I have just read an interesting Ashridge Business School paper reporting the results of a survey conducted for the Engage for Success Employee Task Force that explored engagement through the eyes of 16 CEOs. It highlights the changing requirements of leaders as the nature of our organisations and their competitive environments change and suggests that leaders are deterred from “engaging in engagement” by gaps in Leadership Capability (for example poor self awareness), the Leaders personal morphology (for example their pride or reliance on command and control), and the enterprise’s culture and systems (for example organisational hierarchies and drives for short term results). As much as anything, the paper endeavours to stimulate debate.
As I read this report I sensed that the waves of expectation generated by social media make it ever more vital for Leaders (including Board of Directors) to place an increasing premium on removing institutional and capability barriers to engagement and increasing the level of trust shared by employees in their leaders. (One of the papers referenced in a Social Media seminar I attended yesterday articulates the potential for harnessing social media as a positive driver of change well).
Finally a CEO quote from the report “So I do think by not engaging with staff it makes it easier for you to be less humane as a Leader”.