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Progress comes from the intelligent use of experience. Elbert Hubbard

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Open Leadership

Open Leadership

Social media are truly revolutionary advances for companies. How to turn these social media into drivers of growth?

Author(s): Charlene Li

Publisher: Jossey-Bass

Date of publication: 2010

buy this book [amazon.com]


Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, are not simply another technological innovation, claims the author. They are truly revolutionary advances whose full consequences have not yet been absorbed by many companies. The main consequence is that company executives can no longer control very much – neither their employees, who have the means to express themselves and are decreasingly hesitant to use them, nor their customers, who can make themselves heard as never before through these media, nor the press, which quickly learned to scan this parallel universe and can rapidly echo what is said there.
Rather than vainly seek to barricade themselves, companies are better off trying to turn these social media into drivers of growth. For, although they can serve as sounding boards for dissatisfaction, they can also facilitate sharing and collaboration, as companies such as Dell, Procter & Gamble and Cisco have found. The main interest of the book is to underline the fact that, above and beyond technical aspects or the need to set certain rules, what must change is the attitude of managers, who must henceforth learn to foster transparency, be more responsive and encourage their team members to express themselves.


This book is highly focused on the “new economy,” but raises some real questions for companies in all industries and proposes concrete ideas on a subject that disconcerts many executives who are not part of the Facebook generation.