portrait black 2006I’m thrilled to have my friend Gil Crosby contribute to this series on social media and the workplace. Gil is a leading organizational development consultant, author and teacher. He and his father, Robert, the founder of Crosby & Associates, are among the most influential teachers in my life. Here’s what Gil has to say:

Technology has always done so. Although we’re accustomed to them now, the telephone, television, and automobile each created radical changes in society. Mark wrote of a time when our primary neural development came through “intense socialization with family members and friends, physical activity and interacting with nature in some way,” yet all of these technologies also eroded the same patterns of socialization, and were lamented (for good reason) by the “older generation” of their times.

Implications for management

Some believe our emerging wired culture is leading to a global increase in ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and I tend to agree. I particularly worry about the impact of increased ADD on leadership, as the tendency to jump from one initiative to another without ever getting the preceding implementation right is already a plague in modern organizations.

Again, these tendencies didn’t start with the latest wave of innovation. But the effects do seem to be sinking deeper. In my work with young engineers I find they are consistently bored, have a low tolerance for authority figures (like many adults but with even less perspective they quickly conclude that the problem is that “the boss is an idiot”), will simply “drop out of the game” without weighing the long term consequences, and will try to communicate electronically especially if there is any discomfort or conflict involved.

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