Is it an oversight to have no oversight?


With the exponential growth of the internet, the workplace is blending inexorably with our personal lives.
The excuse of being “at work” to shield one’s self from the rigours of immediate family matters, simply does not wash anymore.
Communication today is immediate.  Mobile internet communication brings the world pinging into your life in a seemingly inescapable fashion. So much so that it seems we no longer have distinct periods of time whilst we are working, to be out of contact. Indeed in some industries the notion of not receiving or providing an instant response to an email is now unthinkable.  
Perhaps it is this lack of thinking time and oversight that is forcing businesses to reconsider how to communicate more profitably today? 
The trend to instant reciprocal communication is placing some new and uncharted challenges into the workplace as traditional business practice and policies struggle to legislate or to keep apace.
The chances are that your average baby boomer Brit was brought up in an environment where the boss opened, read and annotated all the post before it was distributed. They would have approved all submissions to the typing pool, and had a copy of the previous day’s “Day File” presented for review with the post. Many highly successful business leaders state this as their winning strategy.
Those, for whom success is achieved from structure, order and discipline, find today’s new workplaces  a complete anathema. 
That is not to say that the old ways are without value, but those who have adopted similar principles of oversight have developed a reputation of snooping and mistrust, driving informal communication out of the workplace.
The new age boomers who overtly “get” social media (and who get other people to do it for them) are rapidly being overtaken by media savvy, computer literate Generation X-Y’S. Their younger differing views have yet to make it into serious protocols or policies, but they are re-defining the ways in which we work.
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2 Responses to Is it an oversight to have no oversight?

  1. So true, John! But we cannot change the reality, only adjust to it? What skills and routines do managers and employees need in this new world?

    • We can change the reality! Afterall we created the current reality, therefore we can and will evolve a new one!
      The key issue lies within the ability to stand back and be strategic. Being constantly drawn into tactical and operational immediacy through easy access on communication platforms does not preclude oversight.
      We must never lose sight of the notion that you Lead people and Manage process.
      The process should not Lead us!