Leadership 2.0

Attended an iKMS talk last evening by Bonnie Cheuk of Environmental Resources Management (ERM). The talk was about the successful rollout of their Sharepoint portal named Minerva, which includes Web 2.0 tools like blogs and wikis.

What was remarkable to me was how participatory the leaders of ERM were in the rollout of the portal. The then CEO hosted a “CEO’s Blog”. Bonnie recounted how that CEO had a rough start, pricked by a challenging first comment from a junior staff in another part of the world, but slowly came around to appreciate the good intention behind that comment. A year later when the two met face to face the CEO and commenter were able to have deep conversations because of that shared context.

In another example, the Human Resource director hosted a 72-hr discussion marathon to address HR-related concerns from employees in 40 countries and across different time zones. He was nearly defeated by sceptics until after the first 24 hours he decided to use his own voice in the blog and people began to sense and accept his sincerity in addressing the issues raised.

I haven’t met these people, but they seemed to me like a courageous bunch. They opened themselves up to question and scrutiny, but by doing so they achieved transparency, alignment, openness and trust. Imagine: down to the very frontline the commander’s intent is unambiguous because there’s an opportunity for making clarifications upwards. What kind of leaders would open themselves up to such vulnerability in order to see hierarchical structure (ie power) crumble away? Bonnie listed the qualities of what she termed Leardership 2.0.

– employee-centric – listen and value every staff’s inputs – ready to be surprised – tolerate mistakes – hear what you may not like to hear – genuine dialogues with employees – willingness to let go of leader’s authority – leaders have to participate, not delegate

I began to wonder how many CEOs, especially in my part of the world, were willing to make themselves vulnerable publicly. So I googled “CEO’s blog” and found a wiki list of CEO’s blog from all over the world. From Singapore there’s one – Lai Kok Fung, CEO of BuzzCity Pte Ltd. Thinking that there had got to be more I refined my search and discovered another. Tan Kin Lian, former CEO of NTUC Income, also maintained a blog. That’s it. Are there other CEO blogs, perhaps internally-directed, that exist but aren’t publicized? If you know of any, please tell me.

5 Comments so far

Brian Kuhn

Our CEO (Superintendent of Schools) started a blog in the Spring of 2008.  You can visit it here:

He generally tries to post weekly although there’s a summer gap that would be consistent with K12 downtime.


Posted on August 20, 2008 at 10:58 AM | Comment permalink

Sarah Stewart

My CEO heads up a big higher ed institution and has just started his blog. I am very excited to be able to learn from him in a way that would never have been possible before.

Phil Ker’s blog: http://thoughtsfromphil.blogspot.com/

Posted on August 21, 2008 at 10:41 AM | Comment permalink

sounds like a great presentations . any have the slides ?

Posted on August 21, 2008 at 11:45 PM | Comment permalink

I would like to say thank you to iKMS for giving the opportunity for me to share ERM’s culture with other KM professionals. I really enjoyed the interaction with the participants. Best wishes, Bonnie

Posted on August 22, 2008 at 11:48 AM | Comment permalink

Patrick Lambe

What struck me from this story was the need for a strong and steady KM coach to support the initial bumps and shocks to the CEO-system that will inevitably come. Trust has to be a big part of this.

Posted on August 27, 2008 at 08:25 AM | Comment permalink

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