Roundtable II: Collaborative Leadership Tools

The second roundtable took place at the General Electric Leadership Development Center, in Crotonville, N.Y., in February 2013. At this gathering, discussion became more focused on executable ideas regarding the use of tools to support collaborative leadership, from traditional tools like incentives to contemporary tools like social media. An insightful tour of GE’s recently recast Leadership Center preceded roundtable discussion, which in part provoked a detailed discussion on physical layout as a tool.

To facilitate a dynamic discussion that would offer tangible takeaways, the agenda was built around three focal questions:

  • What tools are roundtable participants using to support collaborative leadership?
  • Are some of these tools potentially valuable to measure the extent to which individuals display collaborative leadership?
  • What are some of the lessons learned regarding the use of collaborative leadership tools?

At this roundtable it was made evident how important culture is to facilitating the use of collaborative tools. It begins with leaders setting expectations that demand collaboration and the use of supporting tools. Once such expectations have been set and tools made available, then the measurement of their respective use and benefits can yield useful information. Companies can identify bottlenecks and silos, as well as productive individuals and networks. Teams can be identified and tasks assigned. While technology offers many opportunities, it was quite clear that how a company designs the physical workplace facilitates interaction, thus creating significant opportunities for networking, sharing ideas, and ultimately collaborating.