In this 8 post series, Brad Szollose and Rob hirschfeld invite you to share in our discussion about failures, fights and frightening transformations going on around us as digital work changes workplace deliverables, planning and culture.
Digital workers will not deliver. Not if you force them into the 20th century management model then they (and you) will fail miserably; however, we believe they can outperform previous generations if guided correctly. In the 21st Century, digital technologies have fundamentally transformed both the way we work and, more importantly, how we have learned to work.
So far, we’ve framed this transformation as a generational (Boomers vs Millennials) challenge; however, workers today transcend those boundaries. We believe that we need to redefine the debate from cultural viewpoints of Boomers (authority driven leadership) and Millennials (action driven leadership). In the global, digital workforce, these perspectives transcend age.
We looked to performing music as a functional analogy for leadership.
In music, we saw very different leadership cultures at work in symphonic and jazz performances. The symphony orchestra mirrors the Boomer culture expectation of clear leadership hierarchy and top-down directed effort. The jazz band typifies the Millennial cultural norms of fluid leadership based on technical competence where the direction is a general theme and the players evolve the details. Both require technical acumen and have very clear rules for interaction with the art form. More importantly, these two extremes both produce wonderful music, but they are miles apart in execution.
Today’s workforce generations often appear the same way – unable to execute together. We believe strongly that, like symphonies and jazz concerts, both approaches have strengths and weaknesses. The challenge is to understand adapt your leadership cultural language of your performers.
That is what Brad and Rob have been discussing together for years and, now, we’d like to include you in our conversation about how Cloud Culture is transforming our work force.
one difference is that the symphony orchestra has a very defined outcome, and one that the audience expects and is familiar with. If a business needs to deliver such a defined outcome then it will need to organise itself to achieve precisely that. The new digital services, dont have a well known or familiar outcome, so organisation can be much more fluid, and conditions for creativity are more abundant.
thanks. great observation. What happens when all your workers expect to play jazz and you think you have to direct them like a symphony?
you end up with a chamber orchestra 🙂
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