02/11/2013 07:52 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Why Collaboration is Critical for Future Leaders

The world is changing every day, perhaps every minute. How are people from all walks of life--from young entrepreneurs to established business leaders to government officials--viewing change not as an obstacle but as an opportunity? Cisco produced the Perspective X interview series to illustrate how we can use innovation today to create impact tomorrow.

When Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management went looking for a new dean in 2010, they picked one of their own. Sally Blount earned both her master's and Ph.D. at Kellogg and is now at the helm of one of the nation's most prestigious business schools. Kellogg has ranked first more than any other business school in U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking and tied for fourth in 2012.

Sally already had her own reputation of excellence when she came back to Kellogg. She'd been dean of NYU's undergraduate college and vice dean of its business school, and taught at the University of Chicago's school of business.

When I chatted with Sally for our fourth Cisco Perspective interview, she told me how important it is for today's leaders to be "architects of collaboration" and how we need to orchestrate conversations--both virtually and in person--to move things forward. At Cisco, we sell technology that helps companies collaborate better. (Not long ago, I blogged on the importance of collaboration.)

In Sally's perspective here, she explains how even though parts of our world are changing rapidly, many of the fundamentals remain the same. She says that, "The tools have changed, but the goals have not." Today, we may do many of our meetings--and even classes--over video, and we may download text books rather than buy them, but we all still have to learn to be effective communicators and collaborators.

That mindset made Sally a great fit for Kellogg's highly collaborative and teamwork-focused culture. Join me to hear from Sally Blount what she's learning at Kellogg the second time around.

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