Leadership, x-Early Perspectives

Talking or listening ?

…… Part of The Basics series. First published in March 2007 ……


What does your intranet reveal about your organization’s leadership style?

Guy Kawasaki wrote a post in his blog referring to an interview of  Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google by iinovate (in March 2007).  Guy’s favorite quote was “You don’t learn very much when you yourself are talking“.

I was struck by how this comment applies to intranets that are too top-down (which is the case of most).

Intranets are the ideal tool for management to listen to employees, which of course means bringing a strong bottom-up dimension to the intranet.

Unfortunately, most intranets do not know how to listen.

A few suggestions…

  • Have feedback buttons on all pages, where employees can respond to the authors of the pages
  • Run frequent short polls on the home page, and share the results with employees
  • Don’t be afraid to ask real questions, such as: “does the intranet help you save time?”
  • Then publish the results, with no editing!
  • Initiate a blog from someone in management and  leave comments open
  • Let people rate content pages, noting them “very useful”, “helpful”, “nice to know”
  • Start an enterprise-wide encyclopedia like the Wikipedia, and let people define the organization’s vocabulary and acronyms

More ideas…?