Quoted in the latest Chief Learning Officer magazine

My twitter friend Dan Pontfract the author of Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization, and Head of Learning & Collaboration at TELUS recently wrote an article in the Chief Learning Officer magazine.

The article is titled “the social C-suite” and Dan says if the C-suite increases its social media use internally and externally, it could be used as a tool to impact organizational competence. You should buy the magazine – I am not sure if it is online right now.

Dan was kind enough to ask me if I would be willing to answer some questions that he would answer. I agreed. Here’s what he asked and my answers.

*         What benefits does ‘going social’ bring members of the C-Suite with respect to internal employee engagement?

Remember the days of T-groups and OD interventions that originated out of NTL? Their objective was to make organizations more open and transparent. The thought being, if feedback loops were open and transparent, then it would be an adaptive and learning organization. “social” shorn of the buzzwords, aims at creating that organization finally. The benefits would be an organization where opinion and information is unfiltered and real time. Eventually creating an organization that responds faster to stimuli – both internal and external.

*         What are 3 key attributes C-Suite members should employ when ‘going social’ with their employees?

– Willingness to rethink the way they view “management” and “leadership”
– start thinking in flows rather than stocks as Hagel, Brown say in their book “The Power of Pull”
– Stop thinking of the boundaries as opaque walls – both internally and externally. Think of them as porous, translucent membranes.
-Be ready to fail. In public. Embarrassingly. Remember, it’s a world of flows. You will recover faster as you will learn faster.

*         What if the C-Suite doesn’t go social. What happens or will happen over time?

– The organization will go on. Things will be the same. For a time. Then the slow continental shifts of time will make sure that the organization gets irrelevant. And dies.

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