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In this book, Charlene Li (also the co-author of Groundswell available from Audible) once again applies her keen insight to issues related to virtual communities and social media. There are leadership traits and skills available to all leaders in the past which will still work she says. However, Li considers aptitutdes which she contends are needed to be learned in order to navigate the new electronic environment.
A particularly interesting segment to me was her discussion of organizational models applicable to oragnizational openness (organic, centralized, and coordinated). Then she suggests that those who start out with a centralized organizational form will move toward development of the coordinated form. That makes intuitive sense to me at least though I would have not have readily thought of it on my own..
Her essential point - I think - is that the advent of social media will force organizations to be open in order to survive. If you are new to social media, listen to Groundswell first and follow it by this book. The book is clearly written and expertly read by Sean Pratt. It is very informative and will provide benefit to a wide audience.
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I've read a dozen books about social media this year, and Charlene Li's latest book "Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead" is hands down the best book available on the topic to date. In my experience developing social media strategies and tactics for F500 companies, the biggest challenges are in the minds of the traditional marketer and Open Leadership hits them head on with no hold's bared. Charlene has assembled a systematic process to identify needs, and list specific actions that need to occur within an organization's leaders. The obstacles to success are clearly called out, along with a corresponding plan to overcome them. She spells out a refreshingly new method to evaluate the ROI of your social media efforts and references several web based methods evaluate your specific situation. I downloaded Open Leadership from Audible.com for myself, but this is one of those books that I've also purchased from Amazon.com so that I can share with my colleagues in hopes that it will never return to my desk.
- Pete Radke