Monday, July 21, 2008

Anonymous-but tasty gossip!

Informal networks are very powerful in most organizations. In fact a lot of times we believe in an unknown reliable source than the official communication published or circulated. The reason for this is simple " Official communications are cut and dry with no room for reading between lines. Unofficial news is speculative and is free for the receiver to apply his own thinking/variations...personal choice exist in informal networks. One can decide to spread or not to. The choice is in most cases-let me do my bit".
A strong hierarcial company with an administration focus will say "Gossiping is not allowed as it is dangerous". Infact by saying this we stimulate the informal network than stop it. More we try to control more it spreads. More we formalize informal networks and acknowledge maybe we can tap some creativity in employees. Examples can be Alumni networks of people who resign from a company. A formal exit interview maybe very scientific but maybe employees don't elaborate their feelings well. But the jokes in Alumni network which come out shows the weaknesses a company needs to address. A lot of CEO's have started blogspots with a view to directly connect to employees by formalizing the informal channel. But a lot more still feel that this opens can of worms. Sure if we own a can of worms the fear is real. If we assume a can of worms better we test it. It requires courage to open this channel. Personally for those we feel lonely at top surely need to have this discipline to start the informal network working and contributing creatively.
Tasty gossip is anonymous-but it can be a fast track to change management in old style cultures as it is a culture shock. There will be a few who will be comfortable...but we are not here to make everyone comfortable all the time. We need to make the change...and if tasty gossip paves way why not use it?

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Gothenburg, Sweden
Still finding introspecting to find who am I? Waiting for a Guru!