What This Blog is About

A long time mentor and friend, Cicely Berry, often says: "all we do comes from our need to survive".

Cis is the Voice Director of The Royal Shakespeare Company. Her profound work and deep appreciation of the human spirit has affected diverse communities all over the world.

Will take you to my current work.

This blog is dedicated to the belief that the overall health of a community or organization is a clear reflection of their ability to communicate.

"Cada cabeza es un mundo" - Cuban proverb

"Every head is a world"

Friday, February 16, 2007

Making Work Visible

"The whole company prizes visibility"...

The ‘Toyota Way’ Is Translated for a New Generation of Foreign Managers - NY Times, February 15, 2007

“For Americans and anyone, it can be a shock to the system to be actually expected to make problems visible,” said Ms. Newton, a 38-year-old Indiana native who joined Toyota after college 15 years ago and now works at the North American headquarters in Erlanger, Ky. “Other corporate environments tend to hide problems from bosses.”

This Part is From Me (Sal)

In The 21st Century Intranet, Jennifer Stone Gonzalez wrote in 1999, that the singular most important communication issue we faced was "to make work visible".

Today, many Intranets still carry a tone of an electronic magazine with a paternalistic sense of command and control communication. And, it goes beyond Intranets, to really creating collaborative ways to communicate. But it's not really about technology. It's about our intentions and what we expect the technology to enable.

Intranets that are used, move decision making faster than traditional management roles allow. In addition, true collaborative frameworks put executives into the mix instead of outside the mix, simply reviewing and approving. Customers simply don't have time for that anymore. And that switch in the mix becomes a change management element that's real, not theorized.

Old models, where work is not visible and collaboration is not supported, tend to keep the management and continuous development as separate entities, as if the customer world is subject to the company's analysis.

But Toyota sounds different in the above referenced article and aware that different audiences see and hear the same messages differently.

“There is a sense of danger,” said Koki Konishi, a Toyota general manager who heads the (Toyota) institute. “We must prevent the Toyota Way from getting more and more diluted as Toyota grows overseas.”

Communication and Implementation - What's the Difference Sometimes?

This is part of our contemporary issue of concurrent communication and implementation. Speed of information is often speed to customer. And, that's not easy to grasp from either a cultural or operational point of view. It is easy however, to relate to if you are on the other side, as a customer or partner with expectations.

How visible is your work? How acceptable is it to have work made visible in your workplace?

And please understand, this is not just about big organizations.

We are all in this together.

I am especially hoping to hear from people who teach, work at home, engage in research or partner in our diverse workplace.


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