Feb 23 2012
Back in the day, leaders built their company’s with vision, expertise and sheer will, shaping the business world around them. Today, the business world shapes leaders, pushing them to adapt and change in the face of social technology’s revolutionizing impact. Technology has connected, networked, and empowered employees, customers, partners and investors. In many cases, the size of a company’s network is now larger than the enterprise itself. Even if the actual number of customer’s may not have changed, the fact that they are connected, speak to each other, and speak out into the world has completely overturned the paradigm. A million single, unconnected customers are very different from a million linked customers who can rally behind a single voice, opinion, or purchasing behavior.
The change has been so rapid that leaders are increasingly caught unprepared. GoDaddy, Netflix, and Verizon are just a few of the growing number of companies that have felt the swift rebuke of empowered stakeholders. While some fail, or even fall, Apple, Google, Facebook and others have created and reaped the rewards. To succeed and even just survive, leaders must evolve as today’s technologies are changing. Social, mobile, and cloud technologies force savvy businesses to become open, transparent, and inclusive organizations. Even great leaders are not immune to this paradigm shift. They must create new frameworks to integrate their understanding of social and mobile technologies into their leadership skills and management teams and must recruit candidates equipped with these new capabilities.
The leadership styles that so successfully governed companies in the past can no longer mitigate the risks and reap the rewards needed to drive growth and innovation in today’s connected world. However, it is not about abandoning historic approaches, but rather of being able to expand and enhance existing skills while tempering and letting go of others. Change begins with understanding the issues at play. OpenMatters has developed a framework that incorporates the impact of social, mobile, and cloud technologies on leadership and their teams. We have crafted a leadership model, developed exclusively for executives and their boards that capitalize on the reciprocity of four areas that must be addressed by leaders who want to thrive in a networked world.
• PQ – The “Power Quotient” reflects where power resides, how it is used, and who holds it. Before the Information Age, company’s focused primarily on physical products and labor. Executive power came with the title of CEO. The CEO was the company and presided over a centralized, hierarchical structure with strict silos. Risk primarily came from, and was managed, from “inside” the organization. Command and control leadership, top down communication, and a focus on shareholder value successfully produced corporate giants and executive heroes. Today, power is shared and risks (and opportunities) come from “outside” driven by disruption, emerging markets, and empowered stakeholders. Stakeholders now have a voice that can rock the ship and change its course in a matter of hours. Success is no longer measured by shareholder value alone. Customers and young employees are looking for sustainability, global vision, and in the words of Indra Nooyi and PepsiCo, “Performance with Purpose.”
• IQ – The “Intelligence Quotient” reflects where information is found, what information is valued, and how it is used. The Information Age discovered that being smart could be a commodity and information could be marketed and sold. The talent that developed the information became the focal point of elite, collaborative teams inside traditionally structured companies. Decision-making was driven by answers provided or data gathered within the company and knowledge was highly protected. Today information is shared through open and crowd sourced networks and the loss of proprietary information forces companies to find new avenues to maintain competitive advantage. In fact, “creative destruction,” such as Apple employed in turning app developers into partners, has even changed how companies view their competitors.
• EQ – The “Emotional Quotient,” a term first coined in a doctoral thesis in 1985, refers in general to the self-awareness of and mastery over one’s emotions, motivations, and relationships. As the Social Age emerged, it became increasingly clear that IQ was necessary but not sufficient to remain competitive. As the world now connects and collaborates, executives must be able to emotionally connect, build relationships, and listen to many voices and perspectives because those conversations and relationships matter. Being a “social” organization dictates having a “social leader” and “social board” who are able to listen to the information and feedback collected “outside” the company to shape what it is doing “inside.”
• SQ – The “Social Quotient” indicates how far we have come from the dominance of PQ. Social, mobile and cloud technologies have blurred the lines between company’s and their stakeholders. The collective community of leaders, employees, customers, partners, and investors now embody the company. The community is the company and communication is in real-time. A proactive call out to the public uses crowd sourcing to harness creativity and ideas and even to address internal needs and problems. Crowd funding can launch new companies and crowd dissatisfaction can swamp them overnight. Leaders who understand just how connected “inside” and “outside” has become, understand that they must listen to all parties, as well as actively engage in bringing them together.
Traditional leadership skills are not irrelevant in today’s flat world, but they need to be rebalanced with new capabilities, just as you would rebalance your stock and bond portfolio, The four quadrants of our Leadership framework are additive not exclusive. The Power in PQ no longer comes with the title of CEO but rather, springs from leader’s integration of IQ, EQ, and SQ and their ability to align and engage all stakeholders.
Social, mobile, and cloud technologies bring rewards but also a cacophony of noise. On the one hand, leaders must master how to connect stakeholders, enable consensus and collaboration without getting mired in quick sand, and understand the shift from being executive centric to crowd centric, On the other hand, leaders need a steady and decisive voice guided by a true sense of purpose and long term value creation. Amidst the chaos, companies need more than ever to be reminded of what matters most.
Leadership, like organizations, is now being shaped from the ‘outside in’. By framing the evolution of business and its impact on leadership behavior across the “Q” dimensions of power, intellect, emotional mastery, and social connection, executives and their management teams can begin to consider an action plan to develop the skills and competencies necessary for leading in the Social Age. To get started, leaders and teams can ask themselves:
- Are our leaders and strategy aligned with our purpose and market realities? If so, do our employees know and understand the purpose and strategy of our company all the way to the frontlines of our business?
- Do our leaders and teams understand how social, mobile, and cloud technologies can be used internally for communication and collaboration and externally to mitigate risk and find opportunity?
- Do we co-create processes, tools, rules, accountability, and monitoring procedures with the people actually doing the work? Do we develop from the bottom up and even outside in (customer input, open sourcing, crowd sourcing)?
- Are our teams made up of people across silos and departments, and are they multigenerational and multicultural in order to harness varied perspectives, capture ‘slices of genius,” and avoid homogenized thinking?
- Do I, as a leader, have an open door policy to hear feedback, new ideas, problems and do I get out of the c-suite and talk with employees at all levels of the organization and to customers in various markets?
- While listening to many opinions, am I able to weigh the options against a clearly defined strategy that allows me to be decisive and guide the way forward once the discussion ends?
- Do I earn employees energy, engagement and respect by how I treat their time, opinions, ideas, skills, interests, and energy?
Want to learn what the ‘Facebook Age’ means for retained executive search?
AESC is pleased to invite executive search professionals and HR executives to our flagship event, the AESC Americas Conference, on March 7-8 in New York City. Barry Libert, Chairman of OpenMatters LLC and a distinguished social enterprise author, entrepreneur, and Board member, will be speaking about the ‘Social Age’ at our conference. Amid today's social, mobile and cloud revolutions, he will share what executive search professionals need to know to help executive teams develop and recruit the new imperative skills.
About the AESC Americas Conference:
The AESC Americas Conference will be held on March 7-8 in New York City and the theme of this year’s conference is “Navigating through Uncertainty: The Changing World for Executive Search”. Conference registration is exclusively for executive search professionals and HR executives.
Session topics include social technology, executive compensation, board roles and responsibilities, and CEO transitions.
Confirmed speakers include Bryan Armstrong, Managing Director, FTI Consulting’s Strategic Communications Practice; Jenne K. Britell, PhD, Chairman, United Rentals; James Citrin, Co-Leader, North American Board & CEO Practice, Spencer Stuart; Kenneth Daly, President & CEO of the National Association of Corporate Directors; Thomas Flannery, Global Practice Leader - Board Services, Boyden; Fernando Magalhaes Portella, CEO, Grupo Jereissati; David Swinford, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pearl Meyer & Partners
The complete agenda, speaker bios, venue information and nearby hotel information is available at http://www.aesc.org/AmericasConference2012 .
About Barry Libert:
Barry Libert, Chairman of OpenMatters is an advisor to CEOs and their boards specializing on the impact of new technologies on corporate strategy and shareholder risks and rewards. Barry has spent the last decade investing in and building social media and mobile companies that together manage more than 15,000 customer and employee social networks with 40 million members for 350 leading brands. In addition, Barry has co-authored 5 books on the value of social technologies and open innovation in organizations. He has also appeared in publications including WSJ, Barrons, Institutional Investor, and Forbes. He is a regular speaker on the impact of social, mobile and cloud technologies on leaders and their need to develop and recruit new skills.
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