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Discard old ways to empower employees, says Yammer chief

Discard old ways to empower employees, says Yammer chief

February 19, 2015

Yammer co-founder Adam Pisoni insists companies need to ditch “traditional corporate barriers” and embrace taking a risk – because it will allow business to flourish as a result.

What type of thing does he mean? Testing out some of the latest internal communication tools on the market? Encouraging your senior leadership to open dialogue with colleagues? Or arranging a hack day?

Pisoni, who is now the enterprise social network’s chief technology officer, believes small scale experiments can be tested by a business with minimal risk or disruption – and could lead to a more-streamlined and efficient firm.

The Yammer chief believes organisations need to change their culture if they wish to engage employees with a fresh mindset geared towards transparency, experimentation and empowerment for colleagues.

He said: “We moved from a world of information scarcity to a world of information ubiquity. The world formed a giant network. And that has accelerated the pace of change to crescendo.

“The fundamental problem organisations face is that they can no longer keep up with their customers.

“The hierarchy and the network are smashing into each other, and organizations of all kinds can’t keep up with the people they serve.”

Pisoni is an firm advocate of the “responsiveness model” which he outlines in great detail in this thought-provoking article.

In essence, the responsiveness approach gives employees the flexibility to innovate – and potentially fail – instead of being bound by the corporate red tape that festers in so many of our organisations today.

The message is clear: remove traditional internal working barriers, give colleagues the freedom to carry out their role in their own way and watch them repay you with fresh ideas and bold innovation.

Pisoni continued: “The best news is that—because we’re still just figuring this responsiveness model out—we’re at the low-hanging-fruit phase.

“People are afraid because all they know is increasing control or planning. Right now, the hard part is trying something different and seeing what happens.”

No doubt it is an approach that requires a substantial shift in mindset to work but Pisoni stresses the key to successfully embedding responsiveness is taking small, yet hugely significant, steps.

He added: “Just take one step. Some things are easier done than said.

“It’s usually not hard. It’s actually pretty easy. Many companies trip themselves up because ‘easy’ is counterintuitive. But really, it’s just a leap of faith.”

To read the full interview, click here…