The Social Management of Work
People are inherently social. The trouble is, organizations typically do not harness this natural inclination well. Rather, they create barriers that hinder how employees engage with one another, and limit agility in how they collaborate and make decisions.
They do this by forming complex hierarchies and reporting structures, excessively layering new processes and controls without reviewing or removing existing ones, as well as creating functional silos with defined yet competing interests. In an effort to control and converge the way people work, organizations have hindered their productivity and increased bureaucracy—so much so that traditional management think is no longer working.
Redefining the Way of Interacting
Employees and employers alike are looking for a new way of interacting that’s more productive, more efficient and more responsive to what’s happening here and now—not what was happening when all these processes and hierarchies were created. By redefining how we manage, and by striving to better reflect how people want to work in an information-based knowledge economy, we can improve communication and collaboration, and eliminate waste. This is what social management at work is all about and we’re already doing it ourselves. In the next few pages, we will take you through our thinking, our approach and show you why “social” is the next evolution in good management practice.
Yet, the challenge every large organization faces is to move from being a group of fragmented silos working in parallel, to becoming a unified ecosystem. And unfortunately, many of the controls and processes managers have used to improve employee functioning have, in fact, inhibited it.
The ‘social management’ of work is about effectively communicating and managing at least these two things:
- The operational goals of the corporation; and
- The impact individuals have on operations.
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