Charlene Li sent me an advance copy of Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead, to be released May 24. Thank you, Charlene. In 2008 Li co-authored Groundswell, which illustrates the nature and power of the social space. Further, Groundswell shows us how to define our strategy by figuring out the relationship we desire with customers rather than chasing a technology. Last month I summarized its meaning for orchestras. Open Leadership moves beyond that base of knowledge by writing about the intersection of organization behavior and social media.
Social Technology Drives Institutional Openness
Li writes that “leaders must let go to gain more.” She backs all her directives, which I’ve restated here for orchestras, with stories from business and the social landscape.
- Give up control in favor of open leadership. You really never had control anyway. Your orchestra–and orchestras have been among the most secretive public institutions–will be forced to be more open by social technology. And that’s already proving beneficial for many organizations.
- Understand and quantify the benefits realized and obtainable through openness.
- Map out how open your orchestra will be across ten dimensions of openness. This demands increased rigor rather than a blind commitment to transparency. Even the navy can be open while literally running a tight ship. In many cases you aren’t giving up control, you’re shifting it to someone in whom you have confidence.
- Define and make two covenants of openness, one with employees and another with your audience.
- Reconcile the openness of your orchestra’s internal relationships with its social media relationships.
- Adapt your orchestra’s leadership culture to the greater openness that will be required.
Li lavishly shares the means to manage change through action plans, worksheets, examples, diagrams, checklists and assessment tools. Further, she promises eight free online tools at publication.
Get it. Read it. Use it.
Is Open Leadership about marketing strategy? Or about leadership? Marrying organization behavior to the volatile social technology arena is an ambitious task. Indeed, Part III sprawls into leadership essays that don’t advance the literature. It’s OK. The strength of the book—its unique gift—lies in its insights into the interplay of social technology with management. Those insights will help you map the path to design, develop, gain support for and implement a social media strategy within your orchestra. What could be more important today?