On Leading the Next Generation...
Imagine it’s 1995 again. Two digital encyclopedias are about to be created. The first is from Microsoft, a stellar company full of smart people and money. They are on top of the world, as they have just launched Windows 95. Their digital encyclopedia will be sold on CD-ROMs and later online. Everyone expects this product to be a hit.
The second will launch in a few years, driven not by a company but by thousands of ordinary people who write and edit articles for fun. The question is: Which of these two products will survive? No one in their right mind would have predicted the second one—but that’s actually what happened. In 2009, Microsoft pulled the plug on Encarta, butWikipedia continues on as motivated people engage in what they love doing. It continues to last because so many have ownership of the content. Anyone has a say and everyone is important.
This is a picture of the shift that’s taken place in our culture today. If you don’t get it, you and your leadership will become antiquated and eventually will be irrelevant. When leaders understand this picture I’ve given you, they begin to shift their style of leadership, not their substance, and remain valuable.