Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A Solution for Strengthening NEO Leadership?

Lev Gonick is on to something for the NEO region. It goes well beyond lighting the wire underneath us and his work with OneCleveland. We think it goes beyond anything he might imagine. And we think he would agree.

Lev spoke today at the City Club. He told how OneCleveland is allowing for OpenSource leadership, which breaks from past styles that have been everything from laissez faire to autocratic.

Considering that OpenSource leadership is unlike anything our region has ever experienced, we looked elsewhere for comparisons. We arrived at the leadership style of USSR’s Mikhail Gorbachev and his introduction of glasnost, which opened Soviet society to the free exchange of ideas and thoughts. His social program was the catalyst for parting from destructive behaviors and led to an embrace of a culture previously unknown to its citizens.

As we understood Lev today, he sees OneCleveland paving the way to true democracy for NEO. The regional area network enables our leaders to have greater connections to ideas, thoughts and concepts, some of which we identified previously.

It doesn’t stop there. Lev insists NEO citizens will have visibility into the actions of these leaders, as well as improved access to them. Furthermore, we’ll have a forum for delivering critical feedback, which when embraced has the power to transform – people, organizations, regions. It’s these dynamics, we suspect, that can embed accountability into the NEO environment and inoculate us against self-destructive behaviors.

In other words, we're hoping Lev is telling us that our region now has a window to discover its shared vision and translate it into a comparative advantage. These kind of discoveries inspire ideas, which are the true currency in today’s global economy. And these ideas can attract brains/talent and investment, addressing many of the “Quiet Crisis” symptoms and allowing for a more sustainable NEO region.

We’re beginning to believe that OneCleveland is lighting the way to the full Cleveland. But even we know not to get ahead of ourselves. We know the human animal resists change. And we know that rule of nature applies to those of us who reside in the region that’s home to the Dawg Pound. As much as the Russians embraced new freedoms, they also have inoculated themselves against these when electing their current leader Vladimir Puttin, whose leadership style resembles Stalin more than Gorbachev.

Thus, at the end of the day we still need strong leaders who can act with resolve. The powers of OneCleveland can strengthen solutions to our region’s fundamental challenges, but we understand it can’t eliminate these threats. That job remains the duty of NEO citizens.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't want to be picky, but I think Ed Morrison deserves some credit for the idea of "open source leadership." After all, he's been talking about "open source economic development" for quite a while (e.g., at the Community of Minds meeting 1/19/05).

11:09 AM  
Blogger The Full Cleveland said...

Thanks for the heads up. I must confess to having limited knowledge of Ed Morrison's teaching. However, the little I do know, I like.

We never believed that open source leadership was Lev's brainchild. We do credit him for advoacting the concept so that it can be realized in our region through OneCleveland. ~Jim

1:20 PM  

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