Huntsman Alumni Magazine Fall 2011

Fall 2011

Required Reading: As One

As One by Mehrdad Baghai and James Quigley

People who study business leadership like to say, “The command and control,  top-down model is over, and the collaborative model is in.”

As it turns out, there’s a lot  more to the story than that—as we now know from an ambitious two-year research project carried out under the CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., which is the world’s largest consulting and professional services organization. That CEO is James H. Quigley,a graduate of Utah State University with both a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and an honorary  Doctor of Business degree. He led the research project and co-authored a book about it with Mehrdad Baghai, an accomplished executive and strategist, and three others, Ainar Aijala, Sabri Challah, and Gerhard Vorster.

AS ONE: Individual Action-Collective Power  is the book. It grew out of an ambitious project to delve deeply into the underpinnings of  “collective leadership,” to understand the different leadership models that work best in disparate kinds of organizations—from the public sector to the non-profit world. The authors set out to shift “the discourse from loosely-defined, theoretically appealing concepts to a much more analytically rigorous and pragmatic footing.” The question they have answered is profound: how best to turn individual action into collective power. Using a statistical approach called “cluster analysis,” they have defined eight illuminating archetypes, organized around two axes. One axis describes how power is exercised, and the other how individuals’ tasks are carried out.

Each archetype is accompanied with a fascinating case study on businesses such as the Apple App Store, Linux, Marriott, and Cirque du Soleil. Short profiles describe leaders who personify each archetype, such as Gandhi; Omar Bradley, the last five-star general; and the Roman Cicero, “Father of the Free State.” The archetypes are: Landlord & Tenants, Community Organizer & Volunteers, Conductor & Orchestra, Producer & Creative Team, General & Soldiers, Architect & Builders, Captain & Sports Team, Senator & Citizens.

This book advances our collective understanding of leadership significantly and is well worth reading.

AS ONE: Individual Action — Collective Power
By Mehrdad Baghai & James Quigley, with Ainar
Aijala, Sabri Challan, and Gerhard Vorster
Publisher: Portfolio/Penguin 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59184-415-0