Are You Ready to 'Connect and Collaborate?'

I’m about halfway through “How” by Dov Seidman, and I find his overarching point compelling — that in a world of radical transparency, how we do things matters as much as or more than what we do. My big takeaway so far is that organizations and society are shifting from a command-and-control model, toward one that relies on connection and collaboration.

Examples of connect and collaborate replacing command and control are everywhere. Some of those examples, like the Arab Spring protests, involve the highest of stakes and don’t come without resistance from those who’ve had historic control. Other examples are sort of silly, but still telling.

For instance, you might have heard about NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski tweeting from the track of the Daytona 500 earlier this week. A car had collided with a maintenance vehicle and 200 gallons of fuel caught fire. (Amazingly, no one was seriously hurt.) While he was parked on the track, Keselowski pulled out his smart phone, took a picture of the fire and tweeted it to his 65,000 Twitter followers along with commentary about what was going on. When the race resumed a couple of hours later, he had more than 200,000 followers. Did he break NASCAR rules by tweeting from his car? The people in charge, knowing a fan builder when they see one, apparently didn’t care. As someone observed, Keselowski is a “digital native” and completely gets how to use technology to build a community. So did the Google exec and others in Egypt who used social media to organize the Tahrir Square protests.

For those of us involved in supporting leaders in creating the organization of the future, this is a seismic shift. Based on my own experience, I would argue that we’re going to have to look outside our own demographic cohorts to make this work. Here’s why I say that.

People over 40 more or less grew up in the command and control model of leadership. For instance, I learned a lot about leadership in the Boy Scouts where you move from assistant patrol leader to patrol leader to assistant senior patrol leader to senior patrol leader. The chain of command is very clear. It’s a lot like the traditional org chart you still see in lots of organizations. Information flows down easier than it flows up.

People of my sons’ generation (they’re 18 and 22) have grown up as digital natives who use technology to connect and collaborate with others to get stuff done. For instance, my 22 year old, Andy, used to spend a lot of time in middle school and high school playing a massive, multi-player online game called Planet Side. It used to drive me crazy, to be honest. Now, I realize he was learning leadership skills by playing the game. Planet Side involved organizing players around the world to collaborate and coordinate their efforts to achieve the same goal at the same time. As a 14 year old, Andy was influencing older people to join his team, share ideas and win the game together. Last year, I saw that virtual leadership style play out in the physical world when he helped organize 900 plus students at James Madison University to participate in a day of service.

So, what does this mean for those of us who are trying to get stuff done in our own organizations? I think it means that we have to set things up so connection and collaboration are encouraged. A big part of that is going to depend on connecting the digital natives with the non-digital natives so each group can learn from the other. Doing that successfully will require a suspension of the strongly held prejudices that people in one generation often have about another.

What are you seeing in your organization? Are you seeing a shift from command and control to connect and collaborate? What are you doing to facilitate the transition from one approach to the other?

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.