Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Carnival of Trust is coming to town

 

   The more work I do on social capital, social media etc, the clearer I become that trust is at the centre of much of what organisations need to do to perform in these areas.

So I’m delighted that I’ll be hosting the Carnival of Trust early next month.  This is a carnival I’ve been included in before, but this is the first time I’ll be hosting.

In the words of the carnival’s originator, Charles H Green,

“I believe trust is an increasingly important element in a business world and a society that is becoming more dependent on connections, yet more and more removed from the high-touch interpersonal connections of old. A higher-trust society is a society that is personally healthier, and also economically richer. Not to mention probably more peaceful.

My hope and ambition for the carnival is to establish a home base, a center of gravity, for people who are interested in fostering greater trusted relationships in various realms of the world.

While my own material is primarily business-oriented, the Carnival of Trust will be explicitly more broad than business alone. Trust is heavily personal in nature, and I hope the submissions will reflect that—postings that deal with personal trust, business trust, and political trust are welcome, as well as pieces on the nature of trust.”

 

Previous carnivals this year have been:

The November 2009 Carnival of Trust
Hosted by Jordan Furlong at Law21.ca

The October 2009 Carnival of Trust
Hosted by Scot Herrick at Cube Rules

The September 2009 Carnival of Trust
Hosted by John Caddell at Customers Are Talking

The August 2009 Carnival of Trust
Hosted by David Donoghue at the Chicago IP Litigation Blog.

The July Carnival of Trust
Hosted by Adrian Dayton at Marketing Strategy and the Law.

The June Carnival of Trust
Hosted by Dave Stein at Dave Stein's Blog.

The May Carnival of Trust
Hosted by Victoria Pynchon at Settle It Now

The April Carnival of Trust
Hosted by James Irvine and Tripp Allen at The Egyii Blog

The March Carnival of Trust
Hosted by Beth Robinson at Inventing Elephants

The February Carnival of Trust
Hosted by Ian Brodie at Sales Excellence

The January Carnival of Trust
Hosted by Diane Levin at Mediation Channel

 

If you want to participate in the carnival being hosted by Social Advantage, send your trust related posts in sometime before Thursday 7th January.  And make sure they’re good! – unlike the HR carnival, there’s a clear editing policy on this one.

The carnival will be live on Social Advantage from Monday 11th.

 

 

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Saturday, 12 December 2009

Monkeys with Typewriters

 

Monkey-typing   On Wednesday, I attended the book launch of Jemima Gibbons’ new book on social media, Monkeys with Typewriters.

The book is named after the theoretical monkeys or apes who, given long enough, produce the complete works of Shakespeare, and therefore explain the golden rules of social media:

  1. It’s simple (because monkeys can do it)
  2. It’s fun (why else would monkeys bother)
  3. Its ubiquitous (everywhere you look, there’s another goddamn monkey with a typewriter).

 

The book is one of the best I’ve read on social media - partly because a lot of Jemima’s experiences resonate for me (I’m one of the people who have never quite managed to get to Tuttle, but I have been a Fellow of the RSA for most of the last 15 years) – but there are other reasons too.

The book is written as a narrative, describing a series of experiences which I think works well.  And it also provides a lot of information, a lot of which is surprisingly current, and quite a bit of which is new for me – and I read a lot about this space.  All the book’s arguments are also very well referenced and supported.

But I’m also impressed because I think the book outlines the the paradigms that come with working with social media very well.

I’m particularly pleased to find that Jemima agrees with my own perspective that we need to focus on people, and what the technology enables people to do, rather than starting from the technology itself.

So, much of the book focuses on the required changes in leadership within a social media enabled environment, ie one that is not about:

  • command and control
  • micro-managing
  • over-structuring.

 

But instead, is based upon:

  • co-creation
  • passion
  • learning
  • openness
  • listening
  • generosity.

 

Jemima describes her dream environment as one which looks like the world-wide web (or at least, web 2.0 – Gary Hamel’s argument too):

“Wouldn’t it be great to have a system where people worked together constructively without the need for micro-management?  Where people were passionate about what they did?  Where there was a common understanding of objectives and protocols?  Where people knew who to ask if they wanted advice or where to go if they needed feedback on something?  Where there were numerous experts on hand to give advice for free?  Where people co-operated and shared stuff without arguing, and got rewarded for doing so?  Where people were valued and appreciated by their peers?  An overwhelmingly create environment, where ideas and materials were frequently re-used, re-purposed and mashed together in order to form new, eminently desirable products and services – desirable because it was the consumers themselves who had shaped them?”

 

I still think we need to take Jemima’s argument regarding people vs technology further however. For me, we need to be much clearer about what we’re trying to create.   Focusing on an environment which is enabled by social technology is still inherently about technology.  We need to go beyond this and think about all the different ways the desired environment can be created.

Even better we can go beyond talking about environment and focus on the outcomes this environment provides us, whether this is customer or employee engagement, knowledge, productivity or connections and relationships – or social capital (which is, in my view, the key outcome from both social technologies and the environment that Jemima describes).

Once we’re clear about the outcomes, we can look at which environments and which technologies or other enablers can best create these. My belief is that this can lead to an even more compelling case for change than the arguments Jemima uses for her very human organisational environment.

But I do think this book is a big step forward (from Andrew McAfee’s ‘not not about the technology’ for instance).

 

Picture credit: Chris 73

 

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Friday, 4 December 2009

CIPD09: A New Leadership Paradigm (Part 3)

 

ASDA Leadership  I’ve already posted twice on the last keynote session from this year’s CIPD conference, ‘A New Leadership Paradigm’ (part 1 - the preview and part 2 – the live blog).  I’d now like to summarise my take-aways from this and other sessions at the conference.

First of all, I thought the keynote debate was really well done.  All three speakers clearly had different perspectives, with Sir Christopher Kelly providing a rather more traditional view of leadership to the others.  However, it was still useful to have him included, as I think things are going to take longer to change in the public sector, and his views helped to keep discussion rooted in reality.

And it is also possible to link all three speakers’ perspectives together.  In his presentation with Julie Smith from PepsiCo, Jasvier Bajer explained that the true definition of leadership is ‘the ability to create movement and deliver change’.  And I think all speakers would agree with this.

But I don’t think Kelly’s views expressed the new paradigm (which is probably why he didn’t think there is one).  The future of leadership isn’t just more management; and its not about command and control.  As David Smith stated in his presentation of ASDA’s change story (see slide), tell & do autocracy is already dead.

The paradigm shift, like the broader shift in the organisational people management agenda is about transparency, authenticity and sustainability.  It’s why I like Avolioand Gardner’s description of authentic leaders (provided by Jane Turner, Newcastle Business School in her workshop on internal coaching):

“Those who are deeply aware of how they think and behave -and are perceived by others as being aware of their own and other’s values, knowledge and strengths; confident, hopeful, optimistic, resilient and of high moral character”

 

This definition really is, I think, at the heart of the new paradigm of leadership.  

  • Transparency – an alignment between real and perceived
  • Authenticity – based on self-awareness
  • Sustainability -confident, hopeful, optimistic, resilient

 

But I also think there’s one more piece in this – and this is connectivity which I’ve also already posted on as my additional key message from the conference.

In terms of leadership, this area was best addressed at the conference by Emmanuel Gobillot’s presentation of Leadershift:

“To stay relevant leaders will need to move towards Leadership 2.0 – a type of leadership, non-hierarchical in form, that facilitates the collaboration of a self-selected group.  In this new context, the leader is an integral part in the generation of a narrative that builds and sustains this group’s valuable and co-created outcomes.”

 

In reflecting back on the conference, I’ve been also be drawn to Gautam Ghosh’s recent post on leadership in hyper-linked times.  In his view, the behaviours of leaders must reflect the new tenets of OD:

  1. Openness and Transparency
  2. Conversation (MBWA)`
  3. Content (co-creation of the brand)
  4. Collaboration
  5. Communities (shared interest groups or tribes connecting around various 'social objects’)
  6. Collective Intelligence

Gautam also notes that these behaviours aren’t new.  But put them all together – transparency, authenticity, sustainability and connectivity – and I think you do arrive at something like a new paradigm for leadership.  And although I’ve mainly be posting here on the business use of web 2.0 tools, this new leadership paradigm is a important and integral aspect of gaining Social Advantage too.

 

 

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Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Looking back to December 2008

 

   You may also be interested in these posts from the end of last year:

 

Or even the year before?

 

My contact details:

  • Consulting  - Research - Speaking  -  Training -  Writing
  • Strategy   -  Team development  -  Web 2.0  -  Change
  • Contact  me to  create  more  value  for  your  business
  • jon [dot] ingham [at] social [dash] advantage [dot] com

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Picture credit: Matthew Jordan