I was looking at the search terms that are used to find my business site, Strategies for Leadership and noticed "interactive leadership," which finds it because of the "interactive, leadership model" I have described. I don't want visitors to be disappointed so I will reward them with something on the subject here and learn in the process. Before I write my own perceptions/understandings I thought it best to check what's been blogged on the subject and although there's not a lot, it might prove interesting:
- In " Interactive Leadership - Leaders Who Listen" Gerard Kelly (8/17/05) uses a computer analogy, "Listening is where leadership begins. In a time of transition and change, it is where leadership must linger for much longer than we are used to. In the terminology of Computer Science, an interactive programme is one in which the operator is in direct communication with the computer, receiving immediate responses to input data. This is contrasted with batch processing, in which the necessary data and instructions are prepared in advance and processed by the computer with little or no intervention from the operator. Interactive leaders, then, are those who not only impact their environment but are impacted by it; who are as much shaped by relationships as they are shapers of them; who respond not only to principle but to particularity. The heart of interactivity is listening, and looking and learning are its constant companions. Interactive leaders are those who examine and explore; who research and respond. To lead interactively is to be a lifelong learner."
- In "If Women Ruled the World" Published Sunday, September 25, 2005 by Mercutio, written by TARA SHARAFUDEEN we have a gender distinction, "Men traditionally tend to be more "transactional", that is they view the job as a series of transactions with subordinates, exchanging rewards and punishments for service. They are more likely to use the force of their organizational position and formal authority. Women described themselves as more "transformational", getting subordinates to put the group above themselves for a greater goal. . . . . Judy Rosener who conducted the "International Women's Forum Survey of Men and Women Leaders", surveyed women who described themselves as transactional leaders and found them to have an interactive leadership style. They encouraged participation, information sharing, tried to energize and raise the self worth of subordinates. They believed that to give their best, people need to feel good about their job and themselves." (LATER NOTE: I have built on these ideas in Leadership and Gender.) (NOTE OF 9/23/06. I've come across this further information about Judith Rosner's work.)
- In "Beyond the Hype: Do Blogs Provide a Platform for Leadership?" Edward Deevy (7/18/05), I unexpectedly found a blogging comparison, " Later, as a consultant to a number of client organizations I advocated the concept of "leadership by walking around." At that time I stressed the importance of INTERACTIVE leadership. My bias was that leaders needed to not merely tell people what to do but they also needed to listen. . . . For a number of years I have recommended that organizational leaders interact regularly with employees in meetings and conferences. . . . The development of the blogging platform just a few years ago now makes it possible for leaders to hold ongoing "conversations" with employees and customers. What's really noteworthy is that the new software makes genuine INTERACTIVE dialogue possible."
Blogs would appear to support interactive leadership and thus innovation. A couple of months ago I quickly looked for CEO blogs that included leadership/management-employee interaction and found none. To the contrary I found a couple where employees vented to each other, in the absence of communications with leadership/management. I would also be interested in examples of interactive leadership in CEO blogs.
A quick google on "interactive leadership" showed many more web sites results than my Technorati blog search, so I may return to this subject. So far I have been reminded that it is because of their transactional nature that implementation activities are relatively easy to outsource and offshore which brings pressure for more innovation by domestic enterprises. The implementation component to every human activity insures that transactional leadership will always be a necessary skill but probably in proportionately less demand locally. This micro-study leads me to appreciate that a widespread call for innovation generates a demand for what some are calling "interactive leadership," explaining the appearance of this search term.
Technorati tags: Leadership, Management, Organizational Development, Business, Work, Lean, Lead, Follow, Innovate, Innovation, Implement, Implementation, Transactional Leadership, Interactive Leadership