#NZLEAD RECAP: Collaborative Leadership

Social media is potentially a powerful tool for connecting like-minded people and enabling collaborative leadership. Social media means that connections can be made between people on a wider scale and at a faster rate than has been previously possible. We only have to look at examples from Egypt and Tunisa to see the strength of this. However, the use of social media as tool to enable collaborative leadership in the workplace is relatively unexplored.

There is no doubt that there is a lot of information about how to get involved in social media and even examples of where it’s helped people connect and share knowledge. However, we have a scattergun way of using social media in the work place and doubts about its relevance. In light of this, I propose a more methodical approach.

An example of how to apply a structured approach to your social media strategy.

An example of how to apply a structured approach to your social media strategy.

Firstly, establish why you want to use it and thread this purpose through the way you approach it. This should also help identify what is going to give you the most value, which tools to use and how you’re going to use them. If you are a business looking at social tools for your employees establishing the purpose of it is even more important. Do you want them to connect with each other to share knowledge? Promote your brand with customers? Part of this is checking that it aligns with your culture. For example, if your workplace is somewhere that puts a lot of value on face-to-face interaction then using social tools may not be a great cultural fit. There may not be a lot of motivation to use it.

You need to make sure your employees are motivated to use social media. I find the Daniel Pink approach of autonomy, mastery and purpose as a framework for motivation helpful here. How is your social media approach going to enable the autonomy and mastery of you or the people you are implementing it for? The beautiful thing about social media is that it is easy to demonstrate your mastery and appreciate that of others. However, autonomy can be hampered by the social policies and culture of the organisation you work for. How does your social media policy enable social interaction?

Social media is not for everyone and is not appropriate in all circumstances. But if you are clearly articulating what purpose you are using it for then you can decide whether it is for you or not and, if you do use it for business purposes, effectively enable the collaborative leadership of your people.


#NZLEAD PREVIEW: Disabled HR Professionals = An Enabled Human Resources Profession

Anne T

This week we’re turning the equality spotlight onto HR and ask: “What has the profession done to encourage disabled people to sign up?” Yes, we know we’re great at encouraging disabled people to apply for posts within your organisation – but what’s our track record of enticing them into HR itself?

The discussion is going to be based on the blog published earlier this month – see http://annetynan.wordpress.com/. As you will see when you read it, Anne went looking on the internet for information about disabled people working as HR professionals. The topic has interested her for a long time so when David D’Souza roped her in to his ambitious Book of Blogs project, it was an obvious choice.

If you can’t be bothered to read the blog, the executive summary is:

There appears to be little or no publicly available information about the issue of disabled people working as HR professionals. This means no research, no recorded experiences or case studies, no career advice, no targeted information for applicants and candidates. The results that did come up when you type ‘disabled HR professionals’ into Google invariably highlighted a division, with ‘disabled people’ on one side and ‘HR professionals’ on the other – i.e. it’s a ‘them and us’ scenario. HR has clearly done a great job helping other professions to open up to disabled people but it is now time for it to look to itself to do the same

Why is this topical for #NZLEAD?

Currently underway in New Zealand is the 2013 Disability Survey, with the results due next year. The previous survey (2006) is awash with data and “describes the types of industries and occupations that disabled people are employed in and compares them with those of non-disabled people.”

Look 2013 Disability Survey

Occupations are broken down into 9 major groups so the data is unrefined but the 2 groups most relevant to HR are: ‘Professionals’ – 8% disabled ‘Clerks’ – 9% disabled

What about HR?

Do we know how many disabled people work in the profession? Do we have any inkling of the impact that they have on its workings? Do we understand how they contribute to the image of Human Resources as perceived by other employees?

Questions for #NZLEAD

1. What is your experience of disabled people working in HR?

2. What are the benefits of knowing the numbers and characteristics of disabled people who work in HR and their impact on others?

3. Do you think that employees find HR more approachable if they can see that disabled people are well-integrated into the department?

4. What could/should organisations such as HRINZ and CIPD do to encourage disabled people to consider a career in HR?

Get in contact with Anne via @AnneTynan or look her up on LinkedIn or her website https://sites.google.com/site/tynanequality/

#NZLEAD RECAP: Crisis Management

The recent Wellington earthquakes provided a good prompt to ensure we were all thinking about crisis management and having good plans in place. When asked what the first thing businesses needed to do in a crisis it was to communicate. It came out strongly amongst the participants:

Communication becomes the core of everything we do. In order to be a successful leader we need to be a good communicator and the same goes for having a successful crisis and contingency plan. Businesses can have the most comprehensive and detailed plans for when a crisis hits, but if the leader is not a good communicator the plan will quickly fall to the wayside.

At a time of a crisis it is important that your business leaders stand up and help employees through it providing a human element as well as the technical aspects. HR can provide advice and support to leaders during a crisis to ensure they are including the human element and providing good support to their employees.

Earthquakes don’t happen everywhere, but it doesn’t mean a crisis can’t hit where you are. It is important that no matter where we are our businesses have a plan in place incase something happens. Be prepared and be prepared to help your leaders step in a time of chaos and need. HR aren’t the face of the organisation or the emotional rock of the organisation (as said by HR Tinker) but we are the department that helps managers manage relationships and therefore we are in a unique position to help them be the best they can be in a time of need.