Quanto tempo passano i manager a rispondere a email, parlare al telefono o a chattare nei social network aziendali? Quanto del loro tempo libero, da dedicare alla vita privata, sono invece impiegati a rispondere a email o a scrivere reports? Ma i manager che sono solo in contatto con il loro computer non riescono ad avere una visione reale del mondo che sta dietro il computer. Si hanno piu’ connessioni (vedi Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter), ma meno relazioni. E se un manager crede che di capire come lavora il suo dipartimento semplicemente inviando una email e raramente incontrando e parlando con i suoi collaboratori, allora lui e l’azienda potranno presto trovarsi in seri problemi.

La performance del loro lavoro potrebbe migliorare se solo imparassero a spegnere le comunicazione elettroniche e prendere visione di persona dell’operato dei loro collaboratori.

Questi gli argomenti di un interessantissimo articolo dal titolo: “The Offline Executive. Managers can become more effective by learning to shut down electronic communication” di H. Mintzberg e P. Todd, di cui riportiamo i primi paragrafi. Potete trovare l’intero articolo qui.


The Offline Executive                                                                                                                                  Managers can become more effective by learning to shut down electronic communication

Do you ever disconnect, even for just a few minutes? Think about the last time you used your “off button.” Was it at home over the weekend? On vacation? Or were you at the office? BlackBerrys, iPhones, Androids, iPads, and all their digital relatives are transforming our lives — for better and for worse. They are also changing the nature of how and when (and where) work gets done.

This new reality has profound implications for management, although studies on the topic have been surprisingly limited. We know that managers at all levels spend at least half their time collecting, receiving, and disseminating information. New technologies have extended the speed and breadth of this communication across vast distances. Yet studies going back a half century and more (long before e-mail) have made it clear that managing is characterized by high levels of variety, brevity, fragmentation, and, perhaps most significantly, interruption. Often to managers’ detriment, their attention is frequently diverted from one activity to another in their attempts to reconcile conflicting demands. The first of these studies, carried out by Sune Carlson and involving managing directors in Sweden in the late 1940s ― when the first computer was developed ― found that managers were inundated with reports. If they only knew what was to come.

Mobile computing seems to help managers cope with these distractions effectively. Smartphones, for instance, allow them to attend to the variety of demands on their time and leverage brief moments between interruptions to complete minor tasks. But new technologies can also have unintended negative and harassing effects; managers need to understand the dangers of an overreliance on electronic communication.


The Offline Executive