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Both in the arts and elsewhere, “leadership” sits atop a growing pile of buzzwords aimed at capturing the essence of what makes a successful organization, well, successful. As a PhD candidate interested in this topic, I reached out to Scott DeRue, a professor at the University of Michigan and one of today’s leading experts on leadership. To better understand how this new style of leadership works “on the ground,” I reached out to two music groups that have harnessed its power to foster cultures of innovation. An ethos of collaboration suffuses the organization’s strategy, percolating up through the ensemble and challenging traditional conceptions of artistic performance and administration. Since 2003, they have shared their collaborative philosophy with students through the Orpheus Institute, serving as a model for peer organizations and proving that distributed leadership can empower individuals to find common ground and make great music. Like Orpheus, A Far Cry leverages shared leadership tactics to meet and overcome familiar industry challenges.
The group’s ideology of shared leadership goes deeper than mundane administrative tasks, however, permeating the organization’s value system and artistic philosophy. By leveraging shared leadership structures and techniques, both of these ensembles have thrived in an otherwise difficult economic environment. I believe that the ideas presented above could benefit many different types of arts organizations, especially those that struggle with entrenched and ineffective leadership.
For more about shared-leadership listen to our podcast Trickle Up Innovation to hear about how Ken Foster switched up the leadership structure at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Michael Mauskapf is currently pursuing PhD's in Management and Organizations (Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University) and Musicology (University of Michigan), where his dissertation explores the intersections between organizational structure and artistic practice in the symphony orchestra.
Running arts organizations by consensus or with collaborative leadership is not a new idea. Brand strategists, writers, marketing mavens, media gurus, creatives, web designers, PR types, social media whizzes. This article originally appeared in the 2014 Intercultural Link news magazine’s first issue, fifth volume. It is in the nature of our work for people connected with AFS to be in touch with other cultures, most directly through their work with exchange students or interacting with volunteers and staff from within a network of over 60 countries. GLOBE, or the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness International Study, attempted to clarify the following issue: How is culture related to societal, organizational, and leader effectiveness? Started in 1994, this landmark study was completed over the course of 11 years and involved 170 researchers worldwide.
Specifically, GLOBE investigated how certain characteristics of outstanding leaders are related to national cultures; it also looked at which aspects of leadership are culturally dependent, or universally desirable.
The study held the premise that leader effectiveness is contextual, or embedded in societal and organizational norms, values, and beliefs: For a leader to be effective, she or he needs to embody the implicit idea of what leaders look, act, and behave like, an idea that is rooted in people’s early experiences with leaders and shaped by culture and upbringing.
This table shows the six universal leadership styles, presented from most to least desired.
Further analysis showed that leader characteristics such as ambition, enthusiasm, or formality are valued very differently around the world. If we don’t take the GLOBE findings as a definite explanation of all intercultural leadership styles, but rather as a roadmap of possibilities, we can use this study to help us work more effectively with members of other cultures. AFS Intercultural Programs is pleased to announce the new issue of AFS Intercultural Link News magazine, first in 2014 and volume 5.
This issue of the news magazine looks at the value of intercultural learning in the workplace.
The AFS Intercultural Link News Magazine is the quarterly magazine on intercultural learning in the AFS network. Ten tips for the intercultural leader: Ten quick tips on intercultural leadership from a business perspective. List of resources on Global Leadership from the Global Leadership Advancement Center in San Jose State University, California.
Distance program at the International Institute for Global Leadership: self-directed and based on readings by level and written assignments. GNC offers a wide range of global projects, such as providing sanitation and clean water, shelter, education and doing many more important works to improve vulnerable populations around the world. For those of you in education, they also have initiatives for you to use in your classroom, including team building exercises and curriculum to develop intercultural competency.

If you are a youth interested in global causes, this is an organization you might want to explore! International opportunities for interculturally-minded youth to get involved and collaborate with each other are becoming more and more accessible.
This year’s conference took place in Moscow, Russia on the 18th of August, and was held at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
Tom McLeod, an AFS returnee (Australia 2000-2001) and current Intern at the AFS Russia office in Moscow, along with Nonna Kovrizhnykh, Partner Director of AFS Russia, and Organisational Development Coordinator Natalia Zakharova facilitated a session on Intercultural Dialogue and Tolerance. AFS Intercultural Link BlogThe AFS Intercultural Link Blog is a space for sharing ideas, articles, materials, videos and recommendations related to Intercultural Learning, as well as the digital version of the AFS Intercultural Link Newsletter. We often see Product Management in light of tools and techniques, such as roadmaps and lo-fi usability testing.
With so many people making decisions about the product, the cohesion of the product is threatened. Product managers not only have to lead within the organisation but also outside of the organisation. To create that fundamental long term value that is the hallmark of successful products, people need to be able gain the maximum utility or value from at the product.
While product features & technology can help there is a limitation to what that can do, as there is always the human element to the barrier to adoption. Fundamentally, for Product Managers, leadership is how they create value for the company and for people using their product. This continuous professional development (CPD) programme is aimed at professionals who wish to develop their leadership skills.
This (CDP) programme is aimed at professionals of all levels who would like to improve their leadership skills and for organisations who wish to develop talent from within. According to DeRue, CEOs and executive directors do not have to be authoritarians to ensure success. One of the most powerful forms of adaptive leadership involves sharing executive responsibility with other employees and stakeholders (think, for instance, of a basketball team).
Considered one of the Most Democratic Workplaces in the world (WorldBlue, Inc.), the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has utilized a shared leadership model for nearly forty years, but its implementation has continued to evolve.
Founded in 2007 by seventeen young musicians, the Boston-based ensemble represents a new strain of organization, a kind of “do-it-yourself” experiment that defies traditional expectations. The Criers are a registered 501(c)3 but they invoke a flatter, more democratic structure than most arts organizations. Distributing such responsibility and power can be an uncomfortable, and even unnerving, process. Conducted in 62 societies and involving more than 900 organizations, the project looked at the effects of culture through different variables, such as country, industry, and organization, and explored current practices and values.
GLOBE investigated people’s expectations of leaders on a broad scale, and also linked them with cultural values and practices.
However, the variation was larger for four other universal leadership styles: Some cultures saw them as good and effective approaches, while other cultures saw them as an obstacle for outstanding leadership. On the other hand, there are also some leader characteristics that are universally endorsed, such as trustworthiness, justness, honesty, ?and decisiveness. For example, for a leader to be described as decisive in the US, she or he is expected to make quick and approximate decisions.
Feel free to share it with everyone interested in learning more about intercultural education! The magazine features content shared by AFS organizations around the world and guest writers, including information on trends in intercultural education, interviews with experts in the field and overviews of upcoming and previous conferences. The concept has been studied from multiple perspectives and one of them, intercultural leadership, is becoming increasingly relevant as organizations become more culturally diverse. It is one of the three conferences that together make up the AISEC International Congress, an international event to plan projects for social and economic development. The 10-day conference hopes to foster a positive global impact in the way youth collaborate and interact, and aims to build a global perspective for future generations. With leadership the Product Manager can provide the guidance and course corrections to maintain cohesion in the product without micro-managing or destroying the flexibility and speed of execution that comes from empowering everyone to make decisions on the product.

In order to do this people will have to change their behaviour, habits and thought patterns in someway. Without it business will not be able to overcome the scale problem of humans nor people easily overcome the challenge of changing behaviours, habits and thought patterns.
Participants will gain an understanding of leadership roles and they will develop their skills and knowledge to lead, supervise and to manage resources effectively to achieve organisational and personal goals.
He instead argues that leadership can be considered “a series of acts that are distributed throughout a group or organization,” serving to coordinate individual goals and tackle the diverse challenges facing all complex institutions. Such distributive techniques should resonate especially well in the arts, where overlapping artistic and administrative structures can inhibit effective leadership. The group’s thirty-four musicians include a dynamic ‘core’ of principal players who rotate artistic leadership responsibilities for particular repertoire.
Moreover, Irons believes that “the musical opinions held by A Far Cry’s musicians are our most valuable assets. These organizations embody the kind of collective virtuosity that drives organizational innovation and change, mediating multiple (and sometimes conflicting) perspectives to achieve their goals. We serve as a nonprofit intermediary for many arts funders, and as a service organization for the arts field around innovation. Working with others always requires a certain degree of leadership: whether in a local team or across national borders, AFSers need to effectively work with others in order to achieve their goals. Conversely, in France or Germany, being decisive tends to mean a more deliberate and precise approach to decision making.
The organization New Global Citizen (GNC) provides globally conscious youth with opportunities to make their reach go farther and their impact stronger in relation to some of the world’s greatest challenges. An innovative approach to international organization, the project began in 2011 with a small group of 8 young people who dreamt of a place where all the intercultural-driven youth could collaborate and be in contact. At the Global Youth Voice event, two AFS staff members had the opportunity to take a more active role and act as facilitators for one of the sessions.
Indeed focusing only on the tools means you are not taking advantage of what Product Management can bring to an organisation.
As the product grows and becomes more complex there is a point at which the human scaling problem kicks in.
We use the terms such as barriers to adoption, learning curve and adoption chasm to describe the challenge of changing people. Leadership allows the Product Manager to express the reasons why users should change, why they will get value from making that change and then help them make those changes. Simon began his career in Space Engineering, where he developed a Fortran realtime program to automate satellite operations. Navigating these different structures and leveraging internal dissension to enact change takes an incredible amount of trust and hard work, but the potential payoff is well worth it. It is the frequent exercising of musical opinions that make the job of a chamber musician so rewarding, and it is in that spirit that A Far Cry distributes musical leadership among all its musicians….
We exist to strengthen the capacities and effectiveness of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, serving their needs in the design and management of innovative change, and assisting them in building their adaptive capacity. This motivated us to look into what intercultural skills may be valued or looked down upon in settings where different cultures come into contact, and whether certain leadership styles work across cultures. The same caution applies to the universally undesirable leader traits, such as sensitivity. Humans don’t scale, but with leadership, the Product Manager can align and inspire everyone on the execution so that decisions on details can be taken by anyone in the organisation, increasing flexibility and speed of execution. Without leadership from the Product Manager change is incredibly difficult and scary for users to undertake themselves.

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