Working with many companies over the last couple of years, one of the biggest challenges often is to get teams to work across the organizational boundaries. Often the main part of the problem is that we expect collaboration to occur in networks of relationships that do not mirror that of the formal reporting structures. Collaboration needs to be managed by leadership with a focus on setting up informal networks. This article from Harvard Business Review provides some good, pragmatic approaches.
When your employees can use their natural talents in their job, they can bring a positive presence to their work and can make a positive impact on the organization. So what are some questions you as a manager can ask to gage what these talents are to then help best shape their roles and responsibilities? Here are some valuable ones from Gallup
- What do you know you can do well but haven’t done yet?
- What sorts of activities do you finish and think, “I can’t wait to do that again”? Or what are you doing — inside or outside work — when you’re truly enjoying yourself?
- What have you done well that you didn’t need someone to explain how to do?
- What have other people told you you’re great at doing?
- What activities are you doing when you are unaware of time passing?
Practice makes perfect. Who hasn’t been told that at some point in their life? But is it true?
I like Adam Grant’s take who believes that what separates the good from the great is the willingness to try new things. You may be successful the way you are, but regardless of whether you are a company or an individual if you follow the same thing, the same routine, the same strategy over and over again you are more or less standing still, it means you are not growing.
Especially today where our world is changing at an incredible speed we need to have the willingness to experiment. To experiment with what you already know, and to experiment beyond that.
As Adam Grant said in a recent interview with GQ:
“..I would love to see every individual, every group try at least one experiment every week. Whether that’s shifting the structure of your meetings, or rotating around the leader for that decision—you can make a long list of what kind of experiments might be relevant. But to me, that’s kind of the big lesson of organizational psychology: the people who are willing to try new things beat the ones who don’t.”
How can you break your silos of your own built routines and start to experiment?
(Photo Credit: Harry Waisman Lab)
I came across this nice picture the other day, showing us the many reasons against change. But my questions back would be “what is the risk of not changing?”.
Take some time today to reflect on what is stopping your company from making the needed changes.
“One of the most important dimensions of job satisfaction is how you feel about your employer’s mission.” writes Robert H. Frank, an economics professor at Cornell University.
Values shape company behaviour. It is about how we treat employees, our customers, the type of products we build, the office environment we provide and much more. Most companies state values that usually always sound great, but actually are not shown in behaviours.
Some questions that leadership can ask themselves could be:
- How do we live our values at this company?
- What are stories and examples we can share that show how our values are put into practice?
- When a department, team or individual does not stick to the company values are there consequences? And what would these look like?
- How do we as leadership ensure that even when making difficult decision we can stay true to the company values?
The World Economic Forum is Davos is always exciting. While economic and political elites are discussing what should be on the business and government agenda for 2018, the global communications community looks towards the results of the annual Edelman Trust Barometer.
Now in its 18th year, the barometer, which surveyed more than 33,000 adults across 28 countries, showed a big drop in trust. As a professional communicator my main takeaway is the increased trust in CEOs (first year in a long time!) and the decreased trust in “a person like you”. The latter is pretty big news, seeing as peer-to-peer communications had been the most trusted form of communication in recent years. Maybe we have realized we are living too much in echo chambers.
Social media companies have also lost trust, with 70% of respondents agreeing that they do not do enough to prevent unethical behaviors. With more than 30% of those surveyed believing that social media is not good for society it will be interesting where this opinion takes us and if the big tech companies will start to do some rethinking about their responsibilities to society.
It seems business is now expected to be an agent of change. Nearly two-thirds say that they would like CEOs to take the lead on policy change instead of waiting for government. As Edelman says: “There are new expectations of corporate leaders. Nearly 7 in 10 respondents say that building trust is the No. 1 job for CEOs, ahead of high-quality products and services.”
What’s the reality in your company? Have you noticed a decline in peer-to-peer communication? How can we tackle disinformation within companies? And what can communicators do to empower CEOs to become agents of change in today’s society?
You can read the full report here.
Gender doesn’t matter, talent does. And when you know that between 2014 and 2016, only 15% of workers in Germany were engaged at work then it is more than urgent to take a look at the management culture and to not just hire for experience or skills but for the talent to truly work with and inspire people.
Read more in Gallup’s latest blog post.