Looking for amazing attendees for our upcoming Spark Camp: Leadership & Management

We are in the midst of a significant rethinking of how organizations should operate. As consumers, we know first-hand how differently we relate to companies. We expect personalized services and communications, and we demand that companies promptly and publicly address mistakes.

Just as radical are the different ways that employees now relate to their employers, and how managers now relate to their employees. Zappos — a shoe merchant — recently announced it was doing away with bosses, following in the footsteps of organizations like the software development and distribution company Valve. The media company Upworthy chose to forego an office; its employees work in a remote capacity, with retreats timed to welcome new recruits in person.

Organizational shifts like these are the inspiration for our next camp — Spark Camp: Leadership & Management. The camp, which will be held at Harvard University over a weekend in June 2014, will focus on the future of leadership and management in a networked age. This camp will bring together individuals who are reinventing the ways people work together. Invitations will go out this spring to visionaries and open-minded leaders in industries as far-ranging as fashion, government, military, Hollywood, marketing and advertising agencies, foundations, video game and tech companies, e-commerce, news, financial services and healthcare.

Every Spark Camp has, at its core, a meticulously composed list of attendees. In the past we’ve relied on a network of Spark Camp alum and advisors to help us cull a list of talented people across wide-ranging industries. This time, we’re also asking our readers and followers to nominate colleagues and acquaintances who, in their estimation, are both great managers and leaders.

We are looking for people who have pushed forward innovative management ideas and practices. Our convening model is conversational and collaborative, so nominate only those who are open-minded and aspire to learn from their peers. We invite people for what they can contribute – not for how well they can promote themselves. Ideal Spark Camp nominees are intellectually generous.

We always start planning our camps with a set of questions in hand, and these questions should help you narrow down your nominations. For Spark Camp: Leadership & Management, our questions relate to the foundations of organizations: vision and mission, structure and relationships, communications and process. We have no pretense, by the way, that we have got THE list of questions or that we’ll conduct THE conversation on these issues (Read Felix Salmon’s “Davos FOMO” to know what we mean), but we do aspire to bring together a great group that help each other sort through some complicated issues.

  • What’s the role and importance of a company’s culture? How are cultures formed and kept vibrant? If the consequence of having autonomous and independent teams means your organization has many cultures, how do you retain a culture that unites?

  • How do you support your increasingly independent employees to do their best possible work while making sure they’re operating in harmony with their peers?

  • What’s the role of leadership in an environment where workers are truly empowered?

  • In an environment where peer-to-peer communication is constant and simple, how do leaders communicate in a one-to-many fashion with their workers?

  • How do you guard and seek new talent?

  • In more fluid work environments, how do you determine who makes what decisions?

  • How do you manage information disparities, particularly those that reflect employees’ differing communications habits?

  • How do you manage parity, especially in cases where one employees has a far greater public reputation or platform than another?

  • With technology evolving so quickly, how do you lead an organization whose primary asset is talent, rather than a particular product or service?

  • How can you cultivate and nurture the next generation of leaders within your organization? 

So, who do you know who has amazing personal experience addressing these questions? Please nominate them – and make sure to note why their personality is a fit for Spark Camp, too.

Between now and June, we’ll share more details about our upcoming camp. If Leadership & Management isn’t the topic for you, either follow us @SparkCamp or sign up for our mailing list for information about other future Spark Camp events.