It’s time for a new model of management; one that facilitates real-time updates of ideas, conversation, support or lack of support, is short, sharp and to the point, provides transparency and provides a framework to see sometimes unlikely linkages.
A model that is evolutionary, referring to what’s past yet focussed fully on the opportunities that lie ahead. A model, whose central operation is innovation, yet captures many every-day type activities to make innovation non-threatening. A model that is as expansive as the business in which it operates. A model that is cleverly designed to redistribute power, unleash human capability and foster renewal.
This model addresses:
Power outages – caused by: knowledge withheld by those who ‘need to know’; inept, untimely, superficial or non-existent communication; ‘not my job’ attitudes
Affected human incapability – caused by: ‘nobody listens’ thinking; not my job attitudes; ‘s/he’ll take the credit’ behaviours; disengagement, perceived lack of organisational support
Hindering renewal/fostering destruction – caused by: ‘this is the way we’ve always done it’ attitudes; lack of enablement or perceived authority; excessive process and procedure; disenfranchisement
And at the heart of this new model of management is communication.
Leadership surveys indicate that the importance of communication is rated first or second by 84% of employees. “Be a communicator and listen to your team” declares Google’s Rules for better managers. And research undertaken at General Electric and Hewlett Packard and a 10,000 strong Silicon Valley company proves the immediate manager’s communication capability directly improves employee satisfaction and job performance. Yet the Fortune 500 are not adding any jobs and are stagnating or going backwards as they apply the same management models in the same way. And communication is the core.
The problem is that many of the issues that get in the way for employees or their clients, or ideas that could make us all rich just never get a chance to surface through all the 'operational noise'. Say It and Rate It Mind-map aims to turn that trend on its ear.
 Effective leaders champion communication skills, www.nrn.com
 http://solutionfocusedchange.blogspot.com/2011/03/googles-project-oxygen-eight-good.html accessed 15 March 2011
 Management communication: unlocking higher employee performance, Communication World Mar-Apr 2005
The solution is a collaborative online 'Say It and Rate It' mind-map. It is strictly controlled by several operating concepts:
- contributions cannot exceed 140 characters
- hashtags may be used to create linkages. However, the intent is that back end programming be capable of identifying trends and providing connections
- its presentation remains in mind-map form. This aims to avoid and discourage linear thinking and to encourage and tap into abstract thinking.
- individuals may like or dislike contributions which feeds into rating and measurement systems
- individuals may nominate contributions as ‘brutal facts’ and ‘red flags’
- outliers are readily identified to provide indicators of burning issues and non-issues. The contributions that fall outside two (perhaps one) standard deviation for likes/dislikes are highlighted.
- norms remain mapped so as not to lose strings and thoughts, however they are not the focus of attention.
The next part of the solution revolves around execution. Although this is not the focus of this hack, which assumes a level of execution capability already exists in organisations, yet is stymied by causal issues such as communication transparency. However, for the purpose of illustrating the solution in action, execution may mean some contributions get self-resolved because those with ability to improve the situation see how important the issue is to others. Some ideas may gain their own momentum because like-minds with different yet complementary skills come together for a cause. And some will need leaders to take ownership and provide support, either by managing the issues or by enabling others to act. Execution will be somewhat 'organisation-centric'. Yet, with the passion on ready display, there should be no shortage of willing participants to take contributions to reality.
 (Collins 2001)
Contributors will come from everywhere within the organisation. Managers and leaders may contribute news and updates. Or team members may contribute grapevine news or concerns. Anyone can contribute ideas, problems with which they need help, solutions, or simply start a conversation about something about which they have a passion. Anything at all. No waiting for a newsletter. No filtered dashboards. Simple, unadulterated communication.
The point is, that the tool gets the knowledge out there. And if knowledge is power then suddenly it is redistributed very widely. With clear evidence of burning issues, individuals who wish to engage in being part of the solution now have evidence to clearly demonstrate their issues really have broader support. They can unleash their personal skills and experience, and collaborate with others to further the ideas/issues generated. This returns a sense of purpose to the individuals fostering personal renewal, and the collaborative contribution fosters organisational renewal.
This solution is inspired by human spirit, technology and dreaming and doodling. Inspired by the works of people such as Victor Frankl and Eckhart Tolle, it aims to provide purpose, harness the positive aspects of ego and reduce or eliminate the negative ego. Technologically, products such as Twitter, Yammer, Intuit Brainstorm and XMind contributed their best aspects to the mix. And my dreams, like yours, which are fragmented and erratic yet contribute to sense-making help me believe it this solution’s viability.
At the heart of the solution lies communication. The aim, contained within an encompassing ring highlights outcomes of innovation, engagement, purpose and vision.
(See image 'Start' attached)
The catalysts are operating concepts including hashtags, <140 characters, open access (within the organisation), red flags, brutal facts, likes and dislikes. These catalysts inject life into the ideas of redistribution of power, fostering renewal and unleashing human capability to achieve outcomes that expand to include ideas and solutions.
(See image 'Finish' attached)
- Win this competition!
- Establish discussions with software providers to modify existing software design to integrate required adaptations.
- Identify organisation candidates who meet criteria (set out under number 4):
- Medium size (<300 people)
- Some trust exists, although frustration at many levels is evident
- Predominantly employees have ready access to a computer
- Market the ‘Say It and Rate It’ mind map concept to the organisation leading up to introduction (no more than one month prior to launch)
- Identify champions (a dozen or so) throughout the organisation and its levels
- Educate organisation about mind maps during marketing phase
- Launch it!
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