Posts Categorized: Leadership

the universal mother

Umair Haque has written what some might consider a controversial article on why AOC [US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] short-circuits the conservative mind and why the universal mother is the antidote to the authoritarian father. “The universal mother is the antidote to the authoritarian father. Think about it. Reflect on it. Remember it. Treat the bizarre… Read more »

authority plus reputation

According to Daniel Mezick, there are two systems in an organization — formal and informal. Leadership is exercised through authority in the formal system, and through reputation in the informal one. Combined, Mezick calls this simply, ‘hierarchy’, which he says is neither good nor bad. It just is. I would agree that both exist. We… Read more »

in the beginning was the word

A fairly lengthy article in The New Humanist — Are we city dwellers or hunter-gatherers? — questions the accepted wisdom that it was agriculture that domesticated hunter-gatherer societies and as a result imposed hierarchies and created societal inequalities. The authors cite many discoveries of hunter-gatherer societies that managed to organize on a massive scale and… Read more »

embrace the snowflakes

Q. Why in the age of the internet does the British army need the ‘snowflake generation’ more than ever? A. Their compassion in dealing with local populations, and their technological prowess, are essential qualities in any modern military operation Major Heloise Goodley, army chief of general staff’s research fellow at Chatham House, says that new… Read more »

cooperative leadership

Last week I hosted a video chat on the changing nature of leadership. Part of the discussion was on the changing needs of society as the dominant organizing forms shift — from Tribes to Institutions to Markets, and now to Networks. We are currently in a post-modern phase transition where the vestiges of the old… Read more »

understanding leadership

My introduction to leadership came fairly early, as I was in Army Cadets and took my first leadership course at age fourteen. Every Summer through high school I would go to Cadet camp, with other boys who looked, acted, and sounded like me. I finished school and joined the Army thinking I had leadership potential…. Read more »

a conversation on leadership in the network era

I write about leadership frequently, especially how leadership in a network requires different skills and abilities than positional leadership provided by the inherent power structure of an organization or institution. In networks, influence comes through reputation. In this online presentation/discussion, we will discuss how perspectives, and demands, on leadership are changing in a networked society…. Read more »

helping make the network smarter

In what is likely the best example of my mantra that ‘work is learning and learning is the work’, Nokia’s CEO Risto Siilasmaa describes how he learned about machine learning because everyone was talking about it but he still did not understand it enough to describe it. Frustrated, he was acting like many of his… Read more »

leadership is not taking it all

I have quoted Charles Green before, as he shows how our systems ‘get set in concrete’. Once they are set, they don’t change. After a while, nobody remember anybody who remembers the old ways. So it’s just the way things are. “Ideas lead technology. Technology leads organizations. Organizations lead institutions. Then ideology brings up the… Read more »

Nordic leadership in times of extreme change

Return of the Vikings I have had the privilege of working with several Nordic organizations over the past few years — Carlsberg, HR Norge, Implement Consulting, Snow Software, Prime Minister’s Office of Finland. Over the past 14 years of writing on this blog I have advocated for more transparent work, temporary & negotiated hierarchies, and… Read more »