europe. I think if they
Stephen Denning: If SCRM means putting the custo-
have a niche to exploit they will still be around, even
mer at the center of the relationship, then I’m all for it.
if they don’t delight their clients, like a bunch of Telecoms is doing already.
However if you plunk such a SCRM approach into a traditional organization, in which the customer is not
Stephen Denning: I am talking in terms of long term
at the center, and the management is focusing on
trends. It is of course possible for companies to find a
tweaking its value chain and achieving efficiencies
niche where there is no competition, and milk it for a
through economies of scale and so on, then the life
considerable period. But in the end, things catch up
expectancy of that SCRM approach won’t be very long.
It will be crushed by the traditional management.
What I am talking about in the book is not just adding
Stephen Denning: There are several different things
a new system or approach or gadget or process to a
going on here.
traditional organization, but rather changing the entire organization from top to bottom so that the
One is that traditional management is essentially a
customer is at the center. There is a temptation to
top-down authority-based way of operating. KM is
adopt something like SCRM because it sounds so un-
essentially a horizontal competence-based way of
threatening. You are able to sneak something into the
operating. When we were introducing KM some
organization on the basis that it’s no big deal. “Don’t
years ago, we all tended to assume that it would be
worry; boss, it’s just an evolution of CRM, which never
possible to operate oases of KM within a culture of
hurt anyone, right?” That’s an easier conversation to
traditional management. It turned that the traditional
have than to say, “Actually, boss, we need to transform
management culture tended to kill the oases of KM
the whole organization from top to bottom. Almost
and turn them into traditional management units. This
everything you are now doing has to change. Here’s
happened in all the famous programs in various ways,
why and here’s how other firms have done it and here
including IBM, Ernst & Young, McKinsey and so on.
are the potential benefitis.” It’s a more difficult con-
What we didn’t realize back then was that for KM to
versation. But eventually, that is the conversation that
flourish on a sustained basis, you had to change the
you will need to have.
culture of the whole organization. That’s what radical management is all about.
Luis Suarez: However there is one particular aspect that I find rather important and which I think is going
Toyota and BP are very different cases.
to shape the very same SRCM approach you describe above. Customers have smartened up; they know
Toyota was very different from traditional manage-
about each other; they talk to one another; they share
ment culture and in fact was an a forerunner of radical
insights on their experiences with vendors and they
management. Work was team-based and collabora-
have learned to demand to be delighted by vendors
tive. Knowledge was shared horizontally. The focus
based on the experiences of those very few firms
was on providing more value to the customer sooner,
who’ve already understood. As we move forward we
rather than growing the company. Nevertheless
will witness plenty more customers demanding not to
Toyota grew exponentially as a result, not as the goal.
just be part of the conversation, but to participate ac-
In the early s, a change came over the top ma-
tively in designing and developing the products. That
nagement and they started to focus on growing the
process of co-creation will help businesses finally to
company as the goal. This started to infect the colla-
understand how innovation happens; right from the
borative knowledge-based culture. The problems with
source of those who utilise their products.
sticky accelerator pedals and wandering floor mats are symptoms of this straying from the Toyota way. My
Let’s turn to knowledge management (KM). For a
take is that the Toyota has recognized the problem,
good number of years companies like Toyota and BP
changed the management and is getting back to the
have excelled for their impressive KM programs, which
authentic Toyota culture. In Toyota’s case, it is a mat-
were considered top-notch by the industry and which
ter of getting back to its roots. There is a lot of noise
have received various awards. Fast forward to . It
about recalls but historically Toyota has had fewer re-
now looks like those KM programs haven’t been that
calls than other companies. It’s quality record is still
successful in stopping the corporations from getting
among the best.
into trouble. Steve, where do you think they have gone wrong with their KM programs? How do you en-
BP is an example of the opposite. BP was always a tradi-
vision radical management will help them to get back
tional top-down command culture. KM was an effort
on track, keeping a strong focus on KM if possible?
to graft KM onto that culture. IT was a fine effort by
Can they get their act together once more in the KM
the KM team but in the end, the management gave
priority to financial results and growth over values and knowledge. So it wasn’t much of a surprise that when BP merged with Amoco, the KM unit was killed. Nor
was it much of a surprise to see the rash of accidents
radical management. What I would say is that radical
culminating in the Gulf oil spill. BP has one of the
management is emerging as a better way to run an or-
worst quality records in the oil business.
ganization – better for the organization, better for the
Toyota is a case of a knowledge based culture that ex-
gers and people doing the work. There is still quite a
customers and stakeholders and better for the manaperienced a brief deviation and is getting back on
bit of work to be done in converting the Fortune ,
track. BP is a case of a culture that is antipathetic to
governments, health and education systems to this
knowledge and has to begin again.
way of thinking.
Luis Suarez: How do you envision that new radical
The driving force behind the push towards radical ma-
leadership will revamp the st century KM programs?
nagement is not social media. The driving force is that
Will they have learned from past “mistakes” and do
traditional management doesn’t work. The rate of re-
KM properly this time? The reason why I am adding
turn on assets is a quarter of what it was in . The
this is because if we look at the original KM and how
life expectancy of a firm in the Fortune is down
it was envisioned and how Enterprise . was first put
from around years to less than years and decli-
together, there are hardly any differences. In a way
ning fast. Only one in five workers is fully engaged in
they seem to be walking similar paths and somehow
his or her work. This is a record of failure. As a result,
today’s leadership doesn’t seem to have learned from
another way has emerged.
past “mistakes”. So does KM need to reinvent itself to provide the next generation of Enterprise . colla-
Social media is a facilitator of the change, by exposing
boration and knowledge sharing strategies? Is that
the incapacity of traditional management to cope with
something that new radical leaders will need to pro-
social media. But by itself, social media is not the
voke to move into the so-called knowledge economy?
How much does it take KM to adapt to this new kind of leadership? To me, it looks like we are still repeating
Will radical management work any better than tra-
the same mistakes we did back then! How do we stop
ditional management? Stuart Slatter et al in Leading
Corporate Turnaround said “Characteristics of the appropriate remedy are that it must
It’s undeniable that social computing has a strong influence on how radical management is perceived
address the fundamental problems;
today in the corporate world. We’ve plenty of exam-
tackle the underlying causes (rather than the
ples where we can see the impact that social media has been having in nurturing a new kind of leadership. However, Steve, I was wondering if you could
symptoms) and •
be broad and deep enough in scope to resolve all the key issues.”
comment on whether you feel that radical management would have taken place without social compu-
I believe that radical management meets these criteria.
ting. If so, what shape or form would it have taken altogether? Could we still be talking about a new kind
It will depend however on how it is implemented. If it
of leadership coming along with radical manage-
is implemented by managers with a top-down thing-
oriented mindset, it won’t work, It’s not just a set of tools and practices. This is a fundamental shift in the
Stephen Denning: By social computing, I take it that
way people think and act in the workplace. When
you mean social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and
people make that shift, it works. It has to start with a
change of heart.
I think it’s an overstatement to say that radical ma-
Luis Suarez: I find it intriguing how you see social
nagement “has taken place”. Management is being
media as a facilitator for radical management. I think
reinvented and and a number of organizations have
it’s more than a facilitator; it’s more an enhancement,
adopted the principles and practices that I have called
and augmentation, of what radical management and
that new kind of leadership you mentioned sould be like. I am sure that without the role of social media, radical management would probably take decades more to sink in. Social media is accelerating this sense of failure big time. Specially when the knowledge workers get together, talk amongst themselves, rally around, network and collaborate with one another they showcase how traditional management and business are both broken and how a new change is needed. If anything, social media has transformed traditional managers into “leaders as servants”. I think this is one of the main paradigm shifts in today’s leadership. I do agree with you that radical management will come about eventually. However, I still think that social media has played a key role in helping define the next generation of leaders. Without social media I believe we would probably not be talking about radical management today. Recent global events can probably vouch for that together with the way that social media has changed traditional business oprations. I just can’t conceive of a world of radical management without the high level impact social media had over the last to years and counting ... Stephen Denning: Social media have played a big role in the transitions under way in the political sphere in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and elsewhere. I have been among those who have disagreed with Malcolm Gladwell who predicted otherwise. But when it comes to corporate change, we are not looking, so far, at a social revolution like that, but at something led by managers, who for the most part have not been connecting by social media. So at best, social media in this area has been a minor factor to date in the changes under way in big organizations. It would be romantic to think of social media as the irritating grain of sand that caused the beautiful pearl of radical management to grow within the oyster of management, but it’s not obvious that this romantic picture fits the facts. I believe the truth is more mundane. Traditional management stopped working. Managers had to find something that did work. Hence radical management began to blossom.
Fotocredits: Frank Hamm
What A Little Nuance Can Do! The Web is the most important and valuable human artifact ever created. And, it is not owned by any single group, government, company, or person. It is not patented, no one is By Itay Talgam
An orchestra conductor faces the ultimate leadership challenge: creating perfect harmony and progress without saying a word. How does this work? Itay Talgam finds metaphors for organizational behavior – and models for inspired leadership – within the workings of the symphony orchestra.
orchestra conductor, organizational behavior, symphony orchestra, conductor of people in business, maestro, orpheus, gravity is no more, nuance, Bernstein, Kleiber, Orchestra, performance, von Karajan, Strauss, interpretation, Muti, La Scala, musical director, principal conductor
related articles: Gunter Dueck (p. ), Ken Robinson (p. )
Fotocredit: Frank Hamm
Itay Talgam ... is an Israeli conductor and business consultant. He studied at the Rubin Academy and gratuated in philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Starting out as a pianist, he switched to conducting after completing his military service. He attended a summer course given by Leonard Bernstein in Fontainebleau, France. After a ten year conducting career in his native Israel, Itay Talgam has now reinvented himself as a conductor of people in business.
When gravity is no more!
readily admit that a great conductor – or a great so-
loist performing with them – can bring greater value to the performance.
Imagine a Dixie band in full swing, simultaneously improvising in a chaotic yet clearly organized, syner-
What would that something be?
getic, happy cooperation. Why can’t every musical performance be like that?
I think it has to do with the word ‘great’ having a new meaning – quite different to the greatness of leaders
Why can’t all work be like that?
of the past.
Why isn’t life always like that? Well, the answer, to my mind at least, is that it should be.
A great contemporary conductor will balance struc-
Yet it very frequently isn’t ...
ture and freedom through creating controlled pro-
The reason for this is that balance between the all-es-
through an understanding of the underpinning logic.
sential structure – achieved in music by prior agree-
He or she actively create spaces for other musician-
cesses, shared with the skilled musician-players
ment on form, style, keys etc. – and the no less
players to fill, and shares the emerging experiences
essential element of indeterminate, free space for
both inwardly – with the musicians involved – and
things to happen in ways unanticipated – that balance
with his or her other partners in the orchestra, but
is not easy to achieve. Some musical groups tend to be
also with the audience. The great conductor will con-
one sided in their behavior. If you play ‘free jazz’ you
stantly identify and use gaps, or even create gaps in
make a point of disregarding structure. If you play in
the process of rehearsing, studying and performing.
a ‘marching band’ you look to minimize all uncertain-
Gaps in meaning, interpretation, and gaps in process
ties. This is the same issue that most organizations
and control are all opportunities for creative thinking
struggle with, using a variety of frequently changing
and sharing. The great conductor will keep her vir-
mixes of order and disorder.
tuoso players at the peak level of individual creativity through constant challenge and open spaces, letting
Symphony orchestras are unique among musical
them be engaged in all sorts of interactions, while
ensembles worldwide in their size (up to about
constantly creating a strong center of gravitation. If
players), the inner diversity of instruments and pro-
he or she is truly lucky, that gravitational force will
fessions, and the level of complexity of the music they
be love: the love of music, the love of making music
perform (this is not to suggest that symphonic music
together – I call it: When gravity is no more!
is in any way necessarily ‘better’ than other kinds of music). So it’s hardly surprising that the ‘Maestro’ –
Just like in the Dixie bands.
the great conductor and sometimes dictator – has stood for many years at the helm of this body, claiming, and universally regarded as having, complete control over the exact execution of what is entirely his (but never her) artistic vision. Surprisingly, this model of leadership still exists, and is robbing many young musicians of the joy of playing in orchestras, and sometimes even of their very love of music. Very few orchestras (the ‘Orpheus’ chamber orchestra of New York is one famous example) chose to work without conductors at all – filling the void in leadership with complex, often time-consuming procedures of inner negotiations and consensus-building. The players of these orchestras seem happy, creative, and often exhausted. Even so, players
Nuances “An orchestra ... gives the conductor an opportunity to create an organized sound with one gesture. Everything is about nuance, and Talgam shows what nuance can do,” says Daniel von Gool, a writer at ARGnet.
Nuances: Lennie Bernstein It’s all about “meaning”. Bernstein explains and shares experiences to lift the young orchestra up to his ideas/his meaning. He doesn’t tell them what to do … but he still gets everything he wants. WE all can do it! And WE’ll do it and achieve it together! Minimum effort, maximum results!
Nuances: Carlos Kleiber Kleiber is a great performer and he always seems to have great fun! He combines top down with giving space to the soloist and inviting him to perform. He completely trusts his orchestra while he is actually NOT conducting during the most complicated passages of the performance.
All pictures are stills from YouTube videos
Nuances: Herbert von Karajan Player:“Maestro, please let me know when to start playing!” Karajan: “Start, when you can’t stand it no more!” Karajan is totally into self monitoring and self regulation. He gives the musicians maximum space, he forces them in a soft way to collaborate, he enables the orchestra to unfold. Players have to watch each other, they have to listen to each other – otherwise the orchestra would collapse. Karajan eyes are closed while conducting – there are only weak ties between Maestro and orchestra.
Nuances: Richard Strauss May God rest his soul! It is all said and written! Just do it! No interpretation!
Nuances: Riccardo Muti The exact replication of traditional top down management – not an inch of space or chance of interpretation given to members of the orchestra. The orchestra is forced into following his dictatorial commands. Even though Muti’s work is highly respected, La Scala in Milan forced him to step down after years as musical director and principal conductor. The reason: No chance that the musicians can personally develop under his iron rule.
Doing It The Wiki Way The Web is the most important and valuable human artifact ever created. And, it is not owned by any single group, government, company, or person. It is not patented, no one is in charge, and we have no idea whatsoever as to how much we have invested in it, or ev Interview with Frank Roebers by Gudrun Porath
Can you imagine a company whose employees are free to change the rules and drop in uninvited on strategic meetings? A company committed to profit making yet fully based on the principles of trust and transparency that underpin open source projects like Linux and Wikipedia? If you can, you’re doing better than most of today’s senior management in Germany who find such a vision a complete non-starter. Yet Frank Roebers, CEO of the IT trading group Synaxon AG in Bielefeld took the plunge and came out on top. In 2006, in the middle of the biggest business crisis to hit the company since its founding in 1991, he initiated a spectacular makeover of corporate culture by successfully introducing an enterprise wiki as the intranet and by transforming the old company structure into a three dimensional matrix organization. This move by executive management was willingly followed by the rest of the company staff and management who realized that it elevated transparency into the central principle of leadership.
Wikipedia, Synaxon, corporate culture, matrix organization, wiki way, PC-specialist, six sigma, open source, enterprise ., ubuntu, wiki, trust, transparency, prisoner’s dilemma, tit for tat, wiki principles, meritocracy
related articles: Don Tapscott (p. ), Gunter Dueck (p. ), Ken Robinson (p. ), J.P. Rangaswami (p. ), Lee Byrant (p. )
Frank Roebers ... is a lawyer. Frank Roebers has been CEO of Synaxon AG, Europe’s biggest IT franchise, since 1999. His three driving passions are B2C business with the PC-SPEZIALIST brand; strategic and organizational development of his company; and Six Sigma. Drawing his inspiration from the Open Source movement, Frank Roebers played a leading role in transforming Synaxon into an enterprise 2.0 company.
large number of players are pitted against one an-
How did you get the idea of completely refocusing your
other over several rounds. The tit for tat strategy means
company on a wiki as your intranet platform with
that I always begin by cooperating and my stance is
the switchover to a transparent corporate culture that such
reflected in my opponent’s behavior. If my opponent
a move involves?
stays cooperative, I stay cooperative. If he doesn’t cooperate, I won’t cooperate until such times as he starts
Frank Roebers: Synaxon’s old organizational structure
to cooperate once more. So the situation is compara-
was straining at its limits. It was something we could
ble to that existing between management and work-
simply no longer afford to keep because we’d noticed
force in a company.
that the old ways we had of doing things in terms of management and organization were no longer fit for
purpose. Then in I heard a talk by Jimmy Wales
And is this strategy always successful?
on Wikipedia which gave me an understanding of how free projects can work. And I tried it out for my-
Frank Roebers: Tit for tat is considered as the most ro-
self by contributing to Wikipedia and Ubuntu. These
bust and successful strategy. Tit for tat only looses out
free projects can release so much sheer creativity be-
when over percent of the other participants start out
cause they leave people free to do their own thing in
on a non-cooperative footing. Or to put it another
an atmosphere of complete transparency. And this
way: when I’m dealing with a self-contained organi-
principled philosophical approach used by free pro-
zational unit of the type exemplified by a company, all
jects was exactly what we wanted to bring to our com-
I really have to do is make certain that ten percent
pany along with the instrumental side of Web ..
start out on a cooperative basis and then a stable mathematical state will very soon set in which means
cooperation, but which also means above all else that
How does all of this pan out in practical terms on the daily
things won’t fall apart if some individual misuses the
working lives of your employees?
system. In other words, if someone abuses its confidence, the system still remains stable. That’s the ex-
Frank Roebers: The wiki is the intranet platform
perience we have made.
through which all our work goes. All our completed and on-going projects are mapped in it. All our em-
ployees work with it and can see exactly – to give an
How did you go about introducing this principle of
example – whether their colleague is sticking to her
management and corporate culture based on transparency
resource agreements, where they stand in the project
and trust into your company?
and when something is supposed to happen. They can also change the rules like guidelines for travel expen-
Frank Roebers: We turned the model on its head and
ses without having to consult with their bosses be-
said that we’re starting out with a culture of mistrust
forehand. All our meetings, even meetings dealing
in which everything has to be approved and we’ll
with company strategy, are prepared and documen-
swap it for a culture of trust and cooperative strate-
ted on the wiki. This means that everybody can parti-
gies. Well, we were lucky enough to have at least
cipate which generates an unbelievably high level of
fans in the company who worked with us from the
transparency. What our employees appreciate about
very beginning – way above that percent threshold.
it is that at long last their input has become visible;
We weren’t so sure about all the others. Yet within
they think it’s good that everyone can now see they’re
only two weeks the cooperative system achieved such
working day and night for the company. They used to
a level of stability that there was no need to make any
do this beforehand as well – only then it went complet-
further interventions. This means that no one in our
ely unnoticed. And by the way, it can also be shown
company needs to pay any further attention to main-
mathematically that our model based on a corporate
taining the wiki principles. It all works perfectly, it
culture of trust and transparency really does work. I’m
works by itself and it’s stable.
thinking of the prisoner’s dilemma and tit for tat. In the advanced version of the prisoner’s dilemma a
panies couldn’t manage in a whole day. We can do
Well, with so much transparency around, you might also
this because all the spadework is done live on the wiki
expect flat hierarchies. Yet that isn’t the case with Synaxon.
and many topics have been settled in advance as
What role if now left for management and for you yourself?
people make their positions on them known. In the meeting itself people can use instant messaging to
Frank Roebers: Our management structure is relati-
make their voices heard and bring in their views like
vely complex. We have structure, project and process,
suggesting things they’d like to see changed.
the traditional three organizational levels. And parallel to this a meritocracy emerged through the wiki.
This is only controllable because the management
Has this transparent management culture brought other
workload became significantly lighter once we aban-
advantages to your company?
doned the principle of a “general approval requirement”. Management now just have the right of veto
Frank Roebers: Since we started to produce a relati-
and this creates management-side resources.
vely large amount of collaborative writing in the company, and since we made synaxon.de highly transpa-
My understanding of leadership is that first and fore-
rent, we’ve seen a tremendous improvement in the
most it’s me who is responsible for the intractable
quality of our applicants. Up to we were a per-
questions. I am the representative of the owners. At
fectly ordinary trading company and we never came
the end of the day somebody’s got to take responsi-
out tops in the talent recruitment wars. But since we
bility. All the rest can be done by software or some-
became transparent, we’ve been able to recruit lea-
body else. And there’s no one in our company who
ding scientists in fields like artificial intelligence and
doesn’t share this point of view. Some people would
pattern recognition. And they tell us that what we
go crazy working for us, because when you see our
have is exactly what they’ve always been looking for.
management in action you also see the authority they
years ago we wouldn’t have had a hope of attrac-
yield. They’re not exactly cuddly teddy bears! But on
the other side we certainly offer much greater scope
When we introduced the wiki in , we had an ave-
for creative freedom than most other companies do. I
rage fluctuation in staff of % per year. A complete
think we simply tend more to let the power of reason
disaster. Now we’re down to %. That’s really not
take its course.
enough for the dynamics, but it’s not something we’re actively seeking to change.
Gudrun Porath: What about transparency when it comes to management level meetings and discussions? Is the principle just as rigorously applied here to include involvement of company employees? Frank Roebers: All our meetings, even meetings on strategy, are prepared, conducted and documented on wiki. Management puts its proposed themes in the public spotlight. Employees can read these proposals on the wiki and leave their comments. During the meeting someone will take the minutes in real-time. The meeting is announced on Yammer (the in-house Twitter service) – “Meeting starting soon in conference room X”, with a wiki document link so that anyone who’s interested can follow the minutes on the fly and see how decisions are taken. These meetings normally take three hours. And in these three hours we can zip through an agenda that other com-
When Brand And Corporate Values Meet! case Interview with Hermann Demmel
“Human resources management is brand management for the inside”, says Hermann Demmel. WE couldn’t agree more! SportScheck is a great case study that shows how the WE inside a company is congruent with the “WE” outside the company.
SportScheck, Otto Group, Wir machen Sport, we make and play sport, brand, HR, product, customer-side, USP, trading environment, sports, sports outlets, consumer behaviors, surprise, convince, translate, turnaround, enterprise ., culture, change
related articles: Don Tapscott (p. ), Gunter Dueck (p. ), Ken Robinson (p. ), J.P. Rangaswami (p.), Lee Byrant (p. )
Hermann Demmel ... is divisional director for Human Resources Development and Corporate Culture Development at SportScheck GmbH. SportScheck is an affiliate of the Otto Group.
How does leadership change with Enterprise 2.0?
Why is this communitization so important?
Who’s taking the lead here? Hermann Demmel: What you see on Web . – whether you look at Facebook or any number of other plat-
Hermann Demmel: It is important because building
forms – is an uncontrolled proliferation of autonomy.
an identity means first making the charisma of a brand
In other words, of self-proclaimed groups who make
come through inside the company. If the charisma of
their own rules and who protest about things and in
a brand resonates within the company, it’s bound to
doing so manage to create resonance. We all know a
shine on the outside too. Otherwise the claim is just
few examples of this from the Net that show us how
an empty marketing attitude. Of course, as so often
resonance can be built and large numbers of people
is the case, you need role models. Starting with com-
be brought on the move. Of course autonomy is also
pany management and not forgetting employee re-
important in company terms too: employees want to
presentation, you have to shape identity. Role models
have some kind of hand in shaping things. They don’t
take a clear leading role in this. And anybody can be
necessarily want to play a part in the co-determina-
a role model.
tion process, but employees too need to feel the tension between hierarchy and heterarchy.
we_magazine: You often use a phrase that I haven’t heard for these past
25 years: “Human resources management is brand manage-
When do they need heterarcy and when do they need
ment for the inside.”
hierarchy? Hermann Demmel: Human resources management Hermann Demmel: They need a heterarchy when they
should have its focus securely fixed on the company’s
want to put lots of things on a community footing. For
brand identity. When the brand message really does
instance, they need communitizing processes when
serve to create identity among company employees,
they want to make customers aware of a brand and a
the charisma of the brand will be clearly visible on the
brand message. In we put our brand statement
outside too. This calls for human resources develop-
on sport on a community footing. In a heterarchical
ment. You have to find out what’s important for your
process we discussed this issue in a way that was
employees, what they identify themselves with. Keep-
almost grassroots democracy – I really shouldn’t be
ing these values in constant harmony with the brand
saying this – but yes, almost grassroots democracy.
is a daunting challenge. But perhaps we’re particularly
that brims with emotion so we have this incredibly
What do you mean by “communitize”?
wonderful playing field where we can kick this theme
lucky with our chosen theme of sport. Sport is a theme
around with our employees. Hermann Demmel: Communitize means two things to me. Employees shouldn’t just be on the same in-
formation standpoint, they should also be capable of
How far then does the consumer on the outside determine
contributing some of their own individual identity. So
how employees are “led” on the inside?
when they formulate a brand message, as we did with our claim “Wir machen Sport” (“We make sport and
Hermann Demmel: Consumers aren’t primarily inter-
play sport”), that’s a clear statement. So it’s extremely
ested in what management does. Of course they do
important that employees bring in a piece of their
notice that employees identify closely with the pro-
own identity so that this “Wir machen Sport” claim re-
duct, the brand, and the job they do. Customer-side
ally can become reality. And you also have to ensure
services are an excellent opportunity to show authen-
that there are opportunities to make employees aware
ticity. We need to concentrate on this but it’s always
of how they can contribute their identity. Web . is
one excellent way of translating such an opportunity.
terms of corporate culture becomes visible. Leadership
When you talk about brand culture and corporate culture,
is a good example. Leadership is a primary element
which concepts do you have at the back of your mind?
which has great influence on a company’s culture. If you don’t clearly define leadership but leave it all to
Hermann Demmel: In the best case scenario we talk
chance, you’ll be faced with a proliferation of styles of
about employees as brand ambassadors. As brand am-
leadership which give rise to an unpredictable (non-
bassadors they largely identify with the brand’s core
quantifiable) momentum within corporate culture.
message and reflect it too in all its myriad facets. In
This is when your employees start to lose their grasp
principle that’s the best advertising you can possibly
of things because on the one hand they’re under ma-
have. And it’s particularly important when you’re de-
nagement which acts according to one style of lead-
pendent on high customer frequency and face-to face
ership, yet in another area they are confronted with a
dealings. We have people working in our retail
completely different leadership style. This is why it’s so
outlets. Giving customers a tangible feeling for this
essential to give it proper definition. Only definition is
is a USP that’s beyond price. At the same time we’re
a long drawn-out process. You can’t simply write down
exposed to the full range of social currents and eco-
five principles of management, you have to commu-
nomic imperatives. And our own trading environment
nitize them. This means you have to initiate identity
is particularly finely meshed which makes it difficult
building measures. The executive mission statement
to reap profit and invest. This is why it’s vital that we
must also reflect who we are, where we want to go
succeed in ensuring that employees find their own
and what we need to get us there. It should never be
identities reflected in the brand identity and that they
a reflection of a perfectly quantifiable world.
can transport this to the outside. we_magazine: we_magazine:
What are the other cogwheels in corporate culture?
How does your company do this? Hermann Demmel: The other main themes are innoHermann Demmel: You can do this easily if your com-
vation, human resources development and the theme
pany is in a pioneering phase. In this phase high iden-
of values. Any discussion of values of course brings in
tification with the product brand goes hand in hand
themes like habits and customs, regulation and the
with what you’re doing. This is mainly where it’s crea-
theme of corporate behavior. Other companies too en-
ted and is directly tangible. But in a company that’s
gage with these themes. And to them I would say –
been on the market for over years and has scaled
don’t get hung up on the principles of corporate be-
all the heights and depths, such identification is by no
havior! Because these just describe codes of conduct.
means self-evident. And this brings us nicely to the
But codes of conduct say nothing about how we actu-
issue of corporate culture. The truly exciting thing
ally are. You have to conduct yourself within a particu-
about it is that nobody can probably succeed in put-
lar context but what about your attitude, your mindset?
ting a corporate culture into precise words. The simplest sentence is “That’s just the way we are”. Or if you
came into our headquarters and took a look around –
How do you harmonize your inside perspective, your corporate
“Yes, that’s SportScheck for you!” Or if you met one
culture and the values of your employees with the brand image
of our managers and said afterwards “Yes, exactly, he
on the outside, what customers think SportScheck is all about?
must be one of the SportScheck crew.” Hermann Demmel: That is a major challenge. Worwe_magazine:
king together with Prof. Kruse we hit on a fascinating
How do you arrive at such statements?
process. In we began to work on our brand image. We wanted to find out what customers thought of our
Hermann Demmel: It’s a cultural asset which we nur-
brand. What kind of expectations they had in terms
ture with our own company processes. We call them
of sport and sports outlets? Customer behavior is cer-
our corporate culture cogwheels – resonance points or
tainly determined by a wide range of disparate factors.
crystallization points at which what we’ve achieved in
But at the end of the day it’s the customer’s value sy-
stem that motivates consumer behavior. So for us it
teract with all our employees. We held talks with our
was very exciting to see how customers had changed,
employees and showed them your video with Prof.
and how their value systems had changed on the glo-
Kruse to start the dialog rolling. They were asked to
bal scale as well.
make videos about what they had heard and seen and to give us feedback on what they personally felt about
We used a customer survey to find out what the value
our new market positioning. And then we made a film
system of our customer looks like. And we took this
which included excerpts from all their contributions.
survey along with our employees – about of
We made a commentary on the film and gave our em-
them, a good representative sample of our company’s
ployees yet more feedback. This marked the begin-
various divisions – into a workshop where we sat
ning of a new positioning which at the end of the day
down together and discussed the results. “Well, well,
marked a complete turnaround for the company.
so that’s what customers think. That’s what concerns them. That’s what’s important for them. So what does
all this really mean now for us?”
How does Enterprise 2.0 help you to harmonize brand culture with corporate culture?
With Prof. Kruse’s workshop methodology “next moderator” we communitized results with employees:
Hermann Demmel: Enterprise . helps me create
“As part of the company, what do you think all this has
transparency, helps me to network and bring my com-
to do with you personally? What consequences do you
munication skills really up to speed. I am really con-
draw from it all? What does it mean to you as someone
vinced that it will bring about a quantum leap in
involved in the buying department when customers
have these kinds of expectations about you?” we_magazine: Out of our discussions on product line and human
Under what conditions?
resources development and on system-related issues we then evolved and defined our own guidelines – our
Hermann Demmel: To really create value by working
principles of leadership. Our actions had to be geared
with Enterprise ., what you need is a basic dynamic
to our goals. If we have a certain idea of our customers
in corporate culture, in other words you need the pos-
and if we match our services to suit our customers, we
sibility of letting autonomous processes unfold. You
must all be able to do this on the basis of a shared com-
need an understanding of the differences between
mon understanding. To nurture such a common under-
hierarchy and heterarchy, that’s a fundamental prere-
standing, we defined our guidelines. We identified three
quisite. And you need a totally clear vision and a rea-
key concepts “surprise”; “convince” and “translate”.
diness to seize opportunity.
These concepts show just what this means for us as a
Actually, nowadays Enterprise . is no longer a revela-
company. “How do we surprise our customers? How
tion for me in the sense of something special; it just
do we pack conviction? How do we translate market-
helps us to do what we’re already doing. Enterprise .
related issues for the customer in a way that reflects
enables us to perform better, quicker and more effi-
our own expertise?” In the next stage, on the other
hand, what we were aiming for was to put these key concepts on a community footing. We didn’t produce
some glossy brochure to showcase and trumpet them.
And how high do you see the risk that with such an under-
We sat down and thought about how we could enter
standing of leadership where every employee is a brand
into interaction with our own employees.
ambassador something could go wrong?
Together with the marketing department, we evolved
Hermann Demmel: It’s a risk that we must dare to
a communication strategy that could reach each and
take on board and learn from. We can’t stop the Web
every one of our employees. We developed a com-
– so let’s work with it.
munication kit, a module that would enable us to in-
Facebooked? A conversation between Klaus Doppler and Andreas Nau
Klaus Doppler and Andreas Nau first met at the Business Summer School run by the Bertelsmann Stiftung. Since 2006, the Business Summer School has given advanced training to over 250 new leaders, providing them with an opportunity to discuss leadership style and corporate culture as decisive success factors in times of increasingly stringent challenges and ever more complex structures. Its combination of new theoretical insights and robust real-world-oriented discussions for participants both among themselves and with well-known business leaders makes the Business Summer School a unique learning environment. In all its courses, the Business Summer School considers that a values-based corporate culture and the spirit of partnership is a vital, integral part of the professional development of next generation leaders. The school’s program offers all participants the opportunity to broaden networks, take advantage of a cooperative learning environment to gain valuable new insights for their work, and to step back from their workaday concerns to gain “a view of the bigger picture”.
Business summer school, bertelsmann stiftung, real-world-oriented discussions, theoretical insights, learning environment, value-based corporate culture, spirit of partnership, broaden networks, cooperative learning, bigger picture, change, change process, micronexus, TUI, holiday provider, online travel providers, consumer behaviors, brand image, change, social media, Mubarak, Nasser, Facebooked, losing control, synaxon
related articles: Martin Spilker (p. ), Lee Byrant (p. ), Kruse / Sattelbeger (p. )
Klaus Doppler ... is a trained psychologist and qualified theologian who works across a variety of business sectors as a freelance management coach and organizational consultant specialized in the management of critical change processes. He is also the author of numerous publications on leadership and change management and advises executives in major corporations on change management. In his conversation with Andreas Nau, Klaus Doppler is particularly interested in the role that Web 2.0 with its social media tools can play in the change process of the TUI travel group.
Andreas Nau ... is CEO of MicronNexus GmbH, a subsidiary of the leading travel group TUI. For Andreas Nau online sales and social media are two of the key issues. MicronNexus provides online-platforms for car rentals across the world which makes it very much the new kid on the block among the TUI group of companies. Yet the Group itself – renowned for its traditional sale of package holidays through travel agencies – is facing increasing competition from online travel providers and radical changes in consumer behavior, and is coming under increasing pressure to change both its brand image and its hierarchical management structures.
Klaus Doppler: I have a particular take on leadership
the people in the company who take this development
on which I base my services: I only have to be led if I’m
seriously can come together and consider as a group
blind, lame or dead drunk, otherwise I’d rather ma-
what can be done in this particular market segment.
nage by myself. In other words, leadership always
Earlier on it was completely unheard of that anyone
implies an incapacity on the part of those being led. If
would ask questions like “How important are social
you reject this view, you must first have a pretty clear
media to us as a company in the travel business? Do
idea of what the positive benefits of your own style of
they trigger serious change?” Sadly, at the moment
leadership are. This is why I think that one of the
we’re still not managing to get such questions aired
greatest gifts someone who leads others must have
at the top levels in the group. But a great deal still
is the ability to be a really good listener and to take a
depends on the particular structure we have, made up
critical view of themselves! So when you look around
of a great number of single companies which obvio-
and see how the management in your own company
usly all pursue their own individual agendas.
are acting, how would you rate their ability to stand back and take a critical view?
Klaus Doppler: Is there also a side to social networking where middle level management and company em-
Andreas Nau: In our company there are a great many
ployees dialog and create their own networks? Is this
people who’ve been in the same position for years and
openly allowed or is it more covert?
years. And my gut feeling is that these are the very ones who are least open to change.
Andreas Nau: Let me kick off by saying that it was per-
Klaus Doppler: So how do you tackle them when
we had to get permission from our IT departments
you want to change something? Let’s suppose you’re
and the works council before we could even start to
dealing with someone at the very top. What can you
think of using Facebook and Twitter. Our works coun-
do in your company in that case?
cil hadn’t the foggiest idea what they were! OK, that
Andreas Nau: Basically there are two methods. Either
and even found it was quite a good idea. But it does
haps just one year ago that in some of our companies
can be quickly explained and they did give permission you say – it’s not worth my while pushing this issue
go to show just where the priorities lie. So my answer
through so I’ll leave it. Because I’ve realized that his
is a clear no: we’ve got nothing approaching that in
agenda – which prevents him from listening to me –
the main holding but you certainly can find it in some
has such a heavy footprint that I’ll never change it.
of the subsidiaries.
There are some issues where this really is the case. Or, on the other hand, you say – well, I think I can get the
Klaus Doppler: Why’s that? I recently read an article
company to take this issue on board, and in that case
about the revolution in Egypt which had an Egyptian
what you do is look for allies and try to build up a form
joke: Mubarak goes to meet his maker and in the next
of “subculture” for promoting ideas that are worth de-
world meets Nasser and Sadat who ask him how he
died – was he shot or beheaded? And Mubarak answers – I was Facebooked! You get my point: Facebook
Klaus Doppler: How widespread is this subculture in
and the other platforms are completely devoid of hier-
archy whereas in company communications there are very highly structured forms of hierarchy where you
Andreas Nau: To some extent it’s got to do with the
have to think twice about what you’re going to send
particular issue involved. Let’s take social media as a
out and in what form you send it. But in social net-
case in point. We’ve got a company in England work-
works we’re all on the hierarchical level and we can
ing in the high-priced specialist segment and very
simply communicate with everybody. Someone puts
early on they built up a Facebook presence on their
up a posting and I add a “I like”. And so does the next
web site. And that now means that over percent of
person and suddenly you have a hundred people who
guests who book on the site start to dialog with other
liked it. My basic idea is that there are Mubaraks in
guests on the order of “What can I do in Patagonia?
German companies too. The question is whether you
Which bars should I go to, which restaurants?” Now
can, or whether you’re allowed, to do something
about them via social networks or in-house platforms.
Klaus Doppler: What you’ve just touched on is very
Does this pose a threat to the “order” of German com-
important for me – this fear of losing control. I’d pro-
bably have it too if I were a manager. I’d want to keep a very firm grasp on things. Just imagine if I were
Andreas Nau: Obviously companies have a certain de-
doing an online survey and it started to run against
gree of order and whoever holds the reins of power is
my expectations so I stopped it and then people came
frightened – terrified as I’ve come to think – about lo-
to me and told me I was crazy and couldn’t do that
sing them. As a fellow employee, what’s important is
and the survey was up and running again!
to understand the reasons that motivate them and then to decide whether you’ve got a chance of influ-
Andreas Nau: Once we’ve settled down and got used
encing them. I don’t even think that this was the rea-
to it, all these fears and anxieties will vanish. Like “Oh,
son why they weren’t willing to allow Facebook inside
they can see my face! Oh, three people can’t bad-
the company ...
mouth a hotel that brings us at TUI , guests per year; three people are going to blast a huge hole in
Klaus Doppler: But they would censor it!
our income!” In my opinion all this is going to level
Andreas Nau: ... but not so because many managers
the branch was jittery about companies putting up
still haven’t even looked into Facebook. With the
rating portals in the Internet. But nowadays these
benefit of hindsight I think that they’d heard of it but
portals are balancing out. It’s now the case that hotel
out. We can see this happening now: in the beginning
hadn’t given any thought to just how important it is
owners and even travel organizers can post a rejoin-
der and in any case other guests post their own corrective comments to a bad review. I believe that the
Klaus Doppler: Is that a stroke of good luck or a mis-
danger will regulate itself.
fortune? Klaus Doppler: But doesn’t that mean that when I Andreas Nau: Perhaps a bit of good luck! Because the
open up an online rating for employees in my own
whole of company management hasn’t really dealt
company and say that in future management, colla-
with the issue in any depth, this means that we’re left
boration and communication will all be rated by these
a great deal of freedom. They tell us to go away and
instruments – doesn’t that mean that I don’t have
do something. And then people go and dream up
to fear that every comment placed will be negative?
really fantastic things in this field. Even established
Doesn’t that mean – unless I’m a real old bastard! –
companies like TUI Deutschland come up with really
that things are going to balance out?
brilliant ideas about how Facebook can be used. Andreas Nau: Absolutely. Unless you’re a total control Klaus Doppler: And do you also use it for communicating with company staff?
freak and that species is certainly not extinct. Otherwise I think that these instruments give people incentives to take responsibility for what they say. If leaders
Andreas Nau: Not yet, but I wouldn’t mind doing so.
are willing to listen to criticism, I think that this ability
The question that needs to be asked is why we still
significantly enhances their position. People accept
haven’t done so. Probably because there are so many
that you can make mistakes and are ready to listen …
other priorities on our agendas, but basically I believe
because you’re always stronger as part of a group
that the fear of losing control isn’t as pronounced
than you are by yourself. Facebook is the perfect tool
on our side as it is in other major parts of the group
to get such a process rolling.
where everything is really heavily structured in a hierarchy.
Klaus Doppler: By the way, if you allow in-house platforms, wikis or social networks in your company, would you write under your real name or an alias?
Andreas Nau: Both. I’d naturally hope that many
Andreas Nau: And perhaps then – no, not perhaps,
people would write under their real names because
for certain – some great business ideas would come
then you’d probably have a direct opportunity to ans-
up when people simply start to talk to one another.
wer them and it would also show that you have a cor-
You can see this kind of thing happening in society
porate culture where people don’t need to be afraid of
and this is the direction we need to take with our pro-
speaking their minds. But obviously there are also a
few things that you can be more open about if you’re writing under an alias.
Klaus Doppler: Opening up these floodgates is a fan-
Klaus Doppler: As we know, Mubarak was toppled
a heart attack when the first postings come through!
by Facebook. What if you were to say “We’re going
But you’ve just got to let it all take its own course and
to open a wiki about the role of management in our
in any case you always find such reactions in compa-
tastic idea! Some people of course are going to have
company.” Would the works council agree or would it
nies. And people will simply learn to live and deal with
say – sorry, can’t be done? Or would it say that it
such an instrument. Do you know of any company in
couldn’t sanction such a move because it would be a
Germany that’s done something similar?
violation of personal rights? Andreas Nau: In November last year there was a meeAndreas Nau: That depends on the particular works
ting of the alumni of the Business Summer School
council and how receptive they are to trying out new
where we discussed the case of Synaxon AG, based in
ideas. But actually it would help to develop commu-
Bielefeld. Their management team had introduced a
nication between management and staff and even –
wiki where everybody could put in their own ideas
why not? – with the customers.
about reshaping the company.
Klaus Doppler: Do you really need to ask the works
Klaus Doppler: Right, even the most sacred hallowed
council in the first place?
company principles were not exempt from scrutiny ...
Andreas Nau: I think the online platform’s a brilliant
Andreas Nau: Exactly – and it worked! Frank Roebers,
idea. I’d just go ahead and do it.
their CEO, wondered in the beginning what the out-
Klaus Doppler: Could you test what happened?
went well. No misuse, open constructive criticism,
come would be … but right from the start everything high employee participation. All in all, a very positive Andreas Nau: We sure could! We have monthly meetings with people of similar minds – let me put it that way. And in these meetings we discuss technical innovations and what needs to be changed. Earlier on it was usually the case that we’d taken these ideas to the top where we had real allies who believed in what we were doing – only they were powerless to actually implement. So at some point it all simply vanished from the agenda. Such a forum would be an ideal channel for spreading these ideas throughout the whole company and not just to one or two affiliates. Klaus Doppler: That means putting on the pressure, releasing pent-up energy and seeing what kind of waves are created.
Re-thinking Leadership: A Cloud
The Power Of Horse Sense: Leadership Through Values case Interview with Beate Haussmann by Gudrun Porath
Arriving in Moisburg, a little village in Lower Saxony near Hamburg is like entering another world, light years away from the fast-paced, stressed out beat of business life. It’s all so peaceful and picturepostcard idyllic here that the old half-timbered farmers’ houses and the huge ancient red brick church seem preserved in a time warp. Even the contemporary house and functional riding hall with its modern paddocks on Beate Haussmann’s horse ranch don’t strike a discordant note in such deep harmony. Her company is called Epona-Coachings and it offers horse-assisted training for company managers and business leaders. The energy and insights released in these sessions between manager-trainer and horse have already profoundly changed many lives and are closely bound up with authenticity, respect, consideration, appreciation and trust – all values and principles we often lose sight of in our day to day work, even though without them sustainable leadership can’t function. The horses themselves have no special training; when they’re not busy putting managers through their paces, they gallop around in herds on meadow land or give therapeutic riding lessons. But there is one special distinctive feature – Beate Haussmann’s horses can “say no” if they don’t want to take part in an exercise.
Moisburg, lower saxony, horse ranch, epona-coaching, horse-assistet training, horses, meeting targets, trust, business, training, coaching
related articles: Ken Robinson (p. ), Itay Talgam (p. )
Beate Haussmann ... holds a master’s degree in education (Diplom-Pädagogin). As CEO of a management consulting company, she has a solid track record in advising and coaching human resources developers in major corporations. As a qualified riding instructor she also has many years experience in training horses. She brings her many-sided talents to bear on horse-assisted training and education for teams and managers.
reaction and ask what it shows about the way their
When trainees, some of whom will be senior managers, first
company works. Does it have a corporate culture that
arrive at your ranch, it’s a pretty safe bet to say that many
allows for mistakes? Usually, participants themselves
of them will be pretty skeptical. What makes them change
are pretty quick in putting their finger on the weak
their attitude? When do they open up and lay their skepticism
aside? When does that moment of epiphany occur? Gudrun Porath: Beate Haussmann: It doesn’t come from me, it has
Many people must surely think that if they’ve had some
purely and simply to do with the horses themselves.
experience with horses the training will teach them nothing
And it’s always fascinating to watch. When the horses
new and that they’re going to be at a clear advantage.
trot into the riding arena and the music starts up, it’s
Is that really the case?
so overwhelming that people forget everything else and are carried along by their emotions. It really grabs
Beate Haussmann: Not at all. We’ve had experienced
you by the heart, and it doesn’t matter if the horses
riders and even riding instructors who’ve succeeded
are big or small or if they’re bucking, standing still,
neither better nor worse with the exercises than other
rolling on the ground or gamboling about. Watching
participants who’ve never been near a horse in their
the videos and reading the texts just doesn’t give you
lives. You really need to be authentic to establish con-
any adequate idea of just how moving it all is. It’s
tact with your partner and arrive at a common under-
something you have to experience for yourself to un-
standing. Only in this case your partner’s a horse. The
derstand how truly impressive it can be and what kind
horse’s reactions are no different to those of a person
of impulses such an experience can trigger.
except that it doesn’t bother what you look like or talk like and that it’ll be quicker to give you a second
chance and doesn’t bear grudges unless you mistreat
What’s the point of this exercise?
it. If you start to play roles, it won’t work. And the same applies to almost all situations where we inter-
Beate Haussmann: People have to watch the group of
act with one another – and to ourselves as well! You
horses and find out which of them is the leader. We
always have to be yourself. With or without a horse.
always ask them what particularly grabbed their attention, which horse was the first to lie down. Most
people bet on the biggest horse, our champion, as the
In another exercise participants have to lead a horse around
leader. So when we tell them that it’s the smallest and
four stands in the hall. What’s the point of this, what can they
most innocuous looking horse who’s the real boss,
learn from it?
they’re always completely flabbergasted. Beate Haussmann: The point of the exercise is to lead Gudrun Porath:
the horse with a loose halter. There are some partici-
Is there any connection made at this point to the
pants – men for instance – who you wouldn’t particu-
larly accuse of having a sensitive nature, who come back and say “That was great, really heart-warming”
Beate Haussmann: Well, if it doesn’t happen here, it’s
and the other group members all look thunderstruck
bound to happen in the next exercise. This involves
because they’ve never seen their colleague in such a
participants putting large rings around the horse’s
light before. Then we ask them how they assessed the
neck. And that’s not as simple as it may sound because
situation and what they’d felt while watching it. One
the horses aren’t haltered and can move away at any
typical answer is “It looked really harmonious” or “He
time. You have to find the right balance between di-
did it really well”. Then the next one comes back from
stance and closeness. And while someone’s struggling
the ring and says “Oh that was really great!” Some-
with the exercise, we closely monitor the reactions of
times I let them lead two horses at the same time, but
the group watching. For instance, if the other group
that doesn’t work with everybody. So perhaps what
members start to laugh about what their colleague’s
people learn about themselves is that they’re much
doing, we make an instant talking point about their
better at leading one-to-one than at group leadership,
and that some people need more leadership and oth-
we tell companies that they should be aware that for
ers less. What’s important is that participants them-
some employees the outcome of the training could
selves can select “their” own horse. Some of them
well be that they realize they’re a square peg in a
choose a more difficult horse where things probably
won’t go so well. That’s another situation you can apply to real life.
without being held by the halter.
The next exercise involves getting the horse to follow you After each exercise you discuss what the participants have observed and the person who’s just been working with the
Beate Haussmann: This exercise is designed to teach
horse talks about what they felt. How important is this
participants that there’s no trust without respect and
that you have to find the right balance between these
Beate Haussmann: What’s really important is that this
ro, a fenced in rectangular area where the horse can
direct kind of feedback takes place. Actually you can
freely move about and escape from the trainer which
say that it’s a three track feedback. First of all you have
it couldn’t do in a circular arena. It can stand in a cor-
the immediate feedback from the horse, then from
ner and buck at anyone coming to it from behind.
two elements. This exercise takes place in the picade-
the other participants. And a great number of them
Participants have to make the horse follow them
have told me that they’ve never before experienced
voluntarily. At the start of the exercise you’re told to
such an open and honest type of feedback in such a
make the horse follow you without touching it. To do
short time. That comes from the horses who are always
this, for instance, you can use your arms and wave
honest. And the third type of feedback is the video
them up and down which makes the horse respect
replay where people can see themselves in action and
you. The art is to get closer while still having respect
discover quite a lot about their own characters. For in-
for one another. The horse shows that it respects you
stance, whether they’re holding the halter too tight
by following you freely without any need for a halter.
or giving it too much slack, quite unconsciously be-
When the horse does freely follow you, once more the
cause this is not something they’re aware of at the
feeling is overwhelmingly moving and brings tears to
time as they’re far too occupied with getting through
the eyes even of grown men.
the exercise. Or even that they don’t recognize themselves at all and say things like “But that can’t be me!”
In this way people pretty soon get to realize that
Is it really so necessary to keep on emphasizing how im-
something could be wrong in their own lives.
portant consideration and respect are, how important it is to listen and respond to one another? It all seems so obvious.
Gudrun Porath: You give people the general framework of the exercise, but
Beate Haussmann: Yes, it might seem self-evident, but
you don’t necessarily tell them exactly how it should be done.
in fact it isn’t at all obvious. And we see this very clearly when it comes to our training exercise for leader-
Beate Haussmann: That’s intentional because we want
ship from behind. This is the exercise that reduces
to give people the widest scope for intuitive action. This
many people to despair and the one for which they
releases creativity and independent thought. A mo-
need the most time. The exercise is so constructed
mentum starts to form when you enter into a relati-
that you get a horse in harness as though it’s going to
onship with the horse and you notice that it can only
be harnessed to a buggy. Only without the buggy and
work if you are completely yourself. It’s also very
its shafts. So the participant stands behind the horse
highly emotionally charged due to the special situa-
and holds the long reins to move it forward. Generally,
tion and the animal itself. And it can trigger an im-
I explain the various leadership positions beforehand
pulse which starts a process which as it unfolds can
and ask participants which position they consider to
change the whole of a participant’s life – but which
be a dominant leadership position – in front of the
can also end in the participant handing in their notice.
horse, by the side of the horse or behind it. Most
Before they send their employees to us for training,
people find that a very difficult question to answer. In
fact the truly dominant leadership position is when
team and would tackle this process shoulder to
you’re standing in front of the horse and showing it
shoulder no matter what the outcome was, no matter
the direction to take. Applied to day to day leadership,
whether they were made redundant or not. It was all
this means that you hold the power and your em-
very emotionally charged but at the same time they
ployees have scarcely any chance of asserting them-
learnt a great deal about themselves by reflecting on
selves. And that really clamps down on any kind of
the kind of effect they had on the horses.
creativity. But when you’re standing behind a horse, this is when it has the biggest chance of asserting itself and all you can then do is support it. So if the relationship between you two doesn’t have the right kind of chemistry, you can do what you want but nothing’s going to happen. On the other hand, if you’re standing next to the horse, you have the possibility of cooperation. We believe that the ideal boss can switch between these three positions and recognize which one of them he or she should adopt to keep the company moving forward. It’s even better if the company can move forward on its own steam. Hear all, see all and be there when you’re needed. To be able to do this, means continually working on yourself. What you’re good at, what you’re not so good at, what you’ve got to work on – you learn all these things pretty quickly when you’re working with a horse. Gudrun Porath: Meeting targets is one of things company employees are constantly urged to do. How does this apply to horse training? Beate Haussmann: Meeting targets is the last exercise on the one-day training course. On it you work with the horse to negotiate obstacles on the way to your goal – which you set yourself. What’s more, the barriers and the goal are all given particular meaning, so the goals can be individual goals, group goals or company goals. Then we sit down and give each obstacle a meaning and it often happens that the barriers themselves are the real challenge. One striking example of what we do here was a training session designed to represent a change process after the merger with a much bigger partner. The goal was to get the employees to go along with the change. Many of them were anxious that change would mean they’d lose their jobs yet obviously their bosses wanted them to keep on producing motivated work. And the outcome was that directly after the session the employees said that they’d give their very best no matter whether they had a job at the end of the day or not because they were worth it and they owed it to themselves and to the company as well. They said that they were a
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