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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Crossing the Divide #6--Boundary-Spanning Leadership

Boundary-Spanning Leadership: Tactics to Bridge Social Identity Groups in Organizations by Chris Ernst and Jeffrey Yip. The authors argue that it’s important to span boundaries across diverse groups in any organization or culture to ensure positive change in the future. They offer four boundary-spanning leadership tactics. 1) Suspend (create a third place): Develop a neutral place for people to bump up against each other, such as at organizational events, sports teams, etc. 2) Reframe (activate a shared identity): Develop a vision that includes every group. Craft an organization mission/goal. Or, provide a “larger calling” or social value that binds people. 3) Nest (embed groups in a larger whole): Develop affinity groups, communities of practice, groups that cut across boundaries. 4) Weave (cross-cut roles and identity): Offer opportunities for job rotations, cross cutting mentoring, etc. Using these tactics, “….boundary-spanning leaders can generate effective intergroup contact in service of a larger organizational mission, vision, or goal.”

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