Open Leadership - can it work in the data center where control leadership is the norm?

I was having an interesting e-mail conversation with a data center and how well a local monthly data center event is working to build better relationships with the community of data center operators.  The openness of data center discussion flies in the face of secrecy typical of data centers.  Data Center events try to stimulate open conversation, but given the irregularity of events can you build a relationship by attending?


Open Leadership is a new book being released by Charlene Li, co-author of Groundswell.  Josh Bernoff the other co-author of Groundswell writes.

I found some parts of the book a lot more useful or interesting than others. Here are three good parts.

  1. Sandbox covenants. These are the rules organizations set up to determine what sorts of limits and conventions there are on openness. The book includes a link to social media policies of a bunch of corporations, not yet live, but I am looking forward to seeing that. This discussion, in Chapter 5, goes a long way to helping bridge the gap between social media backers within companies and corporate policymakers.
  2. Organizational models for openness. Charlene describes three types of organization: organic, centralized, and coordinated, and shows when each one makes sense. Given all the questions I get these days about organization for social, this is quite relevant.
  3. Leadership mindsets and traits. Chapter 7 classifies leaders according to whether they are optimistic or pessimistic, and whether they are independent or collaborative. Anyone who has ever had a boss will find this instructive. This is a fascinating way to look at leadership.

There are people who are realizing an Open approach is powerful, but difficult for most.  The book will be available on May 24.

As Li explains, openness requires more—not less—rigor and effort than being in control. Open Leadership reveals step-by-step, with illustrative case studies and examples from a wide range of industries and countries, how to bring the precision of this new openness both inside and outside the organization. The author includes suggestions that will help an organization determine an open strategy, weigh the benefits against the risk, and have a clear understanding of the implications of being open. The book also contains guidelines, policies, and procedures that successful companies have implemented to manage openness and ensure that business objectives are at the center of their openness strategy.

I'll post later on the data center social event that is taking an Open approach to Data Center Networking.  And,  I plan on adding a trip to an event to see for myself how it works.