Open Future NZ "Be the change you want to see in the World"
Mahatma Gandhi
New Executive Competency by John S Veitch
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In the modern workplace, educated employees expect to be treated like partners, and not as line workers.  In the workplace of the past management might have held a significant information advantage over employees, but in todays, transparent world that's no longer the case.  As Malcolm Gladwell explains in "The Outliers" success can't be explained if you only look at individuals.  Success always occurs in a social context, where the successful individuals gained significant advantages.  Coaching, practice time, mentors, good teams, lots of good tries where lessons were learned; these are things that make a difference.  

A critical role for every manager is to give the staff who report to you lots of opportunity to use their initiative and to make choices.  As I see it the easiest way to do that is to give them online freedoms to identify themselves as staff members, and as appropriate, to speak online as a staff members.  This has a twofold effect.  It makes them interested in what the firm is doing, and it empowers them to learn quite a lot about how the firm thinks and operates.  Yes, they will probably make mistakes, but small mistakes that cost very little.  

If many staff are engaged online, talking to others in the company and sometimes beyond the firewall, a lot of people are learning to see the company with a wider vision.  This should have the effect of improving innovation, project planning, and public relations.  Most firms invest very little in training.  Participation in communities of practice and in online networking, increases the learning rate of individuals, and connects the company to a world of innovation and change.  

The concept of partnership, with staff, is most easily understood in relation to roles.  Once roles are well defined, partnerships where staff exercise responsibility can be built.  These skills, some of which are digital literacy, are seldom taught to young executives.

Global executives should seek to BE

1. Globally aware, with expanded geographic, historic and cultural knowledge.
2. At least moderately able to speak and understand, and to write in another language.
3. Culturally self aware. Respectful of the cultural customs of others.
4. An active mentor of associates, creating a pool of potential partners and new leaders.
5. A working partner with co-workers, sharing knowledge, and negotiating roles.
6. Confident about maintaining an extensive online network.
7. A contributor to social forums and communities of practice.
8. Capable of balancing business, social and environmental objectives.

Effective Leadership

"We need to change ourselves.  We need new models of what it means to be a leader."  

Leadership doesn't have a user's manual, but Fields Wicker-Miurin says stories of remarkable, local leaders are the next best thing. In a quietly delivered talk at a TED salon in London, she shares three.

She mentions a tribal leader in Brazil, who's saving the forest and his people.  A professor of English who has battled to make a difference for HIV-Aids victims in India, since 1993, and a collector from China who has saved over 8 million objects and documents about the Cultural Revolution and the Sino-Japanese War.  

Fields Wicker-Miurin wants to improve the quality and impact of leadership worldwide by discovering leaders in unique, local settings and connecting them with one another. She is co-founder of Leaders Quest.

Economic systems are part of nature.   Once we begin to think in this way we can see coming what Paul Gilding is calling "the great disruption".  The idea is, that shortages of water, oil and some minerals will compound with, environmental degradation, climate change and increasing population.  The demand for more economic growth for the worlds poorest people will add to the pressure.  

I'm of the opinion that these pressures have trapped the world in and economic, political and social cul-de-sac where making "progress" in the ways we have used in the past 300 years, simply makes things worse.  If this view is valid, we need in the next 20 years a transformation of what we understand by the term "economic development".  I don't know how this transformation will work out, but if we are to have an "Open Future©" it must happen.  Each of us is an explorer.  

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