In our last blog we examined what a collaborative organizational culture looks like. I hope you were able to get some ideas to implement or even analyze within your organization to improve or establish collaboration. Of course, this is a large undertaking and one that must be led with wisdom. In our final few blogs of this series we will be looking at how to be a collaborative leader.
Mark Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce.com changed his organizational culture with one meeting. Harvard Business Review authors Ibarra and Hansen shared his epiphany in the August 2011 issue: Use Chatter to blow open the doors of the off-site management meeting and include the entire organization. All 5,000 Salesforce.com employees virtually attended the 200 executives’ management meeting and corresponded live via iPad and iPod Touch technology. The meeting itself was a video broadcast and constant questions, jokes, and input drove the discussion to an organization-wide level that lasted for weeks beyond the actually meeting. As a result, Benioff has been able to better align the whole workforce around its mission. That one event served as a catalyst for the creation of a more open and empowered culture at Salesforce.com.
Collaboration has exploded both within and without organizations as connections with suppliers, customers, governments, and universities have been enabled with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, videoconferencing, and other technology. Leaders must be able to adapt to this new connectivity by turning away from the ladder corporate structure, limiting the consensus leadership with so many players now involved, and must craft a new leadership style.
We will look at the four skill areas Ibarra and Hansen recommend for this dynamic shift in our next few blogs.