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  • Raúl González García 10:36 am on January 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Change Management for Implementing an Enterprise Social Network in Your Organization 

    Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes

    Photo Change Management for Implementing an Enterprise Social Network in Your Organization

    Implementing a collaboration and communication tool as useful as an Enterprise Social Network entails a certain change of mentality and organizational culture. And all change must be managed in order to display all of its transformation potential. 

    Managing change consists of utilizing a method of maps, indicating the path to the desired goal. One of the most simple and easy methods based in the principles of Change Leadership developed by John Kotter, consultant and professor at the Harvard Business School.

    This author investigated change processes in a multitude of organizations of all sizes, and he identified the phases, challenges, the most common errors and main factors of success in organizational change processes. 

    Kotter presented a very practical model of change, that consists of eight steps every organization should cover in order to manage any change in an effective manner. 

    1. Create a sense of urgency.

    This consists of making the people involved to see that change is necessary, important and positive. What will happen with our organization in the near future, if we do not implement an Enterprise Social Network now, in an era in which there is a progressive and rapid digitization of all sectors? Don’t just give a mere rational explication, because people don’t change with rational arguments. Rather, make them see and feel the need of change. In order to be effective, the message should include a 20% sense of negativity (the consequences of not changing, such as losing competitiveness as an organization, or becoming obsolete as professionals). And an 80% sense of positivity (important consequences and the positives of change, including more effective communication, or development posed to the people involved to acquire digital skills, etc.). (More …)

  • Raúl González García 9:00 am on November 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Leadership Development in an Enterprise Social Network 

    Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

    As virtual work environments and digital collaboration tools are expanding, new forms of learning, collaborating and leading are appearing in this new type of organization.

    5 critical actions to develop leadership in an Enterprise Social Network

    1. Participate. A social network is, before anything else, an architecture for participation. The leaders of an enterprise social network are those who actively participate, individuals who know how to create participation spaces and they generate more participation.

    2. Share. In a social network, what is not shared does not exist. And, for the most part, individuals who do not share do not exist either.  Leaders in an enterprise social network learn, enjoy, grow and achieve shared influence in a spontaneous manner while opening their talent.

    3. Connect. The power of connection in a social network is one of its main strengths. The leaders in an Enterprise Social Network are nodes in the network because they are accesible, open, flexible, and they enjoy being connected with all the members. For them, being connected with other people is valuable for themselves, beyond operational collaboration and timeliness at any given moment. And being connected to leaders is valuable for others because they provide value in different ways (by the content, by their connection capacity with the rest of the network, etc.)
    (More …)

  • Raúl González García 9:00 am on August 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Motivational management and ways for motivating your team 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    1. Encourage intrinsic motivation

    What drives us from within is to do things that satisfy us. For example:

    • Feeling that the work we do is valued
    • Feeling of control over our work
    • Being able to use our own resources and skills
    • Feeling of belonging and participation in a group
    • Being able to decide about our own work
    • Being able to learn and develop new skills and competences

    Intrinsic motivation doesn’t have as explosive an effect in the short term as extrinsic motivation (salary incentives, bonuses, etc), but it has a more profound effect in the long term. People who show a higher level of intrinsic motivation are also those who have better performance, become more involved in the company and make more suggestions. It is the most effective way to generate commitment and responsibility.

    (More …)

  • Raúl González García 9:00 am on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Three occupational competences that mark the difference between the 20th and 21st centuries 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Three occupational competences that mark the difference between the 20th and 21st centuriesThree e-competences that still haven’t been learnt at many universities but that are still in great demand in many organizations:

    1. From the individual we have gone towards the team, and from the team we are going towards the network.

    If the capacity to work in a team was one of the most sought-after competences in the last decades of the 20th century, today it has been joined by the ability to work in networks.

    An omnipresent job, without the usual physical barriers and more flexible relationships, requires the ability to adapt and collaborate openly with all types of environment and people. From the traditional workplace, we are in the transition towards the virtual work environment, in which individuals work connected with different projects, new people and different work structures.

    (More …)

  • Raúl González García 9:00 am on May 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Leadership of the Future 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Leadership of the Future

    Five ideas to envisage leadership of the future from new leadership trends:

    1. From an individual-centered focus, we have gone towards the team, and from the team, to the network. The leadership of the future will be shared: in organizations of the future, everyone will be leaders.

    2. Leadership cannot be boiled down to a set of prefabricated formulas that are used for all organizations, it requires continuous training and the ability to adapt and improvise. Leadership will be more like dancing as a group instead of mathematics.

    3. Leading will be synonym of empowering, the best leaders will be ones who transform their followers into leaders.

    4. The traditional workplace will be transformed into a collaboration 2.0 environment and the leadership of the future will be somewhat similar to the influence that some users have in internet forums. The main leadership 2.0 competences will be the ability to generate participation and trust, micro-blogging, tolerate ambiguity, share openly, and to help achieve a ‘netarchical’ organization.

    5. If work is permeated with Social Networking values and attitudes, people will lose the fear of making mistakes, exploring, participating, sharing, making decisions, taking risks, being creative or contributing new ideas. People won’t have the usual fears found in traditional companies and won’t need to be directed, they will be used to generating collective intelligence and leadership through digital participation infrastructures.

    To sum up, leadership of the future will be necessarily collective: people won’t know how to interact otherwise.

    “The best way to predict the future is to create it” – Peter Drucker

    Raúl González (@coachingcritico) is a certified coach (ICF) and holds a Master in Work and Organizational Psychology from Mälardalen University (Sweden), specialized in participation, organizational sociology, and coaching-based leadership. He has collaborated as a coach and trainer in organizations around the world, and is author of the blog coachingcritico.com, a space continuously investigating the way in which coaching and other trends are transforming learning and collaboration in all types of organizations.


  • Raúl González García 9:00 am on April 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    How to give feedback to motivate 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    Coaching feedbackFeedback is the information you give your employees on their performance in order to get better results. One of its main characteristics is that it must be useful as information, i.e. it needs to generate learning in the person receiving it. If a manager gives information to a subordinate on their performance that does not help them in practice so they can improve their work, it is not really feedback.

    What’s more, if the feedback is communicated in a way that makes the employee feel guilty, frustrated, irritated, or in short, demotivated, rather than being feedback, it is quite the opposite. Feedback when used well can improve your employees’ motivation and performance greatly, however, when used poorly, it can be one of the main factors of demotivation and even worsen their performance.

    Best intentions are not enough in giving feedback effectively. Below you will find four steps that will help you to prepare the information you give to your employees to improve their performance and how to communicate it to generate greater motivation and changes in their results:

    • Be clear. Vague, generalist feedback isn’t any use. Clarity involves relating specific actions with specific results. The more precise it is, the more effective the feedback will be. Precision also refers to the fact of talking about actions that can be controlled by the employee, either for them to replicate them if they give good results, or to change them to get better results.
    • Don’t improvise. In order to be clear, you need to identify what objectives you want to achieve beforehand when you give feedback. Think and prepare what specific changes you want to see as results, this way you will transmit exactly that and nothing else. Choose the right time and place. Avoid stressful situations, because you won’t be in the best mood to be constructive, and furthermore, people retain a very small percentage of the information in these situations. Avoid subjective judgements as far as possible. Refer to specific conduct and results, try to be as objective as possible, by using objective and neutral data, for example.
    • Give more positive feedback. Feedback is not just information regarding aspects that need to be improved, it is also information on what they are doing well. Some managers don’t pay much attention to what they employees do unless there is a problem. From an employee’s point of view, this makes the manager seem to be only watching for mistakes. Positive feedback(valuing and reinforcing conduct or attitudes that achieve goals) is as important as negative feedback (pointing out a conduct or attitude that hinders the achievement of goals), because reinforcing effective conduct improves the work environment and enhances motivation in those that receive it.
    • Be constructive and focus on the solutions, not the problems. The goal of feedback is not to point out negative aspects, rather to introduce changes so that they improve. Focus on those changes, ask your employees to propose solutions, put forward different alternatives and explain how and why they can contribute to improving the results. Allow them to become actively involved and decide, as far as possible, the changes they want to make and the way they will carry them out.

    If you bear in mind the previous points when giving feedback to your employees, you will be taking advantage of feedback not only as a tool for improving performance, but also as an opportunity to improve your relationship with them and motivate them.

    Raúl González is a certified coach (ICF) and holds a Master in Work and Organizational Psychology from Mälardalen University (Sweden), specialized in participation, organizational sociology, and coaching-based leadership. He has collaborated as a coach and trainer in organizations around the world, and is author of the blog coachingcritico.com, a space continuously investigating the way in which coaching and other trends are transforming learning and collaboration in all types of organizations.


  • Raúl González García 2:44 pm on March 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    How do five different leadership styles face a same situation? 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes


    Familiar with the 5 leadership styles and their characteristics? Want to know how to identify them and what are the pros and cons of each one?

    The Management of a company has sent a policy to its different local branches for middle managers and executives to communicate to their subordinates. They know that the new policy will be very unpopular, but there is no alternative, and it is expected that employees will show resistance from the outset.

    The managers not only have to communicate it to their subordinates, but they also have to ensure that it is met. To top it off, many of them don’t agree with the directive either. How do managers with different leadership styles face this situation? What are the pros and cons of each one?

    1) Autocratic leader. This type of leader gives orders or ensures compliance using incentives or sanctions. They threaten with their power if anyone questions what they say, and hence communicates the policy absolutely, leaving no room for argument. For that reason, employees associate the policy with them, despite it having being imposed from above.

    Pros: It works. The directive is met fast and effectively.

    Cons: It damages the relationship between the leader and their subordinates. It destroys trust and worsens motivation, communication and collaboration. It even affects the team’s performance. The policy is met, but paying a high price for it.

    2) Bureaucratic leader. This leader is completely focused on the rules. Like the autocratic leader, they will use sanctions to ensure compliance, but in a more indifferent and functional manner than the autocratic leader. They believe that it is obvious that rules are to be met, and for that reason, they expect everyone to comply with them. They limit themselves to applying the regulation.

    Pros: It also works and the policy is met. Furthermore, it is a leadership type that generates responsibility in some employees.

    Cons: They are leaders that tend to create rules for everything, employees can become saturated by rules they don’t understand and feel that in their workplace protocols are more important than people. It generates demotivation in the long term.

    3) Charismatic leader. They exercise a leadership style based on charisma in which they project their personality, generating such a level of following and influence among their subordinates that in their strongest version they can simply communicate the policy for it to be met automatically, without resistance.

    Pros: It is probably the leadership style that generates the least amount of conflict regarding the new policy in the short term.

    Cons: The charisma of the leader can be so strong that it rules out the other people in the team and their contributions. It creates dependence on the leader and makes them difficult to replace, generating many problems in accepting a new leader in the group if a necessary change is made. The leader has too much influence.

    4) Laissez-faire leader. In their positive version, they lead a mature, independent and committed team that works well individually, without requiring much interference from them. The members of the team understand that the policy escapes the leader’s scope of decision and assume it in a more or less tolerant way. On the negative side, the leader doesn’t interfere in the team due to a lack of leadership, and assumes that the collaboration will work by magic. They do not act as a leader although the team needs it and, in the case of the policy, they will feel uncomfortable having to ensure its compliance. It is probable that they will shut themselves away in their office and the relationship with their subordinates will be scarce and progressively deteriorate when the employees realize that their leader doesn’t interfere in the daily conflicts and problems, but does ensure the compliance of the new policy, as they have no other choice.

    Pros: In the positive case, it can be the most effective leadership. The leader knows how to delegate and the team manages themselves flexibly and autonomously.

    Cons: In the negative case, it is the most perjudicial as it means that unsolved conflicts and problems grow over time. It frustrates more involved employees, demotivates them and creates a poor working environment in which it is a case of “save yourselves”.

    5) Participative leader. They know how to ensure the policy is met without exercising their power or resorting to sanctions. Firstly, they use information empathically, trying to give employees as much information as possible. They explain the background behind the policy, where it comes from, and the reasons why it has been take. They also explain what their role is in ensuring it is met. They listen carefully to the opinions of their subordinates, and when they see that there is resistance, they ask for the reasons, leaving it clear that it is not in the team’s or the leader’s hands to change the policy, but listening with interest and curiosity, and not just asking for the sake of it. They show they understand the opinions of their subordinates, offering to communicate those opinions to the superiors, and above all, trying to reach agreement regarding the policy. They know how to keep a balance and show loyalty to their employer as well as respect to their subordinates. Their way of relating and communicating with the team generates trust in spite of the policy.

    Pros: They take advantage of a conflict to reinforce the relationship between the leader and the team, empowering employees and making them feel valued, and do not weaken motivation. It is one of the styles that generates the best collaboration environment for high performance.

    Cons: The participative style requires a lot of time for it to be effective, and due to the lack of a participative culture, it doesn’t generate participation spontaneously nor do many leaders know how to generate it in order to lead using agreement.

    In reality, these styles do not exist in a pure state, they are only models in which one aspect of leadership is emphasized over others. Each leader combines characteristics of the different styles to a greater or lesser degree, making up the unique and irrepetible leadership style of each person, which evolves over time with training, experience and practice.


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