The command – control mechanism has become redundant as an example of top-down leadership. Globalization , new technologies , coupled with new ways of Value Creation & Business Generation has altered the efficacy of the Top-down Leadership. Traditional corporate communication channels are unable to manage the change.The Solution : A new model of Leadership Communication known as “Organisational Communication”.
Four essential attributes that form “ Organizational Conversation “ consists of Intimacy :- Personal conversation flourishes when Leaders stays close to the participants , figuratively as well as literally. Organizational Communication requires Leaders to minimize the distances , institunal , attitudinal and spatial.Interactivity: A personal conversation involves interaction between two or more groups of people. When there is interaction , this makes the organization open and fluid versus closed and secretive.Inclusion: A personal conversation is an equal opportunity endeavor. This enables the participants to share the ownership of the subjects of discussion and the outcome of the conversation.Intentionality: One of the objectives of organizational conversation is to be open but not aimless. Intent provides order and structure to loose pieces of conversation.These four attributes reinforce each other. In the end , they blend to form a single integrated process.
Four ways to achieve Conversational Intimacy:Gaining Trust : No trust,no intimacy. Where there is no intimacy , there is no trust. It is very hard for anybody to open up and speak about intimate or confidential issues. Even if conversation happens , it is upto the participants to take the outcome of the conversation at facevalue. Trust is hard to achieve . It is very difficult to put trust in the Leadership , if they are not perceived to be trustworthy and straightforward.This is especially true in the case of financial data.Example : Athena , a medical records-keeping company discusses the financial data with all its employees considering each of them to be “insiders”. The main objective was to achieve ownership and involvement at all its employees.2. Listening Well : Know when to stop speaking and start listening. True Leaders exhibit behaviours that project attentiveness , curiosity and humility . This behaviours are amark of respect in a conversatinally intimate behaviours.Example : The President of Duke Energy , as part of a conversation initiative , held 3-hour sessions where 90-100 managers were invited to take part in conversations.In this way , he was able to glean information that he would not have been able to gather otherwise.Getting Personal: Absorbing criticism , when it is direct and personal. True listening involves getting personal or absorbing criticism even when it is direct and personal.Example : - A Senior Executive invited employees to not only raise concerns , but to provide feedback on his own performance anonymously. At the end of the session , he was able to see that half of the employees were reluctant to give him a full “A”. He took these feedback very seriously , but , continued to hold such sessions.He also started asking open-minded questions about his performance . It was found out later , “internal Communications “ was a challenge that he had to work on.
Example :Cisco Systems : Telepresence.
Leadership Is A Conversation By Kartik Baug
A Harvard Business Review Article.
Introduction The New Realities of Leadership Communication Organisational Communication : The Concept Intimacy : Getting Close Three ways to achieve Conversational Intimacy Interactivity : Promoting Dialogue. (Contd.) By Kartik Baug 6/24/2012 2
Inclusion : Expanding Employee’s Role Channels of Inclusion Intentionality : Persuing an Agenda By Kartik Baug 6/24/2012 3
By Boris Goysberg & Michael Slind. Traditional Command-and-Control Mechanisms are redundant. Globalization , New Technologies have reduced the efficacy of top-down Leadership. Traditional corporate communications unable to manage the change . The solution : A new model of Leadership Communication known as “ Organisational Conversation”. By Kartik Baug 6/24/2012 4
Economic Change: Transition from service-based industries to knowledge-based industries require newer ways to process & share information. Organisational Change: Flatter & Less hierarchical companies have made top-down leadership redundant. Global Change: Diverse and Culturally differentiated workforces have necessitated conversations that are smooth & fluid. By Kartik Baug 6/24/2012 5
Four Essential Attributes of Organizational Communication : 1. Intimacy 2.Interactivity 3. Inclusion 4.Intentionality By Kartik Baug 6/24/2012 6
Organizational Communication requires Leaders to minimize the distances , institunal , attitudinal and spatial. This gives the decision-making authority trust & attention from those under authority. Leaders listen to conversations at all levels of the organization. Leaders speak and respond to at all levels of the organization. Not necessarily physical , but mental proximity required. By Kartik Baug 6/24/2012 7
Gaining Trust : No trust , No Intimacy. Listening Well : Know when to stop speaking and start listening. Getting Personal : Absorbing criticism when it is direct and personal. By Kartik Baug 6/24/2012 8
Exchange : Exchange of Comments & Questions between participants. Interactivity : This makes conversation more open & fluid. Dialogue : Replacing Monologue with Dialogue. Technology : Use of latest technology to supplement Corporate Communication challenges. By Kartik Baug 6/24/2012 9
Equal Opportunity Endeavour: Sharing of Ownership between the participants of the outcome. Conversation Partners: Leaders turn Employees into contributing equally towards New ideas and initiatives. Emotional Engagement: Emotional Engagement Level is higher . Criticality: Leaders better able to convey the criticality of their messages. By Kartik Baug 6/24/2012 10
Brand Ambassadors : Passionate Leadership become brand ambassadors or living examples of Company Vision. Thought Leaders: Empowered employees , deep within an organization are best suited to generate high – quality thought leadership. Storytellers: When employees speak from their own experience , the story comes to life. By Kartik Baug 6/24/2012 11
Closure of Conversation : Intentionality is a measure of closure of conversation . Intent : Open-minded Conversations are not aimless. Strategical Relevance : It allows focus on the relevance of actions towards strategically important priorities. Consent : This exercise leads to generation of Consent versus commanding of Consent. Big Picture View : Employees are aware of their broad Strategy & Competitive environment. By Kartik Baug 6/24/2012 12