Sunday, May 16, 2010

Enough Said!!

Over at Thinking Shift, one of my past lecturers and now a social media/thought exchange colleague, Kim, is embarking on a move to NZ.

Before leaving this country she gave a perspective on her career thus far which sums up a lot of what I have been talking about for the last 2 years and so it is lovely to be able to just re-post verbatim her thoughts:

  • organisations are artificial structures that throw together people who quite possibly would never wish to know each other and certainly would not want to mingle socially.
    inspirational, visionary leadership is missing in contemporary organisations (at least the ones I’ve worked in).
  • There’s a lot of talk about values or codes of conduct but the actions of management show that they really don’t give a toss. I use the word management because leadership is something entirely different. Most organisations are stuffed full of managers who focus on anything but helping employees to develop. Managers try to beat the weaknesses out of employees by sending us off to courses or providing new objectives. They don’t always play to strengths or encourage hope within employees. By hope I mean inspiring someone to look at a problem or situation differently, helping to reframe goals and objectives, or promoting a positive mental attitude.
  • The baby boomers have a lot to answer for. Mostly boomers (and of course some Gen X) are those filling the roles of CEOs, COOs, CFOs and senior managers. They cling desperately to the command and control paradigm. There’s a lot of talk about collaboration, sharing, mentoring and so on but whilst the command and control mentality is predominant, organisations will remain soulless places.
  • Generation Y is not Generation Why? In the last two years or so, Gen Y have been close co-workers and I’ve found them to be what boomers are not – they are collaborative, inquiring, respectful, prepared to challenge things and ask “why is it this way?”. One Gen Y colleague is responsible for triggering off my current obsession for fantasy fiction. I’ve been impressed with their professionalism and real concern over societal issues. They can see that management is acting in a way that is contrary to espoused values but they’ll be braver I think than boomers or Gen X – when it gets too much, they will leave the organisation and seek one that is more authentic. They will not stick it out in an organisation for 20 years out of loyalty (and be given a gold watch for retirement and totter off). They will simply leave.
  • And from a KM perspective: it remains hard for KM practitioners to carry out their work. In my consulting work, I’ve been lucky to work in organisations that do “get it” but we’re still in a situation that when the going gets tough (ie the GFC), budgets get screwed and KM people may come under the spotlight. I’ve seen some KM colleagues retrenched or seen a KM initiative be dispensed with because there aren’t the resources for KM work. Again, I’ve been lucky that this hasn’t happened to me but I can see that organisations have a way to travel before they truly understand the amazing benefits KM can deliver.

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