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on 18 July 2012
Lateral leadership was a title which enticed me. There are times when everyone has struggled to get a problem solved or a process fixed. This book inspired me to take action to address the problems that i face without relying on someone more senior to tell people to do it. The main concepts of the book are related to improving collaboration by increasing the quality of staff interactions. Using a selection of techniques and models listed in the book, you will be better equipped to get the important things done without having to resort to "because i say so".

My favorite section of the book is the circle chart. This is a model for capturing the different areas of an issue which usually get blurred during a meeting. The four areas also help address different personality styles. By dividing a problem into "The problem", "The causes", "The vision", and "The next actions to take" you can capture a lot more relevant information during meeting.
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on 6 December 2005
Lateral leadership skills are how to get the job done when you are not the boss
Roger Fisher, the world's leading expert on win-win negotiation, partners with Alan Sharp in Lateral Leadership (1998, 2004) to identify three fundamental problems with collaboration in organisations and what you can do to fix them:
** Lack of personal skills
** Not knowing what good collaboration looks like
** Not knowing how to influence the behaviour of others
The logic runs like this:
Firstly if you lack personal disciplines and cannot organise yourself you are going to find it even harder in a team.
Secondly even if you have good personal skills it is no guarantee you can collaborate well.
Thirdly even if you are collaborating well the team will not succeed unless the other members are doing the same and for this to happen you need influencing skills.
Roger shows how 'telling' does not inspire others to learn new behaviour and offers three practical methods which work much better in successfuly influencing others:
** Ask a good question
** Offer your own thoughts and invite people to build on them
** Do something which will serve as a model for better behavior
Roger suggests that for peer collaboration to work well a team must pay close attention to 5 key dimensions in the following sequence Purpose, Thinking, Learning, Engagement and Feedback.
I strongly recommend this book to anybody leading teams whether you are a team leader with formal authority, or are a team leader without formal authority or even just a team member.
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