Join me at Clearvale SecondFloor speaking event, August 18th

Please join me for an evening discussion at the Clearvale SecondFloor speaker series on Wednesday, August 18th at 5pm in Redwood City, CA. I’ll be doing a general Q&A and also discussing the “Open Leadership” book. (The date for the event was originally set for July 14th but I had to move it because of a conflict on my part.)

The event will be hosted by Dr. Pehong Chen, Founder and CEO of BroadVision, and will take place on the second floor of BroadVision’s corporate headquarters, 1600 Seaport  Boulevard, Redwood City, CA.

Free copies of “Open Leadership” will be distributed and I’ll be conducting a book signing immediately after the Q&A. To RSVP, just go to SecondFloor’s Meetup page to register. Hope to see you there!


How open are you? Conduct an Openness Audit to find out.

When “Groundswell” came out, I was frequently asked the seemingly innocent little question “How open do I need to be?” It was asked in the face of managers and executives being asked to engage with customers and employees for the first time. It seems fairly obvious to those of us steeped in the world of social technologies — you just are open, authentic, and transparent.

But for many people where Facebook and Twitter represent alien planets fraught with danger, this is a very valid question. For organizations in particular, being open brings with it the reality that business — and people for that matter — simply cannot be completely open and transparent.

Ten Elements of Openness from the book "Open Leadership".So to answer the question “How open do you need to be?”, I first define what it means to be open in 10 different areas. Those areas are laid out in the graphic here, and are divided into two areas: 1) Information sharing; and 2) Decision making.

The next step is to then conduct an Openness Audit that looks at how open your organization is across these 10 areas. The six Information Sharing elements of Explaining, Updating, Conversing, Open Mic, Crowdsourcing, and Platforms in particular can be evaluated on a simple numerical score, giving you an openness score.

That score and the detail behind it becomes a powerful tool for aligning your organization — it provides a starting point for discussing how open you need to be because you’ll start from an understanding of how open you ARE.

And I’ve seen the Openness Audit in action, using it within companies to create alignment, and at conferences with a diverse group of attendees. Last week, I rounded out a keynote speech at Buzz2010 in Washington, DC with an openness audit, and I thought I’d share some of the observations:

  • Some people were astonished at how low their scores were, especially in areas where they thought they were fairly open. The Audit became a task list for them to go back and understand if they were appropriate open, or if they needed to be more open to accomplish their goals.
  • Two people from the same organization, but two different problems, arrived at radically different scores. It was interesting as a group to hear how this was possible, and also a warning that such disparity can lead to tension within the organization on how to approach engagement with employees and customers.
  • And several people planned to take the Audit back to their organizations, to use it as an assessment and change management tool, aiding discussion around how open they needed to be.

So to that end, I’m making available the Openness Audit from the book and workshops so that you can run an audit directly. You can download it directly from Slideshare.net or use an interactive version on this site in the Resources section. Of course, I’d love it if you’d also buy the book to get more detailed explanations on what each of these open elements entail, and also how to craft and execute an open leadership strategy!

And please comment back with your observations on how the Openness Audit helped you better understand how open you are. And if you’re brave, share the results of your openness audit!

Openness Audit PDF Download

Looking for “Open Leadership” sightings

Two years ago, Josh Bernoff and I really enjoyed watching our book, Groundswell, launch and roll into bookstores across the country. One enterprising person, eager to get the book, even went around to the store’s loading dock and got it right off the delivery truck!

While the publisher, Jossey-Bass, has set Monday, May 24th as the launch date for Open Leadership, we’re not quite sure when the book will actually appear in the stores. That’s because it’s up to each individual store to get the books, unpack them, and get it up on the shelves and tables.

While I’ve been traveling to promote the book at various conferences, I’ve been sticking my head into as many airport bookstores as I can manage, hoping to catch a glimpse of the book on the shelves. Alas, no success yet!

So I’d like to get your help — as the book becomes available in retail stores, please send me reports of sightings of Open Leadership “in the wild”!  If you tweet it, use the hashtags #openleadership and #sighting, add the location, and include a photo if you can. Or if it’s easier, send an email (and photo if available) to me at charlene (at) altimetergroup (dot) com.

As a thank you, I’ll send a signed bookplate to the first 50 sightings that I receive. Include your address if you’re using email and I’ll figure out a way to get your address if you’re tweeting.

Help make “Open Leadership” a bestseller

I’m looking forward to finally launching my new book, Open Leadership. The official launch date is Monday, May 24th which is right around the corner. I could never have gotten to this point without the help of many, many people, and especially you, the long-time readers of this blog. So a big thank you!

Now it’s time to celebrate, and to get the word out. First, the celebration part!

I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble flagship store for a public signing on Wednesday, May 26th from 6pm to 7:30pm, 555 Fifth Ave (between 45th & 46th Streets), New York . I hope you can make it, but even if you can’t, please spread the word! (http://bit.ly/cxPqy1)

Second, here’s what you can do to help make Open Leadership a bestseller:

- Read/watch the press and reviews of Open Leadership. I’ve collected press coverage and reviews of the book in handy place.

- Tell your Twitter followers, blog readers, Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts. Add a review at your favorite online retailer, on GoodReads, or “like” the book on Facebook. If you write a review on a blog, photos and images are available on the reviewer resource page of this site. And be sure to let me know about it so that I can add it to the review page.

- Promote the FREE Introduction to the book. The Introduction to the book is available online and for download on Slideshare.net. It includes a case study of how the American Red Cross was able to become more open and embrace social technologies — and in so doing, activated a distributed fundraising machine using primarily social media. Share, embed, forward the Introduction freely and broadly — it’s a great overview of the book for people who want to get a quick look.

Buy the book — but please buy it starting Monday, May 24th. Bestseller counts are by the week, starting on the Monday of every week. If you’re going to buy the book, then please try to buy it between May 24th and May 30th — every book bought during that week will help drive Open Leadership toward the bestseller lists.

“Finding and Supporting Open Leaders” Webinar slides & recording now available

I conducted the third of four Webinars on the ideas around “Open Leadership” and am making available the slides as well as a video recording. This Webinar examines what it means to be an open leader — the characteristics, mindsets, skills, and behaviors.

Past Webinars

Making the Case for Open Leadership

Developing And Measuring Open Leadership Strategies

Please join me in the last and final Webinar

How Open Leaders Embrace & Recover From Failure

Friday, May 21, 2010 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PDT
– How do open leaders structure and manage openness with policies?
– Why is embracing failure so important to open leadership?
– How do open leaders deal with failure?

Registration information at http://bit.ly/openleaderweb4

Finding and Supporting Open Leaders from Altimeter Group on Vimeo.