Stone Soup Global Leadership - a new model of collaborative leadership to address today’s global challenges
Stone Soup Global Leadership is a new paradigm that empowers leaders to collaborate for the common good. Stone Soup Leaders use soft skills to catalyze collective action and help society adapt to and address today’s global challenges. Key leadership competencies include generating win-win options, convening diverse stakeholders, mobilizing virtual teams, and energizing market momentum.
Today’s global problems require more coordinated collaboration across a variety of organizations, spanning different sectors and geographies. A key ingredient for societal change is the need for facilitation of these cross-sector, cross-border stakeholders who typically have different incentives for participating. The world needs more leaders who have the skills and capability to mobilize a virtual group to create measurable change. (moonshot: retool management for an open and borderless world)
Society needs to adapt to today’s global challenges that are larger in scale and more complex. These challenges require faster, unified responses from across sectors, borders, and cultures. Witness the global financial crisis, environmental degradation, rapid urbanization, social unrest from wealth and religious gaps, and rise in contagious diseases. Societal change management requires people who don’t normally work together to collaborate. (moonshot: redefine the work of leadership)
For society and global businesses to adapt to their greatest challenges, results-oriented collaboration is needed now more than ever before. But how do we facilitate transformational change in society, when there is no clear reporting structure for its stakeholders? The reality is that society lacks structures to act in a coordinated fashion to create true change. Our traditional institutions and leaders are ill equipped to help society address these challenges. Without Stone Soup Leaders to help convene, catalyze, and facilitate, society is stuck in the Tragedy of the Commons, when individuals acting alone will act only in their own self-interest and end up depleting shared resources.
Today’s societal leaders tend to spring up serendipitously. Stone Soup Global Leadership asks the question - can we identify and nurture more individuals to increase the pace and scale of societal change? These leadership competencies are not being taught in a holistic way in standard business school curriculum - but these soft skills are the new hard skills. How can we create scalable training programs and partner with training channels to make these skills more widely available? What organization structures and Stone Stoup tools do future leaders need to help them on their journey? (moonshot: enlarge the frame of management education)
Stone Soup Global Leadership is a new model of leadership that is more flexible, more facilitative and more transformational -- a new model that will empower individuals and organizations to collaborate for the common good. By sharing key learnings from current successful Stone Soup Leaders and their organizations (JUCCCE, iScale, Blue Rose Compass, Brave New Talent, among others), we can enable many more individuals and organizations to accelerate innovation around society’s greatest challenges.
The Stone Soup Global Leadership paradigm is based on the work of JUCCCE (The Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy), a non-profit accelerating the greening of China through international collaboration. The Stone Soup initiative, currently being incubated within JUCCCE, is defining this paradigm, identifying role models and sharing experiences from an initial set of successful leaders.
Using real-life examples and case studies from successful social entrepreneurs, our goal is to:
- Outline key “Stone Soup” skills 21st century leaders need to operate across organizations, sectors and borders
- Leverage existing Stone Soup leaders’ experiences via video story-telling and training program development
- Provide access to skill sets and tools via on-line content and in-person training sessions to engage and enable a new wave of collaborative global leadership.
In absence of centralized leadership for society's stakeholders, Stone Soup Global Leadership can help individuals to collaborate through persuasion for the common good. In comparison to traditional command-and-control models for global change initiatives, this "network for action" leadership model needs to be more flexible in structure, more facilitative in style, and faster in decision-making. This type of work uses results-oriented collaboration and rapid feedback to facilitate coordinated change in society, institutions, and policy.
This leadership model is named after the fable of Stone Soup which has many variations used around the world:
Once upon a time, there was a traveler who happened upon a small, poor village. She was tired and hungry from her travels, but none of the villagers were willing to give her bread to eat nor a place to rest. So she started a fire in the middle of the village and filled a pot with water. To the boiling water, she added a stone. Curious villagers asked her what strange concoction she was making. "Soup from an award-winning family recipe," she said, "and I’d be happy to share some with you when it’s done.” So the villager sat down and chatted, eagerly awaiting a bowl. After a taste, the traveler said, “It’s tasting good, but I think it’s missing some onion.” So the villager eagerly brought a leftover onion to add to the soup. One by one, curious villagers added bones, potatoes, beans and other ingredients. In the end, the village and the traveler shared a delicious meal together. A meal none of the villagers could have made alone was made possible because the traveler inspired everyone to work together for a common goal.
The paradigm identifies the key personality traits, foundational experiences and core competencies of an effective Stone Soup Leader. The paradigm frames areas for training and developing a cohort of such leaders. A key ingredient is the need for facilitation of stakeholders from multiple organizations, typically with different incentives for participating. The world needs more leaders who have the capability to mobilize a virtual group to create measurable change.
Stone Soup Global Leadership will develop a new wave of leaders who have the capability to mobilize a virtual group to create measurable change. Specifically, it will provide:
(1) case studies and video library of successful examples
(2) scalable training programs, and
(3) integrated set of management tools.
The immediate goal is to develop a minimum of 100 Stone Soup Leaders, via rapid prototyping of training modules. The long-term goal is to develop the means for wider deployment of the necessary skills and tool kit. The beneficial change created by a new wave of Stone Soup Leaders will be felt via the successful implementation of their selected societal change.
Stone Soup Global Leadership is currently being incubated within JUCCCE - which is a successful example of the paradigm at work. In addition, we have been fortunate to have access to a group of leaders from the WEF’s Forum of Young Global Leaders who have willingly shared their stories and experiences.
- Define this new Stone Soup Global Leadership model of collaborative leadership for societal transformation. This includes identifying the traits of an ideal Stone Soup Leader, and the competencies they need. (underway)
- Tell the story of Stone Soup Global Leadership through media and case studies. (underway)
- Rapid prototype and iterate training modules to cultivate Stone Soup Leaders.
- Create an online tool to assess an individual’s competency strengths and gaps as a Stone Soup Leader. (underway)
- Create an online network to build a community of Stone Soup Leaders.
- Seed Stone Soup Leaders into roles where they can make the most difference. Example Roles for Stone Soup Leaders include: VP of sustainability or VP of stakeholder engagement at large corporations, heads of sustainability or urban planning within local government, NGO leadership, consultancies.
- The broader goal is to scale this type of training around the world in different sectors.
- Peggy Liu, JUCCCE and YGL
- Deb Kemper, JUCCCE
- David Aikman, WEF YGL Staff
- John Dutton, WEF YGL Staff
- Shun Nagao, WEF YGL Staff
- Genevieve Taylor, Global Genesis
- Sanjeev Khagram, iScale and YGL
- Calvin Chin, Qifang and YGL
- New Leaders Group team (Wendy Wu and Natalie Roitman)
- Peter Bisanz, Entropy Films and YGL
- Hallvarsson & Halvarsson Team (Martin Petersson, Dag Söderberg, & Martin Behm)
- Scott Weber, Interpeace and YGL
- Oliver Niedermaier, King Worldwide and YGL
- Leanne Gluck, JUCCCE
- Jim Chapman, Foley & Lardner
- Fern Lim, Eliam Design
With special thanks to:
- The World Economic Forum and the Young Global Leaders who have contributed their stories
- Story tellers across the globe who have shared the fable of Stone Soup with generations of children and adults