Senior leaders need to “walk the talk,” using enterprise social tools and blogs just as others might “walk the floor” in a more traditional organization, while recognizing that in a digital workplace a command and control style of leadership is often less effective than modeling desired behaviors.
Leaders must demonstrate that they believe enterprise social is work and not work avoidance; by using social tools themselves, leaders give employees permission to do the same, and in turn let employees know they are trusted to deliver.
Successful organizations will trust their own employees to work effectively without command and control, and provide them with tools and time to establish social bonds with their peers in order to work effectively in virtual teams. Such organizations recognize that trust is a reciprocal relationship between employer and employee, where trust is repaid with greater flexibility, engagement and performance on both sides.
When reading this I remembered an event I was presenting at this year. A CFO of a big company did a presentation one or two hours before me. His key statement: Only cash counts. This CFO would have stared at me with open eyes, when I am talking about the social workplace and trust. He missed this cultural shock, because he already left the event.
How does this world of cost reductions, cash and number crunching work together with a culture of trust in a company, of enjoying to be at the workplace? Does it at all? Is a balance possible? Or is it a never ending fight we have to go through?