Three ways leadership can advance social in their organization are through encouragement, support, or modeling. Let’s say if you have to have leadership pick only one, which would it be?
I’d argue it’s modeling. Here’s why.
By the very connotation of the word, Leader, Leaders lead the way. They go first. They don’t direct, they don’t point and tell, they do. You could be CEO, Sr. Division Manager or occupant of cube 31. If you do, and people follow, you’re leading.
When you’re consciously and strategically advancing org social, you have to model and here’s how it can look:
Explain to your followers (peers, reports, employees, etc) what you would like to see them do, why, and then ask them for their support in YOUR efforts to do the same. Tell them what barriers you may have and ask them what theirs are. Then discuss all openly. In one fell swoop, you’re in it. You’re sharing, you’re inviting collaboration, and you’re modeling how to blow through silos.
Modeling is encouraging. Modeling is supportive.