One of the top-level leaders in the non-profit I work for recently asked,
How do we engage in personal conversation with every staff and volunteer in our global organization?
I want to applaud the leadership for even asking the question. I’m impressed that they are thinking about this. Having a conversation with a global movement across language, cultural, geographical and technological barriers is no easy feat.
My first step if I were in charge would be to have the leaders watch Gary Hamel and John Chambers talks. These talks give insight into why flattening an organization to survive in today’s environment is necessary.
Here are a few other ideas.
1. Require every top-level executive to blog or participate in social media. Make them make one contribution per week as part of their job description. Help them add value to the staff and volunteers they are leading. Help them tell success stories, ask for input and share their struggles. Mere activity on social media will help the followers see that they are doing something useful. Turn on comments.
2. Create a platform (or use existing ones – internal and external) to enable volunteers at the fringes of the movement to collaborate. Why aren’t students in Sydney, Toronto and Boston who are all trying to reach engineers working together? High level executives should start participating in online collaborative spaces where the rank and file frequent.
3. Make the communication mediums subscribe-able. Don’t blast out emails, create streams with value that people will want to consume. I engage with my Google Reader, Twitter and Google Wave streams before I check email.
How would you engage the global movement if you were in charge?