Top Leaders have discovered that leading from the front may not always be the best way to do business.
For decades, top executives and business leaders have striven to lead from the front and train people to work in the way they, as individuals, considered best. As a consequence, countless business leaders perfected a hero-leadership approach. Applying it means demonstrating how to do business and pulling capable people along.
This methodology lay at the foundation of many team leader training modules. Everyone wanted to be like Elon Musk or Richard Branson, working long hours and showing staff how to excel.
For many businesses, this hero leader approach produced profitability and success. Others had a different experience. Product launches failed, and they were facing a workforce that was less than enthusiastic. Some leaders had to accept that the skills and ideas of staff never blossomed because their trusted approach didn’t allow it.
In search of new ways to lead teams and excel in business, the principle of co-creation emerged. As the term suggests, co-creation means collaboration and finding ways to succeed as a team. Every team member engages in the process, and the leader facilitates the co-creation process. The leader isn’t a hero who knows everything, but a leader who focuses on getting the best out of people for the benefit of the entire business.
The Basics of Co-Creation
A leader applying the co-creation approach ensures each team member contributes to the process. Rather than outlining business strategies in detail, a co-creation team leader collaborates with his team to create and move the business forward. While a hero leader defines a goal and determines the process, a co-creator chooses the aim with the team and goes onto to create a joint strategy and implement it.
In business, the term co-creation reaches beyond an enterprise. Here, co-creation involves several businesses, clients, the community, and the environment. Each co-creator contributes to the creation of a service or product that benefits the individual as well as the community.
Meet Lorna Davis – a Hero Leader Turned Co-Creator
Having grown up in South Africa in the 1960s, Lorna Davis has worked and lived and worked in seven different countries. She’s held several top management positions during which she discovered the value of co-creation.
As a leader with Kraft in China, she started as a hero leader and led from the front. Following several unsuccessful product launches, Lorna Davis began investigating different leadership concepts. She also came across the BCorp business model and began exploring its benefits. BCorp businesses sign up to create a balance between profit and purpose, and for this process, they apply co-creation principles.
B Corp companies hold themselves accountable toward consumers, communities, other businesses, and the environment.
Co-Creation – More Difficult but Far More Rewarding
Lorna Davis has experienced applying hero-leadership and co-creation-leadership principles. In her Ted talk, she admits that co-creation is a far slower and more difficult process. However, co-creation allows the best to emerge from each contributor while also ensuring the good of the greater community.
Let’s continue the dialogue so we can help your team and leaders co-create and improve the way they collaborate. Reach out to us today and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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