The strategic role of Enterprise networking in Empowering Leaders By Saif Ahmad,Founding CEO at Hallwaze

What binds us in the social sector is that, regardless of our organizational mission, we want to be impactful and relevant. Most of us realize that while each of us has our own ideas and strengths, figuring out what it takes to achieve greatest impact and relevance involves climbing over our organizational walls. However, even professionals who understand the importance of networking as a tool for increasing effectiveness seem to miss the fact that they must take networking a step further to offer true leadership around their mission.

Everyone in an organization has valuable information, yet it remains locked in different corners of the organization. The challenge faced by leaders, is how to tap into that knowledge across geographies, traditional hierarchies, and business silos. The changing face of organization owing to dynamics of business models is constantly pestering for new strategies to materialize efficacious leadership within business organizations.

According to a July 2012, McKinsey & Company study, there’s over a trillion dollars that could be unlocked by utilizing social technologies.Imagine an organization that is digitally connected, colleagues connect seamlessly with each other across silos and  geographical  boundaries. Management has its finger on the pulse of the company, is aware of every crisis-induced quickening. And throughout the organization there is a deep sense of connection to the purpose and mission of the organization.

 Getting employees to adopt social behaviors and join communities is a way to break down barriers.One of the best ways for organizations to thrive in a digital world is to build and nurture true online communities. While there are a number of key factors that help organizations create important new types of business results through enterprise social networks or online communities, leadership is almost always at the top of the list.

A pragmatic approach to actualize effective leadership is to utilize the potentials of Enterprise Social Networks. These applications introduce the facets of dynamic leadership. ESNs empower top managerial roles to engage in intuitive collaboration and interactions across the echelons of an enterprise vertically. Engagement, Collaboration, Interaction and Sharing are the pivotal aspects to actualize dynamic leadership and ESNs enables CEOs to prove their competence instinctively.

Enterprise Social Networks offers personalized feedback to every single employee within the network. A survey cum poll conducted by The Ken Blanchard Companies suggested that failing to provide feedback is among the most common mistakes that leaders make. Inability to provide prompt feedback means depriving employees from the opportunity to improve their performance. This further degrades into lowered effort of agents, hence, lowering the overall productivity of the organization. As Enterprise Social Networks offer a common platform to top managerial roles and root level executives, a responsive and agile work environment can be concocted by using these platforms. Leaders can connect to any executive to offer effective personalized response to their endeavors. Promoting intensive dialogue between roles throughout the hierarchy levels assist to proffer motivation among employees and drive high productivity.

Leaders need to devote substantial amount of quality time to the team. CEOs or the top management must be available in times when employees need them for support, guidance and help to reach their objectives. Managing time for employees has many implications that directly and indirectly influence overall productivity of any business operation. Failing to do so, induces a feeling of deprivation that de-motivate employees to approach their leaders in critical situations, which, many a times backfire as sheer misunderstanding and ultimately, loss of resources. ESNs help to bridge the communication gap between all levels within an organizational hierarchy by offering anytime access to anybody. Leveraging social networks within enterprise enables to create Mental Proximity between leaders and teams. These programs help leaders to connect with their counterpart from anywhere and anytime. If not a real time conversation, they can interact through time-lagged messages, while breaking the lag in communication.

Enterprise Social Networks not only helps in bridging the gap, but can also substantiate the required gap between leaders and employees. Leaders have to make tough decisions at times and being too mingled with persons in the teams, may coalesce as a hindrance to such situations. Aspects such as Sycophancy have been a top issue across organizations, which are manifestations of “Too-friendly” relationships and behavior between top leaders and their team members. Many a times, people tend to take advantage of friendly and approachable leaders, which brings nothing but complicacies in the functional structure of the organizational hierarchy. Hence, Enterprise Social Networks helps to maintain a distance from the team and at the same time remains omnipresent across any process operation. Apart from having a bird eye view of the team, leaders can interact, collaborate and coordinate with the team members while maintaining a strategic relation to bring out the best of productivity in them.

Conventional leadership styles are being constantly proven inadequate to make an impact on present day work dynamics. The obstacles in managing and maintaining next gen employees can be only mitigated effectively though modern aids, matching to the au courant features of workspaces. Enterprise Social Networks, with its plethora of advantageous features help in reallocation, revamp and execution using a convenient system.

As indicated by Forbes, community building through social enterprise can pool strength and talents to deliver amazing performance leaders byutilizing the coalescence of Social Media, Digital Networks and Big Data. However, a number of imperatives must be prioritized while using ESNs in community building. Picking the right technology, defining the purpose of collaboration, control of management of information, maintaining the organization’s work culture and timely evaluation are the major aspects to emphasize while using an ESN. Administering the facets, leaders can empower themselves with new model of command and control driving any workspace to be spontaneous, dynamic and responsive.

(The views expressed in this article by the author are his own. doesn’t own any responsibility for it.)

© News Service

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