A Shocking Number Of Leaders Are Not Aligned With Their Companies’ Visions

“Gone are the days when a quarterly or weekly e-newsletter would pass as internal communications – chances are most miss it due to their already-clogged inbox,”

Regardless if the email is internal or external the likelihood that anybody is going to read it is small.

I run a podcast called #TimTalks where I interview interesting people. I've just interviewed Mike Klein the talk is here.

In it he says some interesting things about the new way of working.  This is the same for CEOs, the leadership team and the teams.

1.  Everybody Needs Network at Work

This isn't a revelation, we have all needed a network to get things done.  In the past you walked down the corridor, you took people for coffees.  Of course you can send emails, but in any large organization, getting action is another thing.

When ever I managed sales teams, while you could do many things remote, a lot of what you did managing a team was face-to-face. In my previous company the view was that more work was done in the coffee bars surrounding the office than was done in the office.  Then covid_19 struck. 

2. Everybody needs a Personal Brand

Having a personal brand at work has always been important.  Put it another way, do you have a great reputation?  The the companies that I have worked at being know as a "winner" was the best way to get resource on your opportunities.

In all the companies that worked for all the salespeople that got the resource where the ones that were "winning".  Either they were winning or it was perceived they were winning.  Part of this was down to their network and part of this was down to their internal personal brand.

3. Using Social is Now Business as Usual (BaU)

Most of us over the last three months have got used to using Zoom, Teams and Slack.

The only emails I get now are from spammers and from external organisations, we, like most companies now have moved to social to communicate.

In fact, Mike talks about "employees expect a culture of social interplay - sharing - creating and sharing with each other."  I agree.

Here at DLA Ignite, it's natural to use social (we use Slack). We don't turn to email to communicate (internally), we turn to social.  We have all of our Associates and Partners on the same Slack install so we act and form as a global business.  Allowing us to collaborate across country, boundaries and business.  This means we are able to service our global clients. 

4. But What About New Starters?

In the past, a new starter would come into the office for a day, you would be introduced to everybody and shake their hands.  You wouldn't remember anybodies name, but at least you would be introduced.  This is how you started building your personal brand and your network.

A company may have 3 sites all with 1,000 staff each.  Now a business has 3,000 sites.

How as a leader do you manage all these people? And how as a new starter do you build a personal brand, build a network and how do you start collaborating?

Many forward thinking companies have "buddies" and support "communities" but they tend to be focused on face-to-face interactions.

One of my partners sons changed jobs during lock down.  He was interviewed, offer the job and on-boarded all online.  His first day was online.  He's told the company that he is going to live in Barcelona, (he currently lives in London) because where he is based does not matter.  How many people will have insisted that people had to be in the office, "to be seen". 

The Networked (Digital) Leader

I've been in sales a few years now, started cold calling and sending letters and then sent emails when email took off. I wrote my first book "Social Selling - techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers"  where I put forward the position what I could see in the sales community that buyers were now on social networks. You could contact them, within reason and sell stuff.

Things seem to have accelerated.

In this article by Dion Hinchcliffe he states 

"It is a remarkable time in this particular moment in human history, where most organizations have become almost entirely distributed, yet for the first time still remain largely functional."

In other words, we are all working remotely; we have all got used to it; and work (and life) still goes on.

We, are, all of us, buyers and sellers, as Dion would say "living through a wifi connection".

At my last company we ran the business on social and it was an eye opener.  With email people can look busy, with social you can see who is and who is not contributing to the business. 

We All have Network Leadership Skills Now

The last few months has required us to learn "network leadership". 

Where as, you used to "wonder down the corridor" to see somebody, you now communicate with a colleague through a social network.  Switching that around, there are leaders leaving their Zoom links open, should somebody want to drop by.  Instead of my office door is always open, my Zoom link is always open. 

A number of organisations are using video to send messages.  Whereas, before Covid_19 you would have "stuck your head around a door" now people send 2 minute videos.  We have a client, whose sales people send 2 minute videos as to what they have done that week.  You get the information you need, it saves time and is more efficient.  The Coronavirus is driving cost out of a business and making it a better place to work.

At my last organisation, we used social networks to enable maternity returners to contribute quicker, to get new starters to contribute quicker, to increase efficiency of current employees by 25%.  All ways that social and network leadership enabled us to increase efficiency, strip out cost and provide better working conditions.  I make no apology that those case studies will have a business $ contribution, but that was how the management thought and how we could prove business impact.

We can all see that now in our Covid19 world, we can also see the mental health benefits and the employee experience benefits.

The Connected (Digital) Leader and Buyer

Things have changed, we know that for sure, but are we really skilled to do this or will we try and blag it?

I know money is short, but is this one of things we can hope and pray will work, it all seems to be strategic to your business and if we fluff / fumble this we might not be in business.

What am I suggestion? Getting in an independent third party, like us. 

If you understand the business issues and what some practical suggestions you can contact me here 

Related: Why Your Sales Aren’t Growing