Simon Terry

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The Learning of Leadership

Digital has accelerated a shift from leader as store of knowledge and expertise to leader as learner. It is time to relearn leadership in digital transformation. 

The model of leadership in traditional perfectionistic hierarchical organisations was clear. Develop expertise, hoard knowledge and make big decisions. Executives in these organisations built systems to give them control of decisions, to pull all knowledge to them and create massive stores of data & knowledge upon which to apply their expertise. 

Moore’s law and global network connection has smashed this model of work and management. The volume of data overwhelms human decision making. The pace of change makes knowledge stores quickly redundant. Technology like analytics can be used to extend the life of the model but it also accelerates the demise of the Perfectionistic Hierarchical Expert. Analytics are neither hierarchical, perfect, nor concerned about expertise. 

We are rebuilding work as a learning experience. Work now is about leveraging flows of knowledge. Leadership must be the facilitation of collective human learning. Leaders must be enabling the people and creating the systems that take advantage of the new opportunities to learn. The network navigator will lead teams to leverage the wirearchy and to learn through applying knowledge in action. Individual perfection is not the goal. The goal now is ever improving efffectiveness of work as we learn how to work better together. 

To learn more about digital leadership, get a ticket to this panel with Anne Bartlett-Bragg and Euan Semple in Melbourne. We will be discussing how leadership needs to change and what needs to be done to sustain change. 


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