Sonntag, 22. Mai 2011

When Mgmt lives on a different planet

Today I have overhead a discussion of two engineers. Two engineers, who are not really under the suspicion to revolutionize Leadership. “Success is the best motivation.” As simple as that.
How on earth can then a Top Management come up to distribute glossy booklets "Lets focus on motivation"?
A Top Management is usually not stupid (enough with too simple truths). But then, how can they?
They are desperate, desparately disconnected.
There are quite some reasons for disconnection: Globalization, which on the one hand creates much tougher market environements, and the other hand lead to organization spread around the globe. In order to leverage on economies of scale, sheer size matters. And to faster product life cycles top management often respond with shorter organizational cycles (this is an observation - in my opinion however it asks for different approaches: the Knowledge Citizen, the Knowledge Charter and new work patterns).

via stockxchng Planet by asampogna

A Top Management must react on disconnection. Usually they react with communication, or better with "Communication". This "Communication" is top-down, one-way and has "newsletter" character. Is anyone reading newsletters? My answer is no, which leads to more desparation and as a consequence to more "Communication". As the classic bonmot states "There is no information overload, only filter failure".
So we have already seen how employees use effectively their filters, they just don't listen to "Communication". But also the first part is interesting: Information overload - spot on, information, but not knowledge (knowledge=information+context). What is missing, is context. That is exactly the observation of disconnection.
If I now speak about Social Media for the purpose of connecting management with employees, I join Semple (Organizational Naivety), this is where the hard work begins, not the magic trick. Just to get it right, Social Media is not a big motivator in itself, but Social Media can help to connect. It is the envelope, not the message.
And another warning, Social Media bears great opportunities, but it comes with "costs": you need to work, you need to open up, you need to trust.
Then it yields great leadership: visibility, transparency, connection, accountability and trust
(at this point in time it's effects in advance, next time when looking at the specific characteristics of effective use of Social Media to connect management and employees, these consequences shall fall into place naturally)!



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