All over the world we are witnessing a revolution in organizing. Just as the
industrial revolution created its new form of organization (bureaucracy),
the information revolution is creating its own new form of organization.
We are moving from command and control to collaboration, from organizing
based on a few leaders telling everyone what to do to dispersed
leadership, with managers, professionals, and teams authorized to make
their own decisions. In the 1980s and 1990s, I was involved in designing
these new organizational structures—team-based manufacturing, crossfunctional
teams, de-layered and networked organizations, and so on. The
combination of information technology and new forms of organizing has
resulted in an explosion of innovation in how we structure organizations,
all intended to increase people’s capacity to collaborate, to harness the
intelligence, knowledge, and commitment of everyone in the system. Yet,
few of these innovations have lived up to their promise. Studies of innovative
work systems show that most of them revert back to command and
control within a few years.
Expanding on the fresh concepts that made the first edition of Clear Leadership such a success a decade ago, Bushe brings up-to-date the tools and techniques needed to build sustaining partnerships and make today's collaborative organizations work. This fully revised edition now includes 23 skill-building exercises, dozens of personal stories and examples, and completely new chapters that add a sharper focus on ways that the original model of the four selves--the Aware, Curious, Appreciative, and Descriptive Self--can help anyone cut through the miscommunication, misunderstanding, and toxic mush dominating the workplace to achieve clarity, full engagement, and sustained collaboration.