No networks, no leadership
Great executive leaders may be passionate and committed, but they know they will get nothing done unless there is a broad network of leaders throughout the enterprise. So the second big insight has been that leadership is really a community activity. There are communities of leaders or there’s no leadership at all.
We’ve identified a type of leader called internal networkers. There are executive leaders and local line leaders, but there are also people who weave the webs, connect a local line leader here to a local line leader there. This is a critical type of leadership, and it’s all but invisible in most organizations.
The third thing we’ve learned is that this work is actually difficult. It’s not difficult because people aren’t trying. A lot of times, once they’re committed and start to make real headway, things get harder. The more we grow, the more challenging our lives become. It’s no different in organizations than in our personal lives.
This Peter Senge quote (and one about the three pillars of collective learning: aspiration, conversation, and understanding complexity) comes from a speech he delivered to a Canadian knowledge management conference in 2001. Called “Beyond the learning organization,” the full transcript is available here in PDF. Yet another Senge must-read.
(also via Theory of Everything)