During the course of yesterday, my good friend, the always insightful Ana Silva was wondering, over in Twitter, and in her own blog, too!, under the heading “The Cluetrain Manifesto on art, work and life“, about potential new books to read during the summer vacation. A bunch of us dropped by and shared some suggestions that would surely make for quite an interesting and diverse reading. I mentioned a couple of them, but one that I really enjoyed reading for how thought-provoking, refreshing and liberating it was, to the point where despite the fact I finished it up a couple of months back, it’s still lingering there in my mind, was Steve Denning‘s “The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management“.
It’s just one of those books that’s very easy to read, with some great storytelling! (Of course, Steve is very good at it!), and lots of new, fresh thinking of the new role that leadership will need to embrace, if it would want to survive in the 21st century, but, most importantly, a new role management will need to embark on and live fully, if they would want their own businesses survive in the current knowledge economy for decades to come! Now, I will be putting together a much more in-depth review of the book itself and what I actually learned from it, while reading it, in an upcoming blog post, but I just wanted to share with you folks over here a video clip that tells a very powerful story and that, while going through it, reminded me of Steve’s book in setting up the stage of that new radical management and what that new generation of radical leaders would be like.
The video, of course, once again, comes from the inspiring KarmaTube Web site; it lasts for just a few minutes, and it tells the story of Haruka Nishimatsu, CEO of Japan Airlines, describing how he “takes the bus to work, eats at the company cafeteria and buys his suits at discount stories“. Not the typical CEO, you may be wondering, right? Indeed, by far! But it gets much much better. You would have to watch the video clip itself to find out more about another example, in my opinion, of what radical management is all about and why it’s this new kind of leadership the one we need to get us out of the financial crisis we have been living through the last few years. Yes, it’s that good!
My favourite quote from the entire interview probably sets the stage of what would differentiate managers, executives and leaders of the 20th century with those of the 21st century:
“If management is distant, up in the cloud, people just wait for orders. I want my people to think for themselves”
Priceless, don’t you think? I am not sure what you folks would think, but I feel the world needs, and pretty badly, plenty more CEOs like Nishimatsu-san.