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Is Headquarters Listening?

listeningDo you work for an organization that has multiple locations and or field staff, and do whatever HQ (the mother ship) tells you to do because that’s the way it is. You have to use their system, which tools to use, and they never ever ask you what you really need to get the job done right. If they do, nothing happens normally and the frustration continues. Are you continually fighting to be heard and have given up because HQ doesn’t seem to be listening?

There has always been a disconnect in most organizations with this kind of structure, mostly because they are out of sight and out of mind. It’s a long distance relationship, these relationships break down quickly and create a lack of trust for the reason’s I mentioned earlier. The key to solving this breakdown takes effort from all parties involved, but in the end, someone from Headquarters must take the time to truly care and put forward solutions for everyone not just HQ. Lip service is a short-term time buyer, but you will lose trust with remote locations and field staff if you don’t deliver, once again you will be part of the problem not the solution. CIO’s & I.T. Leaders must go to the distance, go to the remote offices and take inventory of the desired needs and the requested functionality. Sit down and truly listen so you can get a more accurate picture, this action alone can build trust just because you made the effort to invest in those that feel they’re not being heard.

This is an opportunity, not an opportunity to buy time, get votes or support, but to deliver or you are done. You are fighting politics, which means you must get the popular vote or life gets interesting.To do get the popular vote you must be a person of your word, that’s it! I didn’t say it was going to be easy, it’s the nature of people you are up against. Authoritative attitudes no longer have a place, organizations now are WOM (Word Of Mouth) driven and as you know, it can kill you just as fast as it helps you. As we get more and more connected Headquarters can no longer turn a blind I or just give lip service. Today’s Social Media Networks feed into instant gratification, we have made communication instant, meaning you don’t have the luxury of time anymore. Kill or be killed.

Businesses have a LifeStream and this stream is the tool of choice for the masses to share, to collaborate and make decisions. Beware the LifeStream, be aware that “we the people” are turning the tables, the power is no longer in the hierarchy of organizations…it’s at the ground level. The flattening is happening at a rapid pace all over the world, the Internet is the game changer and the people are not only watching, they are listening, and then they are acting. With this new found power, organizations must become more transparent, deliver on promises, and more importantly, treat staff  the same as a valued customer.

So how do you get there, how do you make the shift? Each organization will figure it out in the traditional way before they get it right in a social way, they will deal with the squeaky wheel first before they sit down with the people and truly listen. I would recommend that CEO’s & Presidents instruct their CIO’s to go to the basement and find out what’s NOT working and what IS working, then present the findings to the Executives & Board if necessary. Don’t think in terms of a project or an ERP implementation, think of it as a way of getting your house in order, is the family happy and do they have what they need to ensure your success. The best way to do that is to go to them and ask, otherwise you will hear about it on Twitter, FaceBook and the like, the beginning of the end if your not careful.

The old lesson of STOP, LOOK & LISTEN comes to mind when dealing with your constituents throughout the organization, then add the word DELIVER when you have done the first three.

About Owen Greaves

I'm a Futurist, I write, speak, and teach the open & free business model, the future of business. Create. Differentiate. Deliver.