Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Let’s Go To Work

In prior posts we mentioned three types of interaction – transformational, transactional, and tacit – that characterized the work of the organization. Knowledge work is primarily tacit, and Finance and Treasury work is in large part knowledge work, so therefore a basic unit of work in our field is the tacit interaction.
For someone who has been used to referring to our work output as the completed deal, or the decision based on the strategic analysis, or the successful completion of daily cash operations, thinking about the above is a brand new perspective.
The interaction is the basic unit of work.
Karl Albrecht, in Practical Intelligence, identified five “approaches” to a conversation or interaction between two or more people:
·         As a Performance – to show off, impress
·         As a Sport – battle of wits
·         As a way to Sell – change viewpoints, accept ideas
·         As a way to Learn – new ideas, perspectives
·         As a way to Connect – affirm common interests, create sense of community
Thinking about our activities – deals, analysis, operations – in this light makes me aware of the numerous interactions that have occurred to accomplish them.
For a deal, there are a lot of learning interactions, where we seek to understand the state of the market from bankers, investors, peers, and others. These might be the result of learning interactions those parties had earlier on. There are also “selling” transactions to secure internal support in order to proceed.
For an analysis, we often connect with the relevant areas of the organization to promote a sense of teamwork with the analysis to be performed. There are many learning interactions in this endeavor as well, both internally and externally. Finally, a recommendation needs to be sold, and this effort starts long before the final day.
For daily operations, we often connect with others within and outside the organization, reinforcing our sense of “value-chain community”. We spend time identifying (i.e. learning) information gaps that need to be resolved.
The interaction is the basic unit of work.
Initially, it is unusual to approach our work thinking from this perspective. With whom should we interact with today? Should we make the interaction part of reputation management, or should we connect? Can we do both? Can we add a persuasion element as well? Or possibly learn something too?
By thinking through the types of interaction, we can seek to maximize the value of our interactions, where as previously we may have only focused on one thing or the other.
Thinking in this manner also provides us a means to migrate to a more electronic, web-based world (see our prior posts). Our LinkedIn interactions (or Twitter, or Facebook, etc.) merely supplement what we do in person.
Can we use them to enhance reputation efforts, learn new things, persuade others, and maintain connections?
Yes, we can.
I would love to hear your thoughts about interactions or your stories on this topic if you have them.
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Thanks for stopping by the Treasury Cafe!

2 comments:

  1. Just ran across a Strategy & Business article entitled "Leadership is a Contact Sport" - contact in this case being human interaction.

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