The future of leading lies in collective leadership. With a rapidly changing business environment the old approach of my way or the highway is no longer feasible especially for small and medium enterprise. We need to be adaptive and open to new ideas if we want to grow a sustainable business.
But why should you adopt this leadership approach? There are many benefits to this style of leading which can be found below:
Power of the people:
A pressing issue for SMEs is learning to do more with less. Leading in this climate, one has to focus on cooperation and collaboration. A collective leadership style allows open communication between teams and departments. Individuals of all levels have the opportunity to contribute to business challenges and generate new ideas.
SMEs also have to be more agile, adapting to the changing environment. They must learn to anticipate changes and move quickly. The collaborative leadership style facilitates an environment where problem solving comes naturally. They are able to generate strategies and implement them quickly as everyone is involved. Unlike the traditional method of leadership where the leader tells you how to change and you must follow. Collective leadership provides you with the tools and environment to get things done by including everyone.
Innovation and Creativity:
By utilisting your people resources and allowing them to collaborate with one another, you are fostering an environment of innovation and creativity. Not only will this increase your competitive advantage as you come up with exciting, forward thinking ideas, but you and your employees will have a better understanding of how the organisation functions. It’s important to note that the people you employ must have the creative mindset. Those who are process orientated tend to struggle with this environment as it has less structure and regulation.
A favourable aspect of SMEs is their close-nit culture, everyone knows everyone and the workplace feels more like a community rather than workplace. Adopting collective leadership will continue to boost your company’s culture as individuals have the opportunity to grow as the company does. Working in a collective environment also gives your team the opportunity to hear feedback in real-time. This creates a learning environment where individuals continue to develop and improve.
The world is changing, leadership is no longer a one-dimensional conversation, now it involves everyone. To stay ahead of the curve and ahead of the larger enterprises, SMEs have to start adopting collective leadership.
Written by Vanessa Gavan