I wrote recently that about the next important step for organizations to learn on the social web is leadership. I had characterized it as cultural leadership inspired in many ways by Reed Hastings (the Netflix CEO) presentation on “Freedom and Responsibility in Culture” (my post on that Culture as Competitive Advantage).
This idea of social leadership keeps bringing me back to the How To Start a Movement TED talk that I keep coming across. What I think Derek Sivers really describes here is a tacit element critical community leadership or social leadership and that is how early followers are as a critical part of creating a movement as the initial leader. Think about this as an organization trying to create a movement online, it means the early followers are integral to the creation of that movement. In my opinion organizations are not generally differentiating between the small number that help them create a movement earlier and the late majority.
Some companies understand this, and certainly any blogger who’s been around the block will know this intuitively. I think for many this community building skill is just a tacit human skill that we don’t tend to identify as important in business.
There are of course many people out there who understand and describe this concept in many different ways like open leadership by Charline Lee, tummeling by Debs, Heathr, & KevinMarks, and I think it overlaps with the concept of social capital ( or Whuffie whuffie coined by Cory Doctorow and interpreted extensively by Tara Hunt).
I think people are learning these skills much faster than organizations are and in many ways that’s understandable, people learn tacit skills through and from each other and i think it’s yet to be quantified for organizations.
Image by: Clearly Ambiguous