Innovation expert Andrew Zolli has the formidable (and fun) job of anticipating the future. His primary outlets are through client work with his firm Z + Partners and the annual Pop!Tech conference, which assembles leading-edge thinkers to present the key ideas and research that will soon change the world. Not surprisingly, when Behance sat down with Zolli to talk about leadership and organization, his approach was innovative:
“A big part of keeping organized is that I interact with a data cloud, then I make sure that the cloud is entirely on the Web, making it accessible to me and other people at any given time. I give up privacy. I’ve learned that no problem that I might find embarrassing is unusual. If you’re willing to let people access your life and the cloud, then they’ll find what they need. I’ve open-sourced my life. My calendar, email, contacts are all shared with the organization. I’m highly transparent. You can see what I’m doing as a partner.”
While the idea such full-scale transparency will provoke an allergic reaction from some leaders, the benefits of such openness are undeniable – particularly as higher-ups are increasingly inundated with a near-unmanageable amount of communication. It’s not rare that company-wide inefficiencies stem from information “bottlenecking” around key managers, who are often unable to keep up with the pace of inquiries from the employees they manage.
The more open that management can be with any and every bit of information that they possess, the fewer questions staff will have to ask and the more efficient the entire company can become. For example, a shared intranet or wiki can allow an entire team to document and share best practices, a shared list of to-dos or “action items” can allow seamless task tracking, and a CEO-run blog can inform staff of the thinking behind major company decisions.
***The Behance team researches productivity and leadership in the creative world. These entries are adapted and edited by Jocelyn K. Glei from the Behance team's past articles and research. Behance runs the Behance Creative Network, the Action Method project management application, the Creative Jobs List, and develops knowledge, products, and services that help creative professionals make ideas happen.