NextGen Leadership Purposes

by Jay Deragon on 11/27/2012

Leadership attributes are being redefined by shifts in employee attitudes and market demands. These shifts are reshaping the way leaders think about work environments, relationships and organizational purpose.

Leadership attitudes in the past embodied “us vs. them” thinking, which was reflected by their beliefs about business models, strategies, organizational design and power. These attitudes are evident by management beliefs such as:


  1. There are those that decide strategy, and those that execute the strategy.
  2. The company’s job is to define the product, and the buyers’ is to consume it.
  3. Organizations must map out discrete activities within the firm to understand how value is created.

These three dominant attitudes embody the us/them thinking–and these attitudes are so embedded in modern business models that it’s difficult for leaders to see the folly in their thinking.

Those that buy into the deciders/doers divide suggest that some people believe they know more than others, thus should tell the others what to do. While this might work for some business models, it defies logic in an era in which information is easily shared and people are learning from others daily and eager to engage in decision-making.  Learning is no longer restricted to an academic exercise rather learning is real time collaboration with others.

NextGen Leaders understand that a company creating and buyers consuming is dated thinking. NextGen Leaders  embrace consumers as “co-creation” partners in their innovation efforts, instead of as buyers at the end of a value chain. Consumers are now seen as a source of value creation and competitive advantage.

Some organizations continue to divide up discrete activities to understand how value is created, but breaking down those barriers can allow for new solutions to old problems is what NextGen Leaders think about.

Business models are shifting from us/them architecture to a new way of operating, a more inclusive way of allowing anyone to contribute.  NextGen leaders understand that connected individuals can now do what once only centralized organizations could. By tapping into people’s abilities and desires to share, NextGen Leaders discover many ways of creating new solutions. NextGen Leaders realize that, while us/them architecture allows for neat and tidy organizational design, the framework ultimately divides rather than unites, slows rather than speeds, and decreases rather than increases value.

NextGen Leaders unite people around ways to create more value faster than ever before. That is the purpose of NextGen Leaders.

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