Encarta and WIPI

Just been reading a fascinating post on Brad Lomenick‘s blog in which Tim Elmore compares the two information sources below. As he says, Microsoft thought back in 1995 that their all-singing all-dancing multimedia encyclopedia would be a world beater. Six years later, the young pretender Wikipedia launched, and by 2009 Encarta had died a death. Maybe there was something prophetic about the way the head appears to be unravelling in Encarta’s logo, seen below? The possibilities of collaborative learning and information exchange soon made even Encarta’s animated and graphics rich content look like the Betamax to Wiki’s blu-ray.

Images: microsoft & wikipedia

Elmore’s post has certainly piqued my interest. However, I am less certain about some of the conclusions he draws about leadership. For instance:

YESTERDAY’s LEADER: Only the leader owns the vision. THE WIKI-LEADER: Every person owns the vision.

YESTERDAY’S LEADER: The leader commands the information. THE WIKI-LEADER: They’re a clearinghouse of information.

YESTERDAY’S LEADER: The leader is a boss. THE WIKI-LEADER: The leader is a broker.

In so far as is possible, I try to respect Biblical models of leadership whilst also recognising shifts in cultural trends. On numerous occasions on this blog I have sung the praises of collaborative creativity and learning. However, I am less certain about collaborative vision. The Bible’s well established trend of prophetic leadership seems to lean more in the direction of  visionary leadership where a vision delivered is then communicated. Of course the onus is then very much on that leader to articulate the vision and temper it through the challenge of others. However, I am not sure that WIKI leadership in terms of many ‘chipping in’ to find the vision is always the way to go. After all, if one woman or man is given a vision from God, then by definition they are the only one who “knows” it until such time as it is communicated. Maybe it starts as WIPI leadership (What I Pray Is), with the greatest prayer being that God would give vision to those charged with leadership.

How do we balance collaboration with anointing, I wonder?

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