I recently came across an article from 2012: Leadership is a Conversation. https://hbr.org/2012/06/leadership-is-a-conversation
It informed my work in Leadership Development and while my view shifted when I joined Thrive, this topic is increasingly more important as leaders look for modern management methods.
THRIVE enables a digital organizational conversation.
The first line of the article states, “The command and control approach to management has in recent years become less and less viable.” The authors go on to highlight: “One-way, top-down, communication between leaders and their employees is no longer useful or even realistic.”
Modern leaders want to know what employees think and need, but the reality is ‘great communication’ takes time. The pace of business, along with an overwhelmed, mobile workforce, makes this challenging.
Leaders hold focus groups or town hall meetings, and while these methods are effective, they are hard to scale. They can also lack inclusion, as often the loudest voices in the room carry the most weight.
Outlined below is a brief summary of the 4 key elements of organizational conversation found in the author’s research.
Important communication practices for any leader.
Intimacy – Minimize distance; Institutional, attitudinal, spacial, with the essentials being; mental or emotional proximity. This is where you build trust; being authentic and straightforward is a way to earn this.
Interactivity – Promoting dialogue. Talking WITH employees not TO them. Embracing the ‘unpredictable vitality of dialogue’.
Inclusive – Giving everyone a voice in the story. Engaged employees can become brand ambassadors, thought leaders, and the storytellers. This environment can uncover the most innovative thinking that is often deep within the organization.
Intentional – a rich and rewarding conversation is open, but not aimless. Without intent, conversations can meander. Intent confers order and meaning. The conversation that unfolds within a company should reflect a shared agenda that aligns with the company’s strategic objectives.
THRIVE’s Digital Dialogue supports this framework, producing actionable results for our clients in the areas of sales stagnation, performance management, customer relationships, and change engagement.
The leaders we work with are often surprised by the emergent insights derived when they ‘narrow cast’ a conversation at scale, giving every person a chance to be part of the discussions, decisions and the change needed to harness the complexity at work.
THRIVE provides a pathway to fresh data, in the moment, as well as the sharing of data that is relevant and timely for knowledge workers to make better decisions: just like a great conversation does.
Individuals can see they are part of an ongoing conversation, where their input matters, is shared, and considered as decisions are made.
THRIVE was designed with humans in mind. While we cannot replace the value of human interactions, our roots in cognitive science support powerful digital conversations that enable a leader to extend their communication at scale.
It is an exciting time at THRIVE and I am happy to continue this conversation at firstname.lastname@example.org.