The process of trying to become a more “transparent” organization, so they can use social media tools, pushes many organizations—companies, nonprofits, trade associations—into change, especially if they have had a very bureaucratic and non-transparent culture before. That can mean many levels of changes, which usually bring up issues between executives or managers and their teams, and it can affect relationships between staff or team members. Individuals often need to be coached to adapt to the new practices or even to drive them more effectively. Some leadership and teamwork issues come up, too.
It reminded me of a company that changed after I was asked to introduce an ideation-design method. The management team wanted the method to do double duty—a way to empower and encourage the development team.
Prior to this, it seemed team members had been discouraged from taking design initiative. Half the team was disheartened or miserable, the other half of the team was disengaged to the point where they wouldn’t offer a design suggestion even when asked by their boss. Initially, some team members took a wait-and-see approach, but after training and several successful project experiences, the majority of developers became increasingly comfortable with involvement in product design.
It took commitment from key managers to invigorate the team, and it took considerable time. They still use Five Sketches™ today.
If you liked this post, check out a recent post about Google’s corporate culture.