Leadership within a global organization: how to start the real conversation

By William Seidman One of the biggest challenges of leadership is the large, geographically dispersed organization. I hear various experts argue that physical proximity is not essential: that the spirit of an informal conversation alone is sufficient. But anyone who has worked in a large, complex environment knows that this is usually not sufficient. This approach still fundamentally uses the executive as isolated hero. The lingo may be different, but the message hasn’t changed. Instead, there must be a communications system that guides everyone to speak to each other in this conversational way. Over the last 15 years, in working with organizations on leadership development, cultural change and performance improvement, we have developed a system that accomplishes this. Begin with the native language of the “positive deviants.” They speak of their work in these conversational tones and can suggest practice exercises for teaching others to speak this way. Then create peer groups that collectively do the exercises and meet to discuss what they learned. To an amazing degree, doing these simple things will create a conversation-rich environment.]]>

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