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Peer-to-Peer Leadership

Book Description

Why is it that trust in leadership and the success of leaders seem to erode as we develop and refine more sophisticated models for leading, such as emotional intelligence, transformational leadership, and adaptive leadership? Mila Baker believes that most of today’s leadership theories are old wines in new skins and still rely on the leader-follower hierarchy. Yet the idea of hierarchy is breaking down everywhere in society, from politics to religion to social relationships—and most particularly in computers and networking. Why should leadership be any different? Baker’s inspiration is the peer-to-peer model of computing, which is also mirrored in social networking and crowdsource technologies. Baker shows that a network with “equipotent” nodes of power—think peer leaders—is infinitely more powerful than a “client-server” (i.e., leader-follower) network. Yet the typical organizational design still harkens back to the days of punch-card computers. By creating organizations with leaders at all levels, architects of peer-to-peer organizations can build flexibility, resiliency, and accountability. Baker still advocates the need for top-level executives and senior leaders but advises them to give up traditional notions of power and become focused on maintaining the health of the network rather than achieving personal leadership goals. Companies such as Gore and Herman Miller practice these principles and have achieved long-term success—Baker provides a structure to this approach that any organization can adapt.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Preface
    1. About this Book
  7. Chapter 1: The Language of Leadership
    1. Leadership and the Tech Revolution
    2. Individuality and Equality
    3. What is Peer-to-Peer Computing Technology and How is it Related to Leadership?
    4. The Difference between a New Theory and a Paradigm Shift
    5. Summary
  8. Chapter 2: Node Community
    1. What is a Node Community?
    2. The Power of Node Communities: Instant Information Sharing
    3. Power to Create Change and the Dangers of Misinformation
    4. Disruption of Traditional Communication Models
    5. On the P2P Path: Giant Hydra
    6. The Value of Node Communities in Organizations
      1. Efficient and Effective Flow of Information
      2. The Expertise of the Whole Community
      3. Nimbleness and Response to Change
      4. Real-Time Feedback and Dialogue
    7. Summary
  9. Chapter 3: Organizational Equipotency
    1. The Power of Equipotency in Organizations
      1. All Nodes are Created Equal: Everyone Leads and Everyone Follows
      2. Driven by Communication (Nodes)
    2. The Value of Equipotency in Organizations
      1. Serving as an Enabler
      2. Driving Commitment
      3. Engendering Positive Intent
      4. Motivating Everyone to Give their Best
    3. Implications for Organization Design
    4. On the P2P Path: BMW Designworks
    5. Implications for a new Leadership Paradigm
    6. Summary
  10. Chapter 4: Relational Dynamics
    1. On the P2P Path: Google
    2. Relational Dynamics
    3. On the P2P Path: Stiletto Network
    4. The Value of Relational Dynamics
      1. People, Information, and Connections
      2. Organizational Anarchy
      3. Shared Decision Making and Governance
    5. Implications for a new Leadership Paradigm
    6. Summary
  11. Chapter 5: From Survival of the Fittest to Survival of the Connected
    1. Darwin Misinterpreted
    2. Adaptation and Mitigation
    3. Protective Processes
    4. Solving Problem Solving
    5. Summary
  12. Chapter 6: The Flow of Information
    1. Traditional Barriers to Communication
    2. Day-to-Day Sharing: Network as Communication Infrastructure
    3. Benefits of the Open Transfer of Information
    4. Summary
  13. Chapter 7: Nimbleness and Change
    1. P2P and Drivers for Change
    2. The Space and Time for Change
      1. The Evolutionary Model
      2. The Dialectical Model
      3. The Teleological Model
      4. The Life Cycle and Cultural Models
    3. A Case for P2P Architecture: Herman Miller
    4. Summary
  14. Chapter 8: Real-Time Feedback and Dialogue
    1. Starbucks: Two Observations, Two Outcomes
    2. On the P2P Path: NYU–A Global Network University
    3. A Better Way
    4. Summary
  15. Chapter 9: Implications for Organization Design
    1. Why is P2P Architecture Important?
    2. The Work Experience
    3. On the P2P Path: Hot Spots Movement
    4. The Work Environment
    5. Summary
  16. Chapter 10: Implications for Leadership
    1. Organization Formation
    2. On the P2P Path: ROWE
    3. Human Resources and Organization Development
    4. Questioning Traditional Leadership
    5. Leadership as a Dyad Exchange Structure
    6. Summary
  17. Moving Forward
    1. On the P2P Path: Paul Polman at Unilever
  18. Notes
  19. Acknowledgments
  20. Index
  21. About the Author