We write frequently about online leadership in this blog because Doris and I are continuing to formulate an online leadership model. We have already noted that online leaders build networks, encourage diverse perspectives within and outside an organization, and create an environment of openness, working out loud, and work as a learning experience (see our previous blogs Sighting Leadership in Action, Women Network to Lead, and Take the Lead in Learn, Lead, Connect Online).
This week I came across two resources about the new leadership paradigm in the online, in-person, and blended (combining online and in-person) environments. Both of these resources (and they are bookmarked in our open-to-you Diigo account) are by people I follow and admire: Beth Kanter and Peter Senge. I trust their expertise and know they are very substantial sources.
What interested me was even though they wrote about different approaches to this new leadership, there was a congruence of thought. Leaders for this new age are systems leaders – able to not only see the connecting pieces of an intractable issue or problem, but able to convene a very diverse group of stakeholders, including competitive businesses and organizations, at the table to work through how to tackle it. The convening is not just inviting people to a meeting, but creating an atmosphere and providing the structure to really examine each stakeholder’s perspective on the problem and each other to break stereotypes and move beyond turf and proprietary interests.