Formulation of processes, systems, policies need to be highly conversational and inclusive
In a Twangout session of the People Matters L&D Leadership League, Kavi Arasu, Chief Manager Learning & Development, Asian Paints discussed the importance of strategic conversations. He was hosted by Anant Kasibhtla, Assistant Vice President, Marsh India Insurance Brokers.
Kavi began the session by talking about what kinds of conversations foster community in organisations. Kavi highlighted the importance of a community as “binding factor of societies” which gets fostered through communication. The kind of conversations that take place in organisations determines the health of the organisation, and that’s why it is important to have strategic conversations that are rightly communicated in workplaces.
Kavi questioned the failing longevity of companies though the longevity of people is growing. He traced the reason to the fact that a sense of belonging to a community is lacking in organisations today. For this to be possible, organisations need to build an atmosphere of free flowing conversations. The moment people realise that conversations are not processes but a chance to interact with another being, they are a step closer to being part of a community. Only having conversations is however not enough; conversations need to be participatory, inclusive and directed towards the future of the organisation. Communities are built over a period of time, and so it becomes absolutely necessary to involve the people who will be holding the range of organisation in the future. Organisation that focuses on participatory communication is what rises to become living communities.
Today, we have a few policy makers who are the in charge and who go around in the organisation explaining what is the policy that has been formulated for the next few months/years. But, if people were to be involved in the co-creation of policies and goals of the company, it would contribute greatly towards the outcome; top-down approach in driving organisations now has to be discarded. Formulation of processes, systems, policies need to be highly conversational and inclusive.
To begin conversational organisation, it is important for organisations to identify its strong areas and make that the Trojan horse to foster conversations. With the increasing level of cultural diversity at the workplace, and with people speaking different languages and different nationalities coming in, it certainly becomes difficult to take the initial steps in building communities that are fostered by conversation. But the moment people realise that there are others within the organisation with the same set of interests, cultural barriers will automatically disappear. Sharing stories also contribute effectively in building communities; they help create strong bonds based on insightful understanding of the other person.
Conversations, despite the cultural, national, age, language barriers, are the lowest common denominator for every unit of societies. Therefore, it is important that organisations foster authentic conversations so as to build a sense of community among people which will propel companies towards greater success and longevity.