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Power Up: Transforming Organizations Through Shared Leadership by Allan R. Cohen, David L. Bradford

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ACHIEVING COLLABORATION

Changing the leadership system in an executive team is hard work, but it helps immeasurably when people work through conflict and learn to pull together. Much more must be done, however, before true collaboration becomes the way of life. The team has to make tough decisions together and solidify the new leadership assumptions as it does so. It must also extend the new beliefs and the new mode of operating throughout the organization. Otherwise, backsliding toward the traditional heroic system will be inevitable.

The Pharmco operating committee (OpCom) had made great progress in resolving disputes about the company’s direction and strategic choices. Working together at their second off-site retreat, committee members had accomplished a great deal: They would divest the equipment division, consolidate two line divisions, fundamentally refocus a third, and set up an integrated sales operations. In doing so, they had begun to see the benefit of confronting each other directly on important issues, including finally addressing long-festering antipathies toward CFO Ed Fisher. But many organizational issues remained to be settled. A key issue was who would head the new divisions. Bob Mitchell had been talking to each member individually about their self-development plans and who might fill jobs. There was a sense that momentous decisions were in the offing.

Of all ...

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