#WorkingOutLoud Developing a Social Leadership Workshop

Today, i’m #WorkingOutLoud on the design of a new, two day long, Social Leadership workshop. I’ve decided to share it, because it’s actually quite useful i think to show the narrative structure, the way my thinking runs through it, from ‘foundations of the Social Age‘, through the NET model itself, into the Socially Dynamic Organisation, and the onward journey. So apologies that this isn’t a very ‘narrative’ post, but i hope it’s useful to any of you who are designing your own Social Leadership programmes and ideas.

The NET Model of Social Leadership

The purpose of this workshop is to create a broad understanding of Social Leadership, to to explore the challenges we face within our own organisation, and to map out a personal development pathway to becoming a Social Leader.

Day 1: Foundations of Social Leadership

1.1 Foundations of the Social Age

In this opening session, we explore the new ecosystem of the Social Age, the context in which our organisations exist, that we recruit, that we operate, and that we lead within. We focus on the broadest context, then narrow down to specific disruptions and challenges in our own organisation. Aspects will be tailored to the organisation, but typically include:

  • The new nature of work – the fragmentation of careers, the gig economy, virtual working
  • The evolution of knowledge – co-creation, democratisation, on demand, adaptive
  • The rise of communities – empowerment, social filtering, visibility
  • Types of power – the move to networked authority, the decline of hierarchy
  • Automation – impacts of robotics and AI
  • Democratisation of creativity – fragmentation of publishing, democratisation of media, the dis-aggregation of production
  • Mass inequality – the digital divide, core skills, social justice, social responsibility, fairness

Further reading:

Introduction to the Social Age

1.2 – Foundations of Social Leadership

In this section we will explore the need for Social Leadership, the nine components of the NET model, and explore Social Leadership in practice. The nine sections are:

CURATION – Finding things out and determining what’s valid from what’s just noise. Identifying networks and communities. It’s about quality and coherence, not volume and mass.

STORYTELLING – identifying the narrative under the story. Finding meaning. Forging coherent narratives, then flesh them out into stories that are relevant and timely to the audience. Understanding story-listening.

SHARING – Curating content, finding the meaning and then sharing the stories effectively. How this is facilitated by collaborative technology. Sharing to help others succeed.

COMMUNITY – understanding ‘coherent’ communities, where our communities are, the varied roles we play within them, the purpose of community. Starting, guiding, narrating, and leaving, communities.

REPUTATION – Reputation forms the engine of our effectiveness. Understanding how reputation is forged, built, eroded. The pollution between what we ‘must’ do, and what we ‘should’ do. Links to Trust.

AUTHORITY – The key to Social Leadership, understanding relationship to Reputation. Exploring authenticity in action. The contextual nature of Social Authority.

CO-CREATION – exploring the process by which meaning is created within communities and the way in which culture changes over time.

SOCIAL CAPITAL – is one’s ability to survive and thrive in these spaces. Humility, fairness, equality, the need to hear all voices. Operating in globally differentiated .

COLLABORATION – joining it up, coming together and creating meaning, beyond that which we can do alone.

Further reading:

10 reasons for Social Leadership

Six tenets of Social Leadership

1.3 Building Communities

In this section, we look in detail at communities. We consider:

  • The 16 Conditions for community: how are they manifest within your organisation?
  • The role of technology – social collaboration, conversation vs space, ownership and control
  • Roles – the different roles we play, and the need for fairness, balance, and to hear all voices
  • Values – lived vs aspirational
  • Consequence – social inhibition, application of consequence, the insulation gap

Further reading:

The Sphere of Consequence

16 Conditions for Community

Social Leadership Roles

1.4 The Landscape of Trust

We will explore the new research into ‘trust’. Specifically:

  • An overview of the global research results – provides a baseline, shows the evolution of trust, lets us consider where to focus
  • Trust as it is held between individuals – used to anchor trust in individual action and agency
  • Trust within communities and teams – relates to Social Capital in Social Leadership, our individual responsibility to earn and hold trust safe
  • Trust in the organisation – looks at how trust is held, how it’s impacted by formal spaces and technologies, and how trust fails, based on the narratives from the research
  • The 12 aspects of trust – this may be explored using the Trust Sketchbook, a guided, collaborative reflection – it will let everyone form their individual reflection, captured in the evening, around their role in fostering trust within culture.

Further reading:

The projection and failure of trust

12 aspects of trust

Day 2: Developing Social Leadership

Day one was about foundational understanding, and an exploration of Social Leadership: in this second day, we will contextualise it more to the individual journey, created our shared narrative, and look to the future.

2.1 – Storytelling in Social Leadership

In this part of the workshop, build on the foundations of storytelling, and look at some specific contexts that we can us it within our Social Leadership journey. Contexts include:

Storytelling through change – how Social Leaders are attuned to their community, to hear the tacit voices, the stories of subversion and dissent, and to mindfully bring them into the formal conversation. To represent the community through change.

Stories of difference – one role of the Social Leader is to engage in stories of difference. Not simply to be in those spaces where we agree, but to engage in, and bring together, voices of difference, stories where we disagree. Our aim is to seek understanding, and to hold open spaces for co-creation and reconciliation.

Hearing weak stories – this ties into innovation and change, are we able to hear weak voices within the system, and how do we ‘make sense’ of them, filter them, and amplify where relevant. Sometime the stories that are hardest to hear are the ones we need to hear the most.

2.2 – The Socially Dynamic Organisation

This is a future facing session: exploring what the Socially Dynamic Organisation is, what it looks like in our organisation, and our role and actions in building it. This is about building a personal journey that runs beyond the session, and ties into the ‘Social Leadership 100 days’ journey.

Further reading:

Design principles for the Socially Dynamic Organisation

How will organisations evolve?

2.3 – Fairness and Humility

We close out the second day by focusing on two issues at the heart of Social Leadership: fairness and humility. Specifically, we consider:

Why, and how, Social Leaders fight for fairness – we look at when our social responsibility can come into conflict with our organisational power, and we consider who is responsible for fairness. We look at issues of social consequence and cultural failure, and address the question of ‘how do i impact the overall culture’.

The humility of Social Leadership: a willingness to learn, to hear weak voices, to represent those who are voiceless, to do what’s right, to nurture community, to invest without expectation of reciprocity, to foster collaboration.

2.4 – Your Social Leadership Journey

The final part of day two is to consider your 100 day journey: we circulate the second edition of the Social Age Journal, the co-created story of the workshop.

Social Leadership: my 1st 100 days

We use socially moderated badges and awards, where the community within the workshop define and allocate their recognition and thanks. We consider how social recognition and thanks can be used within our own teams.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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3 Responses to #WorkingOutLoud Developing a Social Leadership Workshop

  1. Pingback: Organisational Pollution and Ethical Choice | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  2. Pingback: The Post Hoc Rationalisation Fallacy | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  3. Pingback: Hold Open Spaces | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

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