From hierarchy to horizontal power! – what is Next-era Leadership?

Vesa Purokuru is an educationalist who has worked as an organizational developer at Humap for the past 21 years and is one of the founders of Humap. Vesa is particularly interested in leadership and drives organizations a vision of community and co-direction.

We have done a Topaasia® game with Vesa on Next-era Leadership. – Read a summary of Next-era Leadership on the blog

Leading the Next Era – A Brief History

© Vesa purokuru

Leadership has long been a monopoly of one person or a few individuals used to others. It has been vertical. Leader at the top and others at the bottom. Today, however, no one can do it alone anymore. Joint efforts are needed.

Leading in a new era means turning vertical leadership into horizontal leadership, with leadership taking place between people in a dialogue. In this model, the formal leader is below the line and he strives to promote and guide this co-direction and dialogue cleverly. Leadership changes from a position to a role that anyone can support.

All organizations now want to discuss and find a more horizontal way of leading that creates well-being, agility for change, efficiency, and good customer feedback.

What is Next-Era Leadership?

The operational difference from old leadership is that before, the supervisor gave feedback, held development discussions, and did this and that. Now the supervisor makes these things happen, but discussions and activities take place between peers. For example, the supervisor no longer gives feedback, but makes sure that the feedback flows in the work community between peers. The supervisor no longer informs but takes care of the flow of information horizontally.

© Vesa Purokuru

The background idea for Next-era Leadership is Vesa’s structure of power and influence:

  • Something always comes when given. It is supremacy. The more management functions can be transferred to community, the more horizontal management becomes.
  • Two additional factors are outcome and significance. The result is the outcomes that a company is forced to make. Earn or out. What matters is what and how you want to do it. In a way like reason and feeling.

The intersections of these four squares have given rise to the suits of this Topaasia card game.

What is Vesa’s favorite card from this deck?

The best cards are the ones that hit the core.

Basic belief is one of my favorite cards in this deck because it calls into question the old basic belief that does a supervisor really need to be present for support and security at all times? I do not think so, as long as the strategy and our own goals are clear and colleagues are present. This is horizontal leadership.

Who is this game for?

The game considers “what kind of leadership will we need in the future or how should leadership be changed?”, making this game well suited for coaching sessions for supervisors or leadership team meetings that reflect on leadership and leadership philosophy. The game explores the middle ground and shift between hierarchy and non-hierarchy.

What are the benefits of playing the Next-era Leadership game?

The game well-tunes the discussion about “what kind of leadership do we have and what kind of leadership do we need?”. Finally, we always get to the core that “this is what it means to us”.