September 2015 | Nano Tools | Leadership
Nano Tools for Leaders® are fast, effective leadership tools that you can learn and start using in less than 15 minutes — with the potential to significantly impact your success as a leader and the engagement and productivity of the people you lead.
Contributor: Roland Deiser, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for the Future of Organization at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University, author of Designing the Smart Organization (John Wiley & Sons, October 2009) and Transformers (ECLF Press, 2015); and Sylvain Newton, Senior Advisor to Allianz HR Group, formerly Senior Leader at GE Crotonville Leadership Development.
Leverage current digital opportunities for more effective leadership.
The social-media revolution has created a new reality that offers great power and potential for boosting corporate performance: wikis enable more efficient virtual collaboration; internal blogs, discussion boards, and YouTube channels encourage global conversations and knowledge sharing; sophisticated viral media campaigns engage customers and create brand loyalty; next-generation products are co-developed in open-innovation processes; cross-boundary tools transform supply-chain dynamics, and more.
But for individual leaders, this revolution comes also with inherent risks that create uncertainty and unease. There’s a mismatch between the logic of participatory media and the still-reigning 20th-century emphasis on linear processes and vertical control. Social media encourages horizontal collaboration and unscripted conversations that short-circuit established power dynamics and the traditional lines of communication.
To lead effectively in the age of social media, leaders need to develop and strengthen six capabilities that build on each other. Companies with a critical mass of leaders who master these domains will outperform laggards in their field.
Looking at practices at General Electric is particularly interesting, as GE is no digital native and the bulk of its businesses are “old economy.” But it has a 130-year tradition of reinventing businesses and itself, and has long been a leader in all things “leadership.” Here are some examples how some of GE’s senior executives have experimented with and adopted ways to leverage social media:
Nano Tools for Leaders® was conceived and developed by Deb Giffen, MCC, Director of Innovative Learning Solutions at Wharton Executive Education. It is jointly sponsored by Wharton Executive Education and Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management, Wharton Professor of Management Michael Useem, Director. Nano Tools Academic Director is Professor John Paul MacDuffie, Professor of Management at the Wharton School and Director of the Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation (PVMI) at Wharton’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management.
Subscribe to the Wharton@Work RSS Feed