Several years ago, the team at Innovisor asked — Why Do Organizations Led by Women Perform Better?
The new study puzzled Innovisor. Why do organizations led by women perform better?
Since we already established that the women on an individual level were not collaborating more than men, we decided to look somewhere else in our data.
Also because Innovisor had previously established that there was a correlation between organizational coherence and performance.
We decided to look into if organizations led by women were more coherent.
And they were! —Innovisor 2018-07-18
I have noticed similar other indicators, such as the observation that we collectively understand that what are considered ‘feminine’ traits are what leaders need today, as shown in this 2013 Inc. magazine study.
“32,000 study subjects were asked to classify 125 traits as masculine, feminine, or neutral. Another 32,000 were asked to rate the importance of the traits to effective leadership. ‘Feminine’ traits were more likely to be strongly linked to leadership.”
This study concluded that seven of the nine top leadership traits, perceived as feminine in our current age, are also seen as the most important.
Feminine: Plans for Future, Communicative, Reasonable, Loyal, Flexible, Intuitive, Patient.
Masculine: Decisive, Resilient
There have been similar observations with female leaders of countries.
“Consistent with our hunch, our most striking finding was about the times when women led very diverse countries rather than men. In these contexts, female leaders were significantly more likely than male leaders to have fast-growing economies.” —HBR 2019-02-07
And it seems that female managers are more effective at driving engagement.
“Another stunning finding is that employees of female managers on average are at least 6 percentage points more engaged than those who work for a male manager. In fact, out of the 12 different questions Gallup uses to diagnose a person’s engagement, employees of female managers outscore male managers on 11 of those items.
Only one out of three workers has a female boss today, yet women leaders eclipse their male counterparts in many of the ways known to inspire high levels of commitment, initiative, and loyalty in 21st-century workers. They more consistently cultivate the potential in their people by creating challenging assignments. They praise and value people for their efforts and contributions. They take steps to foster a positive and cooperative work environment.” —FastCompany 2015-04-29
As Innovisor noted, “organizations led by women were more coherent”.
For many years I have been interested in the role of communities of practice in knowledge sharing. I have been looking at how communities of practice can bridge our social networks with our work teams, helping us get the job done while being open to innovative ideas.
- Sharing complex knowledge requires strong social ties, but only working with our peers may blind us to outside ideas.
- Networks with diverse and weak ties are the best places to get new ideas, yet these are often unstructured and difficult to manage.
- Communities of practice, which share strong & weak social ties and have some purpose & structure, can bridge the gap between getting the job done and innovating.
- Therefore, encouraging and supporting communities of practice is essential for the knowledge-based enterprise.
Effective, or coherent, knowledge-sharing requires not just collaboration, but also cooperation and especially connections (communities). This is what makes a coherent organization.