Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:
We know we want leaders who are smart, decisive, transformative, and possessed of a singular vision. But there’s an often-overlooked factor that can make the difference between success and failure: a leader’s ability to go far outside the organization—mobilizing networks of critical expertise—to get help in solving problems.
Outside the organization? Why would the CEO of a huge corporation with vast capabilities need to look elsewhere for assistance? If outside help is truly needed, doesn’t that say something pretty negative about the CEO’s own staff and existing supply chain?
The reality today is that businesses, governments, and nonprofits are so complex and often must move so quickly that in many cases, finding answers to difficult questions requires tapping experts, service providers, and innovators scattered all over the world.
As Bill Joy, founder of Sun Microsystems, pointed out years ago, “No matter who you are, most of the smartest people don’t…
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