The customer at the window, the wolf at the door

I recently kicked off a series of posts on insulation that’s meant to talk about the critical ways leaders can become disconnected—and hopefully provide some ideas on how they can fight against it.

I listed four kinds of insulation in the introductory post:

  • From the larger organizational context
  • From the work being done on the ground
  • From wider communities of practice
  • From the marketplace

In this post I want to dig into the last one, insulation from the marketplace.

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Heads down

I recently kicked off a series of posts on insulation that’s meant to talk about the critical ways leaders can become disconnected—and hopefully provide some ideas on how they can fight against it.

I listed four kinds of insulation in the introductory post:

  • From the larger organizational context
  • From the work being done on the ground
  • From wider communities of practice
  • From the marketplace

In this post I want to dig into the third, insulation from wider communities of practice.

Continue reading

Haven’t we got people for that?

I recently kicked off a series of posts on insulation that’s meant to talk about the critical ways leaders can become disconnected—and hopefully provide some ideas on how they can fight against it.

I listed four kinds of insulation in the introductory post:

  • From the larger organizational context
  • From the work being done on the ground
  • From wider communities of practice
  • From the marketplace

In this post I want to dig into the second, insulation from the work being done on the ground.

Continue reading

Rebel without a cause

I recently kicked off a series of posts on insulation that’s meant to talk about the critical ways leaders can become disconnected—and hopefully provide some ideas on how they can fight against it.

I listed four kinds of insulation in the introductory post:

  • From the larger organizational context
  • From the work being done on the ground
  • From wider communities of practice
  • From the marketplace

In this post I want to dig into the first, insulation from the larger organizational context.

Continue reading

Insulation

I get to meet a lot of leaders in my day-to-day work, from C-level executives to line-level managers and everything in between. And I get to see them at their best–fresh off the victory of getting X million dollars for establishing an enterprise content management (ECM) program–and their worst–in the middle of a mess they can’t fix, with their jobs (or maybe even their careers) on the line.

There are lots of interesting things to note about leaders in both of these positions, but the one that’s been on my mind lately is the importance of struggling against insulation:

  • From the larger organizational context
  • From the work being done on the ground
  • From the wider community of practice for a domain of expertise
  • From the wider marketplace

I want to kick off a series of posts over the next few weeks that look at this problem and how leaders at all levels can overcome it. As I let the ideas percolate, I’d love to hear from folks out there who’ve faced this issue themselves, or worked with a leader who did–what are your thoughts and experiences out there? Jump in, and let’s get the conversation started!

Review of Open Leadership, by Charlene Li

Just finished Open Leadership, by Charlene Li, which is a follow-up to her best-selling Groundswell. And whereas that book focused on the social media technologies that are transforming how companies do business, Open Leadership looks at how leaders need to transform themselves to allow their organizations to use social media effectively.

There’s a real glut of books out there on social media, and I find many of them lack real substance or staying power, whether because the social media domain is evolving so quickly or the books have been rushed to market (or both). Li’s book, in contrast, has a good bit of depth and will have quite a bit of staying power despite its timeliness. Continue reading

Alignment (part three)

I’m in the middle of a series of posts focused on corporate strategy that are going to be part theory and part practice, a way to mine the work I’ve been doing over the last couple of years for insights. Hopefully folks out there will find them not only valuable, but good conversation starters for sharing their own thoughts and experiences.

In the last post, I began demonstrating an exercise that can help turn a laundry list of aspirations into a prioritized (and actionable) set of goals. We got as far as determining the Top Two goals that the strategy would support and then using the remaining items on the laundry list to formulate guiding principles.

In this post, I want to take the exercise further to show how to connect your guiding principles to the capabilities and projects needed to deliver them.

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