Yesterday i prototyped the first version of a Social Leadership strategic tool, a jigsaw that can be used by teams to explore what Social Leadership is, their individual and relative strengths, and to contextualise it in their own organisation. Today, i wanted to share a few ideas of ‘what’ i’m trying to do with this. I should be clear that i have no firm view: this is a prototype, just an idea at this stage, made of scraps of paper and glue.
In it’s current form, the jigsaw reflects the NET Social Leadership mode: there is a central hub, surrounded by three spokes, and then the nine separate components. These represent MY version of the model, and the narrative that i most commonly share: first, you CURATE your space, set your foundations, then learn to be an effective STORYTELLER, considering authenticity and amplification. SHARE widely, but wisely. Consider your COMMUNITY, which ones you should join, start, or leave, and within those, how you develop REPUTATION. The magic happens when your reputation is rewarded with SOCIAL AUTHORITY. Once you have this, you can look at CO-CREATION, the sense making aspect of communities, you can build, and have, high SOCIAL CAPITAL, to ensure that nobody is left behind, and you can COLLABORATE widely, and in great complexity.
In the first instance of the game, the group builds the model, then has some ‘points’ to spend against it. You can do this in a number of ways: yesterday, i gave them 45 points, to spend on what they felt was the most important aspect of the framework, but equally i think you could do it individually, to explore your individual strengths, and compare them to those of the team.
In a second round, i asked the group to create their own jigsaw pieces: they could keep the spokes, and the components, and add more, or remove some of my pieces and substitute their own. Naturally, this produced variation: some of the revised models i agreed with, some i felt were the same, but used different language, and some i felt were less strong. And that is as it should be: diversity is a strength within a team. And our own humility, itself a core component of Social Leadership, should be at the heart of our work.
Even my own thinking has evolved since i sketched the original model in 2013: today, i consider ‘Story Listening’ to be as important as ‘Storytelling’, especially for senior formal leaders. I also consider the role of ‘trust’ as more central. Perhaps, in time, i will revise the whole model. That’s part of #WorkingOutLoud, being prepared, and eager, to learn more, to be wrong, to revise and iterate.