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As One

Individual Action, Collective Power


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By Mehrdad Baghai and James Quigley, with Ainar Aijala, Sabri Challah, and Gerhard Vorster

Five letters … two words … one idea that can help you realize the full power of your people


One of the most formidable challenges of business leaders is getting large groups of people to work productively towards a common purpose. For the past two years Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) has invested in a global research project to study this challenge and identify the conditions that lead to effective collaborations in a wide range of fields. The result is As One: Individual Action, Collective Power (Portfolio Penguin; 3 February 2011) by Mehrdad Baghai of Alchemy Growth Partners, and James Quigley, Global CEO of DTTL, with Ainar Aijala, Global Managing Director, DTTL Consulting; Sabri Challah, Vice Chairman and a senior partner in the Human Capital practice of Deloitte LLP in the United Kingdom; and Gerhard Vorster, DTTL Regional Managing Director for Consulting in Asia Pacific and the Chief Strategy Officer at Deloitte Australia.

As One debunks the myth that there are only two major styles of leadership: the traditional command-and-control model and the newer collaborative model. In reality, there are multiple styles of leadership, some or all of which may lead to more effective collaboration, depending on the situation.

Drawing on extensive original research, As One explores eight major archetypes of leaders and followers.

As One also includes illustrative examples of As One behavior, such as:

  • Cirque du Soleil: Transformational Theater—Canada's Cirque du Soleil doesn't just create performances; it creates theatrical experiences beyond the audience's imagination. What's its secret? Finding and developing the right talent.
  • Linux: The "Accidental" Organizer—A combination of idealism and pragmatism lies behind the story of Linux and its "ecosystem" of "volunteer" developers.
  • Dabbawalas: Even During the Monsoon—The dabbawalas of Mumbai, who, each day, deliver 200,000 lunchboxes to office workers in the city, operate to Six Sigma standards of precision and efficiency. How? By working as one.

As One takes more than 60 cases of successful, collective behavior and applies advanced analytics to identify key characteristics of effective collective leadership. The book shows how you can apply them to your organization. By analyzing and increasing the understanding of WHO leaders want to work with, WHAT they want to achieve, and HOW their people work together effectively, the As One discipline helps leaders to create the conditions for success in their organizations.

Click here for more information on As One. Identify your archetype using the online archetype classifier, download iPhone/iPad apps, and more.

You can also download and view excerpts from the book below.

Praise for As One

CIO Insight names As One among the best 11 business books (ranked #5) in 2011

""Acting 'As One' is the key to unleashing productivity, the potential of people, and the inspiring power of purpose. I recommend this book to every leader − and to every individual who wants to be part of something bigger than him- or herself."
—Robert A. McDonald, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, Procter & Gamble

"Baghai and Quigley nail it right on the head: creating a collaborative environment that facilitates collective behavior is essential to achieving results in today's technically sophisticated and globally complex environment. This book is grounded in compelling research and is beautifully presented. A 'must read' for leaders who are looking to develop a more effective mental model for how to capture the power of collective behavior in their organization."
—Roger Connors and Tom Smith, authors of the New York Times bestselling The Oz Principle and Change the Culture, Change the Game

"As One brilliantly destroys a common leadership myth − that there is basically one good leadership model and that is to have a clear strategy, communicate it to all, show emotional intelligence, etc. The authors show eight distinctly different types of organizations, with successful case studies. For the reader wondering, 'So how do I use this information?,' As One provides an early diagnostic decision tree, leading readers to which of the eight models fits them best, and the authors spell out how to build each organization model and how to adjust hiring, communications, strategic planning, and succession planning to each. Brilliant!"
—Brad Smart, President, Smart & Associates, and author of Topgrading

"First and foremost, companies are about people. As One provides a well-grounded roadmap for moving ideas into action."
—Jonathan Byrnes, Senior Lecturer, MIT, and author of Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink

"Different kinds of organizations with different kinds of objectives need different kinds of leadership. As One identifies eight archetypes, or models, that call for distinctive styles of leadership, gives live examples of successful leaders, shows that different archetypes may be needed at different levels of organization, and provides practice in identifying appropriate archetypes according to organizational needs and objectives. I've never seen anything like it. It works!"
—Thomas C. Schelling, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland and 2005 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics

"An insightful look at how we work together and, most importantly, how we can do it better. Valuable lessons for anyone in a position of leadership, whether in a small business or a global corporation."
—Andrew N. Liveris, Chairman & CEO, The Dow Chemical Company

"Most will be bowled over by the measurable benefits produced when collective attributes can be identified more sharply. As a new tool, As One is so intuitively rich that you kick yourself for not being the one to think of it!"
—Nik Gowing, TV news presenter, broadcaster, and author of Skyful of Lies and Black Swans

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