Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Employee Engagement

"If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time."

My reading lately has started to show strong correlations between several current business leadership themes.

1) Strengths-based leadership/hiring - The Gallup organization is one of the major sources of information on this topic. "Now Discover Your Strengths" was written by them and lots of people have started preaching this idea. I personally really like the idea of people being organized according to their strengths. I agree that it helps people enjoy their work. Example article.

2) Democratic workplaces - Coming from a different direction is the idea that your employees are willing and even interested in helping improve the company and business. Historically management has been based on distrust between the top and the bottom of the hierarchy. Democratic workplaces are based on the idea that if you let employees make their own decisions, that they'll act responsibly. This is one of my favorite concepts as I love to come up with new ideas and need people to be open to those ideas. Example article.

3) Collaboration - Enterprise 2.0 is challenging existing management styles because it is all about power and knowledge at the edges. This is the big topic right now, but it gains a lot when considered together with democratic workplace strategies. A lot of the resistance that E2.0 faces is due to organizational culture more that anything else. Wikinomics is a decent primer that introduces the concepts for those still learning what Web2.0 is all about. For the more advanced, Amazon recommends some really great books, dipping into psychology and organizational behavior.

4) Teamwork - Just because we have fancy Web2.0 tools doesn't mean we work well together. Management gurus have long touted the importance of teamwork, but that doesn't mean everyone gets it. Five Dysfunctions of a Team is definitely my next purchase after I finish the 4 books I'm currently reading. Have you ever wanted to start a business just so you could work with your friends and trusted associates. We can build those kinds of teams. We can build teams of trust and inter-dependency.

I'm still not sure if my recent studies have taken such an "organizational-behavior" bent lately because I enjoy it for it's own sake or because it is so important to my personal work style. Either way, these are ideas that I feel could revolutionize any company.


Priyanka D said...

Teamwork is important for any project to succeed..

Unknown said...

Priyanka, I agree, but some teams just get things done together, and other teams you couldn't pry apart with a crowbar. You can just feel it when a team is totally committed and in tune with each other.