Open Leadership

Open LeadershipAm reading an excellent book at the moment – Open Leadership by Charlene Li.

Fans of dead-tree web 2.0 reading will be familiar with Groundswell, which Li co-authored and was chock-full of interesting case studies – mostly from the US private sector – around how collaborative relationships with customers, often using the web as a platform, lead to success.

Here’s some of the blurb for Open Leadership:

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 to 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.

It’s a great read too. One of my favourite bits is where Li lists early on five new rules for leaders to bear in mind when managing relationships:

  1. Respect that your customers and employees have power
  2. Share constantly to build trust
  3. Nurture curiosity and humility
  4. Hold openness accountable
  5. Forgive failure

Hear, hear!

You can get a flavour of the book with this free snippet:

Bookmarks for March 8th through March 13th

I find this stuff so that you don’t have to.

You can find all my bookmarks on Delicious. There is also even more stuff on my shared Google Reader page.

You can also see all the videos I think are worth watching at my video scrapbook.

Levels of social web engagement

I have been reading Li and Bernhoff’s Groundswell just recently, and I came across an interesting division of levels of interaction with the social web. I’ll type it out here for your edification.

  • Creators
    • Publish a blog
    • Publish your own web pages
    • Upload video you created
    • Upload audio/music you created
    • Write articles or stories and publish them
  • Critics
    • Post ratings/reviews of products or services
    • Comment on someone else’s blog
    • Contribute to online forums
    • Contribute to/edit articles in a wiki
  • Collectors
    • Use RSS feeds
    • Add tags to websites or photos
    • ‘Vote’ for websites online
  • Joiners
    • Maintain profile on a social networking site
    • Visit social networking sites
  • Spectators
    • Read blogs
    • Watch video from other users
    • Listen to podcasts
    • Read online forums
    • Read consumer ratings/reviews
  • Inactives
    • None of these activities

Whilst we may want to pick away at the odd thing on the list, I think it is broadly right in terms of the degrees of participation. The key thing is to understand both what it is that these groups want out of their web ‘experience’ and making sure the tools you use can meet that need. The other thing to consider might be how, if at all, you can encourage people to move up into the next category: to try and get some inactives spectating; and some critics creating.

I suppose it goes without saying, really, but if you were to visualise the list above in terms of the numbers within each group, it would be a pyramid, with lots of inactives and spectators but very few creators at the top. Perhaps this is how it should be, else we really would get drowned in the resultant noise.

What do you make of these levels of participation, and how could they be used in planning a social media project?