Mary Boone on Leadership, Collaboration and Complexity

How to Lead in an Era of Transparency, Uncertainty, and Decentralized Power

Keynote Photo

Suggested Target Audience(s)
  Executives, Directors or Senior Managers in any type of organization, who seek to effectively lead in this era of transparency, uncertainty, and decentralized Power


Suggested Delivery Formats

  • One-hour speech
  • Two-hour or full day workshop


All speeches and workshops are:

  • Augmented by virtual pre-work and follow-up activities
  • Individually customized to meet very specific client objectives

Topic Summary - Download a pdf

This speech is based on the award-winning Harvard Business Review article, “A Leader’s Framework for Decision-making,” that Mary Boone co-authored with Dave Snowden. The article received both an Emerald Citation (2011) as well as an award from the Academy of Management (2008). The Emerald Citation identified it as one of the 50 most influential articles of the past four years – based on a pool of over 15,000 articles from major business and economic publications worldwide. The article continues to be frequently cited in a variety of publications.

Mary’s ideas on leadership are refreshingly unconventional. Leading in the New Millennium truly is different and she explains not only how it’s different, but also what to do about it. Boone’s twenty-five years of research and experience in the fields of communication, IT, and organizational behavior uniquely position her to assist leaders in facing the challenges of leadership in conditions of great complexity.

Meetings Matter

Many leaders see meetings as an opportunity to “get their message out.” But in an age where interactive communication is paramount and where the development of relationships is critical, meetings are one of the few opportunities to really engage with customers, employees, contractors, and other stakeholders. The problem is that leaders use meetings to “broadcast” information instead of turning them into opportunities to listen and learn. Meetings are a powerful “social” medium – if we design them that way.

 

Failure IS an option

One of the most important ways to manage complexity is through experimentation. And it’s axiomatic – if people aren’t allowed to fail, they won’t experiment. It is best to create an environment where thoughtful experimentation is encouraged and where learning from failure is celebrated.

Determining the Context for Making Decisions

It’s become a fad of sorts to say that leaders should let everyone “self-organize.” In fact, often that is not a good idea. The Cynefin model of leadership decision making helps leaders to understand when to loosen the reins and when to tighten them.

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Mary's Work in the Media:

NewYorkTimesLogo large                  npr          msnbcLogo  
HBR industryWeek cnbc financial times

      

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