Connect Everything. Empower Everyone.
That’s the vision behind Juniper Networks, the 15-year old company that is one of the largest providers of networking technology “that flattens the world.”
Juniper’s technology and its 9,000 employees worldwide are the force behind much of the networked world. Google, Comcast, Netflix and Facebook — along with thousands of service providers, business enterprises and public sector organizations — rely on Juniper innovation to connect the planet.
In short, Juniper has engineered much of our hyper-paced, deeply interconnected world. Being on the forefront of networking technology also requires new ways of leading and working, according to Greg Pryor, Juniper’s vice president of Leadership and Organization Effectiveness.
“The exponential demands of the networked world aren’t just about the technology,” says Greg. “Our business is interconnectivity. We enable the interoperability of the global technology network. The big question is, How do we ensure the connected culture we need to achieve our vision while growing so quickly?”
Greg contacted CCL’s Chris Ernst, curious if the Center’s research and current thinking would help Juniper harness the collective wisdom of Juniper colleagues, customers and partners to empower the ?network behind the network.’
CCL’s organizational leadership development work hit home with Greg and Juniper’s senior leadership team. “When we saw that Juniper’s business and strategy required us to evolve from an independent to interdependent operating model, it was a moment of incredible clarity,” Greg recalls. “It was an elegant idea that actually reduced the complexity for us.”
With interdependence as the frame — one that has resonated with the leadership team — increasing Juniper’s ability to span boundaries became an important path forward.
CCL’s boundary spanning leadership research and practice shows that as the world gets flatter and more interconnected, many barriers and boundaries remain. Leaders and organizations can either be stymied by these challenges or learn to span boundaries to find disruptive innovations.
Guided by CCL’s boundary spanning insights, Juniper embraced a major effort to renew and align its values with the company’s vision, business strategy and brand. “Drawing on the perspectives of employees across the business and around the world, we sought to clearly align who we aspired to be on the outside to customers and to the industry, with who we are on the inside,” explains Greg.
Deliberately bridging the five leadership boundaries, Juniper’s values, known as the Juniper Way, were renewed over a period of months. Then, the boundary spanning work shifted to engaging all colleagues and putting those values into action.
“How do people own the values and the processes? What are the practical tools for helping leaders manage their business in a way that works for them?” asks Greg. “The changes we’re making are increasingly part of our customer messages, our talent management process, our daily work.”
With a CCL team, Juniper is exploring new frontiers of what leadership means in a networked world. “Not only are we pioneering the next generation of networking technology,” says Greg, “but we are pioneering the next generation of organizational leadership.”
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