Weave A Web Of Connectivity
Forget about being a boss. You’re now a webmaster. Where the old management paradigm was about command and control over people, the new model is about connecting them together.
Instead of being preoccupied with “running the show,” put yourself in charge of weaving a human network. Management today is not about showing muscle and wielding power. It’s about you serving as connective tissue across your part of the organization. Rank simply won’t give you as much pull as it used to. The real clout now comes from being a relationship broker.
Managers who hang on to the old school approach are inclined to hoard information, dole out answers, and call all the shots. Frankly, that angle doesn’t work any more. It aggravates people. It suboptimizes solutions. And it cripples the organization’s ability to respond quickly to market conditions.
Everybody needs easy access to the organization’s knowledge base, its collective brain. Answers need to come from the best informed people, who typically are closest to the action. And, generally speaking, everybody needs to be sufficiently informed so they can call more of the shots for themselves. For this kind of a system to work, however, you have to create a powerful web of informed, coordinated effort.
How do you pull this off?
Certainly not by being a big shot who goes around issuing orders and instructions. Instead, you empower others. Make it easy for them to interface with each other and resolve problems at their level. Facilitate collaborative effort. Encourage knowledge sharing and information exchange.
You’ll need to circulate. Link people up. Orchestrate conversations among people who don’t routinely interact with one another. A key part of your job is to engineer inter-connectivity. To create a sense of community. You’re supposed to help develop a social web that carries a mother lode of intelligence, knowledge, and creativity, and that can be tapped into easily from any point in the company.
This becomes even more of a challenge these days with virtual organizations and people working remote. It’s easy for some folks to be left out of the loop. When that happens, the organization doesn’t get the benefit of their knowledge. Likewise, they can’t capitalize on the intelligence and experience base of their associates whom they can’t access.
In a sense, then, you have to serve as the social chairperson. You’re assigned primary responsibility for assuring that everybody’s mental efforts are combined to function collectively as one powerful, integrated brain.
"Could you get a little closer apart?" —Michael Curtiz, Hollywood director to two stars