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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Though-provoking, but rather pushing an agenda
I'll start with the best bit - Chapter 9. This promotes the idea that the changes with the greatest potential rewards also tend to have a significant risk of failure, and as a result, failure needs to be handled sensibly, without unnecessary persecution and blame.

It's also the main chapter that does look at all at what to do when things go wrong. While the...
Published on 29 Oct. 2010 by David Burton

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Great Place to start
A great place for anyone in senior management to get a sound overview of the concept of Open Leadership. The book is well written, the author is writing from a position of knowledge and a wealth of practical experience all of which come through clearly in this book. I can see this book being a standard text on many MBA courses. I particularly like how it deals with a...
Published on 16 Jan. 2011 by artemisrhi


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to lead an organization to success in a "new world of openness", 3 Sept. 2010
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead (Hardcover)
I am surprised, frankly, that Charlene Li includes no references to Henry Chesbrough who is generally credited with introducing and developing the concept of "openness," notably in his books Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology (2003) and Open Business Models: How to Thrive in the New Innovation Landscape (2006), both published by Harvard Business Press. According to Chesbrough, "Let's be clear about what is meant by the term business model. In essence, a business model performs two important functions: It creates value, and it captures a portion of that value. The first function requires the defining of a series of activities (from raw materials through to the final customer) that will yield a new product or service, with value being added throughout the various activities. The second function requires the establishing of a unique resource, asset or position within that series of activities in which the firm enjoys a competitive advantage.

"Open business models enable an organization to be more effective in creating as well as capturing value. They help create value by leveraging many more ideas because of their inclusion of a variety of external concepts. They also allow greater value capture by utilizing a firm's key asset, resource or position not only in that organization's own operations but also in other companies' businesses."

The success of any business model (open or otherwise) depends on effective leadership and that is especially true of the open business model whose leadership - like the model itself - must demonstrate greater transparency and authenticity, especially in the face of social technology adoption. As Li correctly observes, "Being open should be not a mantra or philosophy, but a considered, rigorous approach to strategy and leadership that yields real results. This is not about total transparency and complete openness...Such an unrealistic extreme of complete openness is untenable if a business is to sustain its competitive advantage and ability to execute."

Li goes on to explain, "the question isn't whether you will be transparent, authentic, and real, but rather, how much you will let go and be open in the face of new technologies. Transparency, authenticity, and the sense of that you are being real are the by-products of your decision to be open." In essence, both Chesbrough and Li are describing a mind-set, a way of seeing both what is and what could be, and a temperament that embraces collaboration based on mutually beneficial values and objectives, following adoption and utilization of social technologies that expedite communication and cooperation between and among those involved.

I was especially interested in the material provided in Part III (Chapters 7-10), "Open Leadership: Redefining Relationships," in which Li focuses on the dominant characteristics of an Open Leader. They include

1. An insatiable curiosity about what can be learned from both internal and external sources that will help the given organization to achieve its strategic objectives; receptive ("open") to new and preferably better ideas, different perspectives, and prudent experimentation with acceptable risk as well as a passion lifelong learning.

2. Highly developed integrative thinking: in Roger Martin's words, the ability to "face constructively the tension of opposing ideas and, instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, generate a creative resolution of the tension [whatever its causes may be] in the form of a new idea that contains elements of the opposing ideas but is superior to each."

3. An optimistic mind-set based on a belief that (in Li's words) "most people want to do their best and want to be responsible, trustworthy, and honest - they have a high level of trust in people and extend that trust to a wider circle of people than their pessimistic counterparts. Optimists feel that, given the right opportunity, most people will grow in confidence, in ability, and in their own sense of self-worth."

4. Highly developed emotional intelligence in what Daniel Goleman suggests are "the four domains of ability: self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and interpersonal skill." Such leaders are "open" to their own emotions but also to the emotions of those with whom they are associated.

5. A preference for cross-functional collaboration as well as an appreciation of "creative confrontation" and principled dissent that produce better results than would otherwise be possible.

One of the Open Leader's greatest challenges is to help "grow" other Open Leaders. They do so by active involvement in the hiring process and orientation process, but mentoring high-potentials, and perhaps most important of all, setting an example that demonstrates all of the attributes previously listed. As both Chesbrough and Li correctly suggest, "open" leadership is needed to achieve and then sustain an "open" workplace, one that nourishes a culture of candor and transparency.

I also highly recommend Michael Ray's The Highest Goal, David Maister's Practice What You Preach, and Tony Schwartz's The Way We're Working Isn't Working.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Great Place to start, 16 Jan. 2011
By 
artemisrhi "artemisrhi" (Forest of Dean) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead (Hardcover)
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A great place for anyone in senior management to get a sound overview of the concept of Open Leadership. The book is well written, the author is writing from a position of knowledge and a wealth of practical experience all of which come through clearly in this book. I can see this book being a standard text on many MBA courses. I particularly like how it deals with a rather scary subject so calmly and mater of factly
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