Q&A: Deloitte consulting exec talks collective leadership

by Vault Consulting Editors | March 23, 2011

  • My Vault

"Seismic shifts in the business environment are fundamentally changing the way we collaborate," says Ainar Aijala, Global Managing Director of consulting at Deloitte. Recently, Mr. Aijala was generous enough to field our questions regarding As One, the new book from Deloitte Global CEO Jim Quigley, Aijala, and other DTTL leaders.

The book hails the emergence of collective leadership as a viable philosophy to which business leaders across the world are subscribing. "Historically, management theory has typically offered a binary view of leadership—command-and-control vs. collaborative," Aijala says. "In reality there are multiple styles of leadership, some or all of which may lead to more effective collaboration, depending on the situation. As One enhances a leader’s ability to rally people behind a common purpose and across a wide range of settings."

We spoke with Mr. Aijala on how the As One philosophy applies specifically to consulting, how it is transforming the Deloitte organization, and what consultants can take away from its contents.

From the Q&A:

The book’s target audience appears to be business leaders; are there any lessons that a typical employee—say an analyst or associate at a consulting firm—could take away from the wisdoms contained within?

Concepts included in the book apply to both employees and leaders. By understanding the prevalent leader-follower style in their organizations, employees can create a framework of behavior that will contribute to a successful career.

Collective leadership examines the conditions in which individuals choose to collaborate toward common goals. As One principles guide each employee to contribute to a higher intent, beyond his or her role. Innovation, creativity, cooperation, and group efficiency are all outcomes of strong collective performance.

As One offers employees a means to understand, adapt, and perform in their own unique working environment. It also provides a language and structure for those that choose to collaborate, enjoy, and succeed in working together.

Read the rest of the Q&A with Deloitte's Ainar Aijala

Filed Under: Consulting

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