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Four Traits of Collaborative Leaders

Having published decision rights is just one element of an accountability system. While it’s never pleasant to talk about the consequences of poor decisions, the reality is that to succeed, collaboration demands more distributed and empowered actions across your organization. With that empowerment comes not only more good outcomes but also the increased potential for bad ones. You will need to consider new ways of gaining input from teams on the quality of collaborative decision making and reward people who consistently make good decisions in a collaborative environment.

As part of their overall performance management, every Cisco employee is measured by peers and their managers on their collaboration factor, the result of which directly impacts how their performance is rated and, ultimately, the size of their total compensation. Other factors that determine the size of bonuses are tied to how well employees collectively perform in achieving certain shared goals that Cisco establishes annually, such as customer-satisfaction metrics and financial results. Collaborative cultures not only foster teamwork, they also reward it. Performance measures must strike a balance between how well employees carry out their individual roles and how much they contribute to collective outcomes.

Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese

Reprinted with permission of the publisher. Copyright ©2012 Cisco Systems Inc.

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The Reviewers

  1. Zachary Tumin is the coauthor, with William Bratton, of Collaborate or Perish! Reaching across Boundaries in a Networked World (Crown Business, 2012). He leads the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs’ project in Information and Communications Technology and Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School and directs the Harvard component of a joint Harvard–MIT initiative in cybersecurity.
  2. William Bratton is chairman of Kroll Inc., a leading security and risk consultancy owned by Altegrity, Inc. Previously, Bratton was police commissioner of Boston and New York City, and police chief of Los Angeles. He is also the coauthor of Turnaround: How America’s Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic (with Peter Knobler, Random House, 1998).

This Book

  1. The Collaboration Imperative: Executive Strategies for Unlocking Your Organization’s True Potential (Cisco Systems, 2011), by Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese
  2. Ron Ricci is vice president of corporate positioning at Cisco Systems Inc. He is also the coauthor of Momentum: How Companies Become Unstoppable Market Forces (with John Volkmann, Harvard Business School Press, 2003).
  3. Carl Wiese is senior vice president at Cisco Systems Inc., and leader of its multibillion-dollar global collaboration business. He is a veteran computer, data, and telecommunications industry executive with more than 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, services, and product management.
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