I had the honor of hearing Barbara Kellerman from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government speak about her book, “Followership“, several years ago. Her premise ties nicely with Patty’s blog from earlier this week: that by giving employees the tools to communicate and learn from each other, they can support each other and determine the best way to handle the change being introduced.
Since your front line employees know your customers best, they may recognize the true change that needs to take place in order for your company to adapt to the market. In some cases, the lower-level employees may be better able than some executives at solving the challenges that your company is facing!
What I love about the Followership concept is the recognition that with our changing workforce dynamic and social media tools, the old paradigm of a small group of executives leading a larger force of workers through a one-way, top-down communication does not work anymore. It is imperative that leaders learn to recognize the value of their employees, and recognize the role that these employees should play in transforming their companies.
By creating an environment of mutual respect and leveraging the talent of your employees as partners in the change, your organization can truly be transformed. As Ms. Kellerman states, “Better followers beget better leaders.” And all of this begets better business.