Sunday, 15 September 2013

Change Your Attitude or Die Like a Frog

No matter whether or not you've got a smart phone or tablet, whether or not you blog, tweet, are on LinkedIn or Facebook, if you ignore their effect on your management environment then you risk dying like the proverbial boiled frog. It dismissed as nonsense dire warnings of the consequences of the slow flame under its tub of water. 

The changes may be so slow that they’re hardly noticeable. Yet social and mobile internet technologies are steadily, inexorably freeing people from the mushroom farm - from being kept in the dark and fed on bullshit; freeing them to create, speak up, challenge, push back and rise up; freeing them to connect with anyone anywhere, to contribute and impact on merit rather than position; freeing them to expose bullying bosses whose power depends on concealed incompetence and hierarchical authority. On the web, no one knows whether you’re a dog or the senior vice president.

That’s why it’s imperative for managers and managed to learn fast how to get things done in a world where authority is the reciprocal of followership (for refugees from mathematics, that means: as authority increases, followership decreases). 

Carol Rozwell argues in The Boiled Leader – Digital Freedom at Work  (September 13, 2013) posted on Management Innovation Exchange’s Digital Freedom Challenge , that workers who aren't effective collaborators will surely be exposed. They are the people we avoid working with. Everyone in the peer group knows who they are, yet management takes no action. Frequently because those people are management.

You don’t have to join the twittering classes, plaster the details of your life all over Facebook, or push your profile on LinkedIn and blogs to survive. But you do need to change your attitude to fit a world that expects freedoms that you may intuitively see as threats to your authority.

The message for Managerial “Frogs” is abandon that authority or die. The good news is that the rewards for abandoning it are, productive, profitable, satisfying collaborative life.


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