Could building a coalition result in leadership by committee?

Innovation was the theme of the Code Freeze 2008 conference last week. Mark Striebeck talked about innovation strategy at Google, Jon Spence explained how Agile methods were introduced at Medtronic, Jamie Thingelstad touched on innovation in product development at Dow Jones. Then after lunch, we had the pleasure to listen to Stuart Halloway, Nate Schutta, and David Hussman.

Most of the ideas discussed are common sense, but one point is interesting to think about. Jamie said that leadership by committee does not work. I tend to agree with this statement. I also trust Jamie's judgement - his organization managed to keep its innovative culture and efficient development environment through a number of merges and acquisitions. But I just keep wondering...

One of the responsibilities of a strong leader is to build a strong coalition to support her or his ideas and lead this coalition as a team to make the change and innovation happen. Could that result in leadership by committee?

Comments (2) -

Leadership Expert

3/30/2009 9:34:15 AM #

Leadership Expert United Kingdom

I think that as a concept, leadership by committee really is as grey and vague a term as you suggest. A good leader needs to be surrounded and supported by a team of well informed and trusted individuals. At which point this verges on 'committee' its quite hard to decide, and for that reason I'd argue against most attacks on 'leadership by committee' - as they often attack the key idea that a leader needs a supporting team to help with decision making.

Team Management

4/4/2009 2:16:03 PM #

Team Management

I think that leadership by committee is only a inevitable result if the leader is one whom has an imposing attitude and has been fierce with those who have dissented in the past. Its entirely up to the leader as to whether he wants people to agree with him for the sake of it, or not.

Welcome to ModelBlog

Thank you for visiting ModelBlog. We hope the time you spend with us will be both entertaining and worth your while. Have fun!