Participatory Leadership

We have started to separately collate material on the new forms of leadership that are emerging in networked communities.

You can find our tag here.

Our latest find is this table by Chris Corrigan, which contrasts the new requirements with those of classic hierarchical industrial firms and bureaucracies.

Traditional ways of working

Participatory leadership complementing

Individuals responsible for decisionsUsing collective intelligence to inform decision-making
No single person has the right answer but somebody has to decideTogether we can reach greater clarity – intelligence through diversity
Hierarchical lines of managementCommunity of practice
Wants to create a FAIL-SAFE environmentCreates a SAFE-FAIL environment that promotes learning
Top-down agenda settingSet agenda together
I must speak to be noticed in meetingsHarvesting what matters, from all sources
Communication in writing onlyAsking questions
Organisation chart determines workTask forces/purpose-oriented work in projects
People represent their servicesPeople are invited as human beings, attracted by the quality of the invitation
One-to-many information meetingsA participatory process can inform the information!
Great for maintenance, implementation (doing what we know)When innovation is needed – learning what we don’t know, to move on – engaging with constantly moving targets
Information sharingWhen engagement is needed from all, including those who usually don’t contribute much.
Dealing with complaints by forwarding them to the hierarchy for actionDealing with complaints directly, with hierarchy trusting that solution can come from the staff
Consultation through surveys, questionnaires, etc.Co-creating solutions together in real time, in presence of the whole system
Management by controlManagement by trust
Questionnaires (contribution wanted from DG X)Engagement processes – collective inquiry with stakeholders
MechanisticOrganic – if you treat the system like a machine, it responds like a living system
Top down orders – often without full informationTop-down orders informed by consultation
Resistance to decisions from on highBetter acceptance of decisions because of involvement
Silos/hierarchical structuresMore networks
Tasks dropped on peopleFollow your passion
Rigid organisationFlexible self-organisation
Policy design officer disconnected from stakeholdersDirect consultation instead of via lobby organisations
People feel unheard/not listened toPeople feel heard
Working without a clear purpose and jumping to solutionsCollective clarity of purpose is the invisible leader
Motivation via carrot & stickMotivation through engagement and ownership
Managing projects, not pre-jectsBetter preparation – going through chaos, open mind, taking account of other ideas
Focused on deliverablesFocused on purpose – the rest falls into place
Seeking answersSeeking questions
Pretending/actingShowing up as who you are
Broadcasting, boring, painful meetingsMeetings where every voice is heard, participants leave energised
Chairing, reportingHosting, harvesting, follow-up
Event & time-focusedGood timing, ongoing conversation & adjustment

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