The platform‐driven organization

Howard Rubenstein (Attorney and the CEO of Growth Strategies, Inc., a Leadership and Management Consulting firm and is an Adjunct Professor of Strategic Planning and Leadership at George Washington University. He can be reached at (301) 718‐4200 in Bethesda, Maryland or (202) 236‐7626 in Washington, DC.)

Handbook of Business Strategy

ISSN: 1077-5730

Publication date: 1 December 2005


The purpose of this paper is to shed light on two key developments in the field of leadership that are significantly impacting organizations today. These two new developments are transforming businesses and non‐profit organizations alike. These new developments are: the creation of a new category of leadership called “leaders of leaders,” and the reemergence of the leadership tool called, “the platform,” as the cornerstone of organizations. The first finding of this article is that the “real” job description for a “leader of leaders” is very different from the job description of a “leader of followers.” This article explains that difference. Leaders of followers generally view their job as high level “problem solvers.” “Leaders of leaders” have a completely different job. They have the job of creating new, robust and enduring platforms that provide the organization a unique identity, can mold and direct large scale behavior within an organization and can address successfully large classes of problems. Most importantly, when a leader of leaders creates a platform, the leader must also create a feedback system so the platform can be improved on a continuous basis by input from those who are “on the ground” implementing the platform. The value of this article is that you can take the findings and immediately begin to implement some of the changes suggested in this article in your organization. You can transform your leaders into “leaders of leaders” and you can begin to create one or more “platforms” to improve your operations and organizational results.



Rubenstein, H. (2005), "The platform‐driven organization", Handbook of Business Strategy, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 189-192.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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