I have often said that a critical role for people in leadership positions today is helping make the network smarter. In a recent blog post, the author discusses another critical aspect of leadership — convening the right people — and uses the example of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“Leadership in a collective or networked world is defined by those who have vision to convene the necessary group (Dixon, 2009) and those who spend resources wisely for the right things. Merkel was brilliant in setting up shop in Berlin. In the future, that means Germany will be internationally known for epidemiology. She will also inspire a new generation of German scientists and doctors based on this hub. Of course, she didn’t just fall into leading in science, she has her PhD in quantum chemistry (The Atlantic, 2020). Merkel is technically competent, knows how interact with others, and can conceptualize a future that is better than present for tracking pandemics (Jacques, 1986). That is leadership.” —Hilda831
We see this in Canada and how the Nova Scotia Chief Medical Officer of Health has worked during the pandemic. This Atlantic Canadian province has been relatively successful in keeping cases down and Doctor Strang thanks his network.
“I know that I’m not making those decisions alone, I have lots of good people behind me. My [deputy] medical officer of health [Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed] and other public health colleagues talk a lot. I talk to colleagues across the country. I’m getting really good advice that I lean on.” —CBC 2021-01-01
Compare the COVID19 cases between Manitoba (pop. 1.28M), Saskatchewan (pop. 1.18M ), and Nova Scotia (pop. 0.94M). Convening the right people for advice may be a factor in facing a complex challenge like a pandemic.
Making your network smarter is one aspect of leadership in our digitally connected world and so is convening the best parts of your network in order to address complex issues and make decisions. In crises, sometimes perfection is the enemy of the good, so having a diverse, knowledgeable, and experienced group of advisors becomes critical.