Is your team leadership organized for Enterprise 2.0?

I used to believe that major organizational changes could only be accomplished by one highly visible individual. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Scott Cook come to mind. It was easy to conclude that the type of leadership so critical to major change can come only from a single larger-than-life person. It's a false belief. Because major change is so difficult to accomplish, a powerful force is required to sustain the process. No one individual, even a monarch-like CEO, is ever able to develop a shared vision, engage one-on-one with the eco-system, eliminate major impediments, deliver short-term successes, lead and manage dozens of change projects, and anchor new approaches deep in the organization's culture. Weak committees are even worse. Strong guiding coalition teams are mandatory - each one optimized around personality traits, trust, and shared objectives. Building such an organization is a critical part of the early stages of any initiative involving re-structuring, re-engineering or re-tooling strategies. I'll talk more about that in my next post. Managing change is not just about communication to share "information" - Emails (web, desktop, mobile), Content Management, Blogs (private and corporate), RSS aggregation, Instant Messenger choices (private and public), iShare, weTag, myRSS, mySpace, yourFace. Managing change is about leadership models that can keep pace with rapid change. In today's Enterprise 2.0 world, teams are absolutely accountable for rapid decisions in a rapidly changing world. "Lone-rangers" and "weak-committees" physically cannot attend to all the information required to make good non-routine decisions. Nor do they possess the credibility, the awareness or the time required to convince others to make the personal sacrifices called for in implementing changes. Only teams with the right composition and trust can win today. This reality applies equally to product development coalition teams, "in the trenches", or at the very top of an organization during a major transformational initiative. This combined shortage time and attention is unique in today's information age. This is where Enterprise 2.0 technology combined with coalition leadership is critical. Geese Graphic If orchestrated properly, coalition teams can quickly align around a context of shared knowledge on a Wiki platform. Wikis can reward large teams with rapidly evolving shared knowledge, and, therefore accelerated response and decision making. If something is written that annoys other stakeholders, it's just going to be deleted. So if you want your writing to survive, you really have to strive to be cooperative and helpful. If the social engineering with Wiki's is properly aimed at creating a cooperative and helpful culture of change, then consensus decisions can be rapidly achieved among all the team coalitions in the community. Votes can be taken, but results not binding for further alignment. Overly harsh or argumentative contributors are corrected by their peers and addressed off-line if necessary. While e-mail, Intranets, webcasts, and a burgeoning array of online collaboration tools have helped stakeholders become more efficient, there's little evidence that the Web has dramatically altered team governance, or fundamentally changed the way in which they make decisions at least thus far. Looking forward, though, there's every reason to believe that the Internet will change how decisions are made just as thoroughly as it's changed every other facet of commercial life. Why? Because the Internet is an immensely powerful tool for multiplying human accomplishment - a goal that is central to the work of every leader and the design of every management information system.

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