Appendix I

The in-house Leadership Hub

The in-house Leadership Hub is a corporate leadership collaboration and development platform. It is particularly useful for global organizations with a dispersed community of leaders, who need them to collaborate, build relationships and share practice with each other, to lead in a co-ordinated way and become better at leadership as they use the platform.

It can be used to develop or maintain a strong founding culture that is part of the organization‘s distinctiveness but that may be in danger of being diluted as an organization expands globally, with a dispersed global leadership group.

It is built on four principles.

1) Leadership redux

“’No time, no time’, said the White Rabbit.” Lewis Carroll

There is too much ‘stuff’ out there on leadership. It is overwhelming, of variable quality, and hard to navigate. The In-house Leadership Hub simplifies (but not too much) and distils the essence of great Leadership into 60 second bites, as building blocks for 15-minute modules, which act as the catalyst for interaction and changed behaviour.

2) Blending knowing and doing

“Leadership, like swimming, cannot be learned by reading about it.” Henry Mintzberg

Interaction with the In-house Leadership Hub has to be part of getting the job of leadership done, not separate from it, not ‘learning’ as it is traditionally seen.

3) Let them build it and they will come

Co-creation, co-operation, community: The Leadership Hub blends inspirational content - interactive learning modules designed around your organization’s ‘desired leadership behaviours’ - with a closed, collaborative community.

Users help build the system and share examples of putting leadership behaviours into action, - discussing and sharing solutions, to common problems, tapping into and sharing the group‘s collected expertise, prompted and led where necessary by ‘The Coach’ - the community’s facilitator.

The community select the tools they use. By omission, they also de-select and therefore shape their own collaborative environment as the tools they do not use are eventually removed.

This is a much more cost-effective approach than building a learning platform and pushing people through it. The Hub‘s shape emerges rather than being prescribed in advance. Usage is part of the building process: as people use it, they shape it.

Dave Snowden & Cynthia Kurtz explain the principle of emergence this way:

“In an ideal approach you define how things should be and attempt to achieve it; in a naturalising approach you introduce technologies and practices on a safe-fail basis and see what works. Amplification of good patterns, damping of bad patterns allows something to emerge that is more resilient and risk free, not to mention a lower cost, solution.” Bramble Bushes in a Thicket, a paper by Dave Snowden and Cynthia Kurtz on idealistic versus naturalistic change

4) Commitment-based leadership

Commitment to action is a condition of participation in The Hub. The active participation of the top leadership team is recommended as a spur to participation from others.

Modules or activities in ‘The Hub’ can be created to deliver on your particular leadership development needs, creating your own syllabus and an online community of leaders that reinforces the desirable and distinctive elements of an organization‘s culture - what sets you apart from the competition - and, if necessary, damps down by omission or explicit challenges from within the community elements of the culture that may be emerging that dilute the elements of the culture that made you successful in the first place and that you want to champion and maintain and develop.

The community collaborates on these modules within the Leadership Hub online platform – either within your intranet or sitting in a password protected area on the Net - and then use what they have learnt to change their leadership behaviour and report back to the community on what works and what doesn‘t.


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