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  1. Patrick Masson
    Patrick Masson at | | Reply

    I think you’ve nailed it (at least you’ve fairly well articulated my own feelings and observations).

    Of course, I suppose everyone thinks they are “innovative,” “leaders” with “vision.” How would on identify not only those who can truly challenge the current state, but also successfully implement their vision seems subjective. You mention previous successes, but many ideas never get off the ground as they might not be understood or valued by those with “budgetary authority.” Is the implementation of “X” a good idea, but the pointy-haired senior administrators can’t recognize it, or is “X” lame? I’ve tried to implement open source software, agile project management, shared services, a service catalog, crowd-sourced project planning, etc. etc. all with various success. I’d like to think when they were accepted and adopted, I was recognized as a “visionary” (shoot, I personally think most of these initiatives were actually industry standards by the time they were implemented–no vision needed). A when they were not, I just assume those who resisted were dolts, who only measure success by how well they can replicate the things they did yesterday, tomorrow. But maybe I am naive and arrogant.

    You’re post assumes competency (i.e. where the administration has the ability to recognize vision) and authenticity (i.e. that those who proclaim visionary status are actually self-aware). We’re at a point where vision can be auto-generated both to describe the person (http://www.atrixnet.com/bs-generator.html) and an organizational strategy (http://strategy-madlibs.herokuapp.com/ keep hitting reload in your browser).

    From the above resources:
    Our strategy is digital first. We will lead a networked effort
    of the market through our use of digital business and leaders
    to build insight from data. By being both disruptive and
    customer focused, our sustainable approach will drive
    an internet of things ecosystem throughout the organization.
    Synergies between our community and big data will enable
    us to capture the upside by becoming cloud based in through
    secure infrastructure. These transformations combine for
    competitive advantage due to our social and crowd-enabled
    platform which will create a revolution through visionary and
    innovative leadership.

    – By someone who can, “quickly integrate user-centric functionalities”

    Sadly, I’m not sure how to quantify a “demonstrably successful track record of ideas which show vision” as everyone is looking through different lenses.

    For me, what is the most shameful is that we do not allow those who want to contribute to do so. Organizations should put in place mechanisms that provide opportunities for anyone to participate through a meritocracy. Of course I have a bias to open source models, and find them to be useful beyond software development (https://www.educause.edu/ero/article/open-governance-higher-education-extending-past-future).

    I do think ideas around organic/emergent leadership/vision is catching on. While I have not read it yet (I have ordered it) I see Red Hat’s CEO has come out with a book that touches on the ideas you point to in this post (http://www.infoworld.com/article/2927573/open-source-software/red-hat-ceo-heres-how-you-can-foster-an-open-organization.html)

    The question is, will Higher Education see the message of that book as visionary?

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