Saturday, April 09, 2011
As One: Individual Action, Collective Power by Mehrdad Baghai & James Quigley - Book review
Individual Action, Collective Power
By: Mehrdad Baghai, James Quigley
Published: February 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
"Every day, millions of people around the world collaborate. We join, share and cooperate with others from different countries and backgrounds, across organizations and industries.The world continues to advance because people are problem solving, innovating, and collaborating to make things happen", write Managing Director of Alchemy Growth Partners, Mehrdad Baghai; and CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, James Quigley, in their groundbreaking and thought provoking book As One: Individual Action, Collective Power. The authors describe alternative approach to enhancing large group productivity through collaboration and encouraging a sense of common purpose.
James Quigley (photo left) and Mehrdad Baghai turn the traditional concepts of leadership upside down. The standard leadership models are the long standing command-and-control model and the more recent agile-and-adaptive model. The authors demonstrate how these two basic models are not the only leadership types for building collaborative organizations. Indeed, the authors consider the very limiting nature of only two choices to be false, and a leadership myth, that they destroy convincingly. For the authors, there are many alternative leadership paradigms that are much more effective than the standard models. As a result, the book presents a completely fresh way to examine and consider group leadership, that goes far beyond the usual limited choices, leading to much more effective group productivity and achievement.
Mehrdad Baghai (photo left) and James Quigley utilize effectively, the results of a landmark global leadership and collaboration research study, to develop their new concepts of building and leading group purpose. The study pointed to eight major archetypical leadership styles and their interaction with their group followers. In place of the traditional polarized collaborative theory, the authors present a richer and more personalized series of collaborative teams. The eight major archetypes are:
* Landlord and Tenants
* Community Organizer and Volunteers
* Conductor and Orchestra
* Producer and Creative Team
* General and Soldiers
* Captain and Sports team
* Senator and Citizens
These eight different archetypes provide a more flexible and workable continuum of models than the much more rigid dichotomy of approaches of the standard models.
For me, the power of the book is how Mehrdad Baghai and James Quigley combine the well researched conclusions of their groundbreaking global study with real world examples of the eight collaborative models in action. The authors provide descriptions of the eight collaborative archetypes and share examples of how and why each principle is unique, yet universal as well. With each leader and group having their own special characteristics, the opportunity for creative endeavor offered by the eight archetypes, provides for more flexibility, innovation, and group collaboration. The older two option concept lacks the depth of understanding and nuance that while leaders and groups may resemble one another at first glance, their internal dynamics and character are very different.
The authors describe as well how simply adding the two words "as one" to a phrase not only changes its meaning but also opens up a new and creative set of possibilities. By changing the wording of how concepts are framed, through inclusiveness and cohesion, the entire group will behave and create ideas in new and exciting ways. Being part of a group is a powerful motivator for all people, and a basic foundation of all societies, offers participants an opportunity to work toward a common cause. The eight different styles of leader and followers provide archetypes for various personalities to operate more effectively. The result is a much more productive collaborative effort for everyone including both the leaders and the followers.
I highly recommend the revolutionary and very practical book As One: Individual Action, Collective Power by James Quigley and Mehrdad Baghai, to anyone seeking not only a richer and more flexible approach to collaboration, but also how to implement the principles unique and common to all archetypical groups. The book provides the tools for establishing the most comfortable collaborative format and for putting it into action to achieve the best possible results.
Read the fascinating and paradigm altering book As One: Individual Action, Collective Power by James Quigley and Mehrdad Baghai, and begin to think as one when establishing collaborative teams and organizations. The collective power and creative capacity of the entire group will transform any group and lead to greatness.
Labels: book reviews
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