Social Contribution and Digitizing Leadership
Would you like to get contribution and real-time feedback about your work?
Evaluating contribution is an intriguing theme and maybe one of the hardest in work life. Think about decision making – why is it that those contributing during the lifecycle and process of decision making are typically least praised. Even though it is known that the most value is created before the actual decision is made. It is information, collaboration, insights and opinions that lead to value.
Evaluating the executed outcomes and contribution to decision making requires visibility to what was decided and how. This means audit trail, documentation and transparency.
Transparency opens a world of possibilities
Transparency defines culture. And we all know that it comes with nuances – You can’t raise a child with total transparency, some things are achieved maturing. In an organizational setting transparency can be a given, but at the same time it is earned from and for leadership, and from individual to another.
A culture based on transparency means a willingness to embrace thoughtful disagreements. Ray Dalio, hedge fund manager and philanthropist, does a wonderful job in opening the relation between the importance of radical transparency and success in his book, Principles: Life and Work.
Dalio argues that independent thinkers through radical transparency and radical truth is the way to best ideas and solutions. At Bridgewater Associates, founded by Dalio, Dot Collector, an attribute-based App and methodology, is used for continuous evaluation and expression of thoughts, and to see others’ thoughts in real time. The method is a huge experiment that gathers data for algorithms to crunch to aid investment decision making.
The transparency that comes with constant peer, supervisor and subordinate evaluation and feedback creates a very distinct organizational culture. As the revolution of flattening organizations, decline of bureaucracy, and shift towards more human-centric ways of organizing work spreads, we also need motivational elements to highlight contribution.
In Fingertip social evaluation of the contribution of individual decision making stakeholders can be done on a decision level. Everyone participating can rate their own contribution to the decision making process at hand and the contribution of others. Visible to everyone is your own evaluation and the average of others.
Visibility is a sign of trust – and leads to an honest organization
EY Finland wanted to make the process of rating the EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition candidates more enjoyable for the guest judges by implementing an intuitive system to use the global criteria and rate candidates together with social scoring. The judges could leverage their knowledge and experience to score candidates individually at the same time offering a highly social experience resulting in an efficient, simplified and motivating process.
How an organization makes decisions goes hand in hand with work culture – and with the level of transparency. Are the numbers available, do you have access to status and progress of strategic goals. Or a simple one, can you access your colleagues task list, or can you see what your boss is working on?
You probably have visibility to progress within projects but how about the execution of made decisions? Do you have transparent real-time of the status? Tie the needed doing of executing made decisions together with the actual decision making progress and ensure it is visible for everyone. Otherwise you will not keep up with the clock speed.
Recognize and counter your biases with social digital collaboration
People sometimes contradict the idea of visibility claiming it leads to anchoring bias, the situation when people become over-reliant on the first piece of information they hear. Or that it creates opportunity for confirmation bias, when we tend to listen only to information that confirms our preconceptions.
My response is that how do you know it is not happening anyhow, if you don’t have a way of making decision making, opinions, contribution and evaluation visible! Remember that failing to recognize your own cognitive biases is a bias itself.
Do you systematically after meetings evaluate your contribution? How good was I, did I bring value to the table, if not why? How about others? Do you give each other feedback? If not, how do you intend to improve as a team?
When we work digitally, the perspective, transparency and contribution transform into value, data and insight that we can base our decisions on. This provides a big picture for prediction and creates a culture needed for efficient agile leadership.