By now, it should be commonplace in every business, but it’s not. In fact, it seems that, in certain segments, the internet is more of a hindrance, something extraneous to the organisation and that poses questions to which businesses have no answers. And yet it is already present in all business. The internet, Web 2.0, and now Web 3.0, are here and they are here to stay.
But what needs to be done? The Web does come with challenges, but also plenty of opportunity. The first challenge is for an organisation’s management. What changes is how leadership is viewed and how the business is actually organised. “Leadership Challenges in the Context of Web 2.0 Solutions”, by Rafał Kozłowski and Krzysztof Kania (at the University of Economics in Katowice, Poland), is a study that can help shed some light on these concepts and on ways to better deal with them.
According to the authors, “If companies are to stay efficient and competitive, leaders must adopt behaviours, new ICT tools and develop new strategies/ solutions to appeal to Z/Millennium Generation and incoming Web 3.0 challenges.”
The study points to seven changes in the culture of enterprise that should help leaders to understand a company’s needs. First of all, with the use of the Web in an organisation, leadership may be “viewed as an activity rather than a role”, as well as be “considered a collective phenomenon”. It follows, then that “individual leaders now need higher levels of personal development”. This challenge within a challenge brings us to the fourth condition, that the business goes from being organisation-centric towards an organisation in which this singular point of focus gives way to more “network-centric leadership”. But they don’t stop there. In the view of Kozłowski and Kania, organisations must now be seen as “organisms” (change no. 5), rather than as “machines”, and planning and controlling must give way to learning and adapting (change no. 6). The final condition that businesses need in order to properly face the challenges of the Web is then summarised in the seventh change: the individuals within an organisation should no longer see the Web as a tool for solving problems, but as an integral part of their lives (the shift to Generation Z or the Millennium Generation). Food for thought.
Leadership challenges in the context of web 2.0 solutions
Kozłowski R., Kania K.
Polish Journal of Management Studies, vol. 8, 2013