Social Business -– New type of leadership

Social Business will clearly impact organisations the coming years. In my last blog article about Social Business we defined what is signifies and why your organization should become more social. Now it is time to have a look at the leaders. How should they act to be successful in a social organization?

While social applications can improve communication and collaboration in an organisation, a social business is not just about the implementation of a tool. It’s also a cultural shift that requires a new type of leadership. Generation Y, do you know who they are?, is entering the workforce having been brought up with social media and the internet. As a result, they are used to open communication and are comfortable expressing their opinions. They function better in flat organisations, with fewer layers of intervening management. At the other end of the spectrum is older generations, who are staying in their careers longer than ever. It’s a fact that we are getting older and the retirement age is increasing. Leaders must straddle these two very different sets of expectations and encourage collaboration and experience exchange.

We also have the global aspect. A new generation of global managers will be expected to achieve high performance wherever they go. To a greater extent teams are constituted of members from different cultures and with different backgrounds. Regarding the educational level it is easy to assume that employees react the same way in a team. More than ever before, business school educated persons around the world talk the same talk and have similar resumes. Yet they are products of very different cultures and experiences.  A transparent leader will have to have a more realistic understanding of what to expect from people and what make them perform. They constantly need to be observant for expectation gaps, and maybe also have a coach that recognizes the codes for different cultures.

Leaders of a social organisation need to be social, open, flexible and transparent if a transformation to a social organization should succeed. With their behavior they help legitimize the process. Only words don’t count, action does! How do you see the new type of leadership?

Don’t miss my last article in the blog series about Social Business. The topic will be challenges and I will also give you some useful tips how to get started.

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