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Nidhi Kalra
12 Jul 2018 . 1 min read

'Yes Boss' is Your Loss


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Echo Chamber Culture in Offices Echo Chamber Culture in Offices

We have all taken to Netflix so well, haven’t we!

It's lovely how the built-in algo / AI prioritizes and serves us with the genre of content favored by us.

What if after watching three romcoms today you are in the mood for a war-epic? Unless you burst this bubble they/we build around us, what we will be stuck with is a unidimensional peep (echo-chamber) into the otherwise myriad world of multi-media multi-genre content. How do you break this bubble which has been tailored basis your past / perceived interest?

And not just on Netflix, how as a leader do you ensure that at the workplace you don’t let the echo-chamber plague your culture?

Picture this scenario- a typical boardroom meeting where this person titled ‘boss’ has called for a brainstorming session with this team of ‘subordinates’. Boss’s opening lines set the tone for his / her preferred solution and the team toes the line with affirmations to the tune of ‘yes boss’.
Problem solved? No, problem identified-THE ECHO CHAMBER!! And the ‘yes-boss’ culture!

An organization often creates, fosters and propagates a certain set of values, culture, and environment that attracts a certain type of people. The like-minded (culturally aligned) group as we call it. They are like-minded which is great but the problem arises when all that the like-mindedness leads to is a polarized view and hence the organization hitting the blind spot- sharing the same viewpoints, gathering information from the same sources,
learnings from the same experiences and in turn creating an echo chamber. But for sustaining, thriving and disruptively innovating in the VUCA world, organizations need to break the homogeneity of their teams by adding a healthy number of mavericks, naysayers, artists, devil’s advocates, techies, millennials and constructive critiques from varied backgrounds to build a multidimensional perspective that challenges the status-quo.

What can you do to change your culture if you realize that your organization is an Echo Chamber?

#1. HIRE A DIVERSE TEAM

Maybe at the leadership level, you can still have some like-mindedness for the sake of aligned vision. But this like-mindedness should necessarily be complemented with open-mindedness. And at the mid and entry level, have these like & open-minded leaders create a team that is diverse in mindset, background, experience, and culture. STOP hiring ‘culture-fits’. At times hire the absolute antithesis of your culture and ensure you help them maintain their individuality while your culture accepts them organically.

#2. ‘MY INPUT MATTERS’

This should be the sentiment that you should cultivate across levels. Cultivate a culture of diverse thinking and encouraging opposing thoughts. Welcome debates on issues and let the employees feel involved and empowered.

(Also Read - 5 Things You Don’t Owe Your Boss)

#3. THEY MAY CRITISE YOU

Be open and embrace it, if it comes your way! You are opening the doors to fearless communication and closing the doors to the echo chamber culture.

#4. MAY THE BEST (WO)MAN WIN

Pick three ways to solve issues your business is facing and have your leadership team debate the merits of each . . . And have them select the best fit solution.

#5. COACH, MENTOR, EMPOWER, DELEGATE

Then just get out of the way! If you are not in the decision- making process, there cannot be an echo chamber.

This week spend some time observing your team when you set a direction or express an idea. Do they give you feedback or just agree and echo your words?

And as for Netflix, watch Osho, Narcos, Ali Wong and The Sacred games in the same year to keep out-
smarting the AI and the algo!

(You can also watch, these Best 15 Inspirational Movies of All Time)

This article is written by Nidhi Kalra, Founder, and CEO of Its All About People (ITAAP) - one of the more sort after executive search firms headquartered in India, servicing clients across industries in the APAC and MENA region.

This Article was Originally published on LinkedIn.


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Nidhi Kalra
After 7 years as a partner at Helix-Hr, contributing toward making it the most sort after recruitment firm in the Market Research space.I have recently started a focused executive grade HR recruitment firm, ITAAP (It’s All About People). ITAAP handles middle and senior level mandates pan India ,APAC & MENA region. Our clients range from FMCG giants to financial services companies to International MR Firms.

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