Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

4 Steps for Designing a Healthy Interconnective Infrastructure

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Guest post by Yvette Bethel

Your interconnective infrastructure is the framework that facilitates interpersonal and other work relationships. It is important to realize that it doesn’t only encompass interpersonal relationships, it also incorporates your communication channels, organizational structure, policies, procedures, and strategy. As a leader, it is important to be able to identify and facilitate your interconnective infrastructure because it is the glue that holds your team together, either facilitating unhealthy cultures or positive ones propelled by authentic, respectful interactions founded on skills that shape and sustain trust.

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How to Design Your Interconnective Infrastructure:

The leadership skills of attuning to and designing your interconnective infrastructure are central to your team’s success. When leaders are aware of how team members relate within their respective ecosystems, they can use this information to facilitate these connections in ways that beneficially affect performance, both individually and collectively. Here are four ways you can construct, or reinforce interconnective infrastructures within your teams and networks:

  1. Develop Authentic Relationships: When managers are authentic, trust is something they conscientiously maintain. They know healthy work relationships operate as resources, opening doors to opportunities for collaboration, dialogue, creativity, and mutually beneficial network growth. Managers who purposefully contribute to trust-based environments tend to use three essential competencies: Integrity, emotional mastery, and a connective, “We” disposition.
  2. Establish a Robust Communication Framework: Trust-based relationships are built on effective communication practices like: using empathy appropriately, active listening, facilitating high performing meetings, and knowing when to initiate multi-stakeholder conversations. Once you implement structures that facilitate effective communication, you can monitor and assess the efficacy of these channels.
  3. Design your Organizational Structure: As a manager, it’s important to take a close look at how your organizational chart affects the performance of your team. You also need to understand how your policies, procedures and other structures impact your success. By taking these steps you can identify how political dynamics enable or inhibit innovation and performance, especially when ambiguity, complexity, and constant change are features of your workplace reality.
  4. Keep your Ecosystem in Balance as you Execute Strategy: Your organizational ecosystem is a constantly adapting system, creating dynamic tensions caused by shifts in internal and external environments. With this understanding, it is important to recognize that as you lead, you should first focus on identifying your most risky tensions and then take deliberate steps toward bringing your ecosystem into balance.

The Keys to Successful Implementation

Your entire interconnective infrastructure can be strengthened with trust, shared core values, and authentic relationships in place. However, strengthening the quality of your team and network of relationships is not enough. One reason for this is because you can have great relationships and weak communication practices that undermine productivity. Instead, you should ensure your interconnective infrastructure is also comprised of a well-structured relationship network and a healthy communication framework complemented by policies and other structures that enhance creativity, and performance.

Questions: How important is developing authentic relationships in your organization? Do you have a robust communication framework in place? Please leave a comment in the space below.

 

Yvette Bethel is CEO of Organizational Soul, an IFB Consulting and Leadership Development company. She is a Consultant, Trainer, Speaker, Coach, and Award Winning Author. She created the proprietary IFB process which helps leaders transform organizations from the inside out. She is also a Preferred Partner at Six Seconds, the largest global emotional intelligence network. For more information you can connect with Yvette at www.yvettebethel.com


The Product Management Perspective: Building positive relationships is key to creating product success. You know this because you, as the product manager, depend on many other people to design, build, market, sell and support your products. As the individual responsible for your products’ success, make the effort to develop authentic, positive working relationships within your organization.

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