Thoughts on leadership and consultation

Between work, studying and compulsive podcast listening I’m learning a lot about leadership at the moment. I’m especially interested in/have had my attention drawn to ideas about collaborative leadership and ‘bottom-up’ innovation, etc etc, add numerous other buzzwords.

I could ramble on for a while about the ubiquity of ideas about engaging members of groups in dialogue and consultation. (a group could refer to a town community or an company or a volunteer organisation or any other collective of people with at least a vague sense of a common agenda).

What I find most fascinating about ideas about dialogue and consultation is that people who hold decision-making power seem to LOVE it, and the people who are being consulted are either immediately cynical or driven to cynicism when a consultative process goes nowhere.  And so, even though consultation is nothing new and it has probably been pissing people off for years, it persists. And even though it sprang up as a way to remove barriers, it seems to very effectively drive an even bigger wedge between the people in power and the people they are supposedly listening to.

Two podcasts that are interesting for numerous reasons, including occasional moments of relevance to organisations, leadership and consultation without specifically being about those things.

This American Life episode 403: NUMMI
A car plant in Fremont California that might have saved the U.S. car industry. In 1984, General Motors and Toyota opened NUMMI as a joint venture. Toyota showed GM the secrets of its production system: how it made cars of much higher quality and much lower cost than GM achieved. Frank Langfitt explains why GM didn’t learn the lessons – until it was too late.

Classic Late Night Live: Rhonda Galbally
A discussion with the veteran feminist, social and disability activist about her life and work, which includes long stints in the government, private and community sectors. Rhonda Galbally has been a pioneer in several areas: understanding of disability; establishment of a tobacco tax to fund health promotion and the development of community based childcare. Originally broadcast on 19/8/04.


3 thoughts on “Thoughts on leadership and consultation

  1. DavidA

    Lead-a-sheep is ver imp stuff. It teach is ewe how t be pow-a-fool. Crush teh wee klings.

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