Let’s dig in to 2 bits of vocabulary we use in our Language of Intention (Key 5): Kākou Communications, and Tribe as the notion of a community larger than team — I Have often referred to our Ho‘ohana Community as a tribe.
Let’s also talk about how the two go together.
As a brief preface, Kākou Communications is the specific Language of Intention, along with how it’s used in culture-building, that an Alaka‘i Manager will employ in managing his or her messages.
That’s right, savvy managers manage communication. They must.
We are a Global Tribe
As a shortcut name for the Ho‘ohana Community of Managing with Aloha readers and leaders — which while descriptive, is quite a mouthful — ‘tribe’ entered our vocabulary about 8 years ago when we were talking about Seth Godin’s book: Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us.
The book intrigued me, and it annoyed me greatly. If you’re interested, you can read the book reviews I posted on GoodReads and on TalkingStory.org in regard to my intrigue (good ideas are scattered throughout) and annoyance (he bashes management). Regardless, I do give Godin credit for inserting ‘tribe’ into our vocabulary so effectively, and so pervasively in our extended networks as well.
“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
― Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
He gave a TED talk on Tribes here.
We use ‘Team’ within an ‘Ohana in Business
‘7 Strong’ is the group batching we have adopted for larger teams within the MWA workplace. This batching has been developed through the years in my first-hand experience, where a group of no larger than 7 people has consistently proved to be the best possible size of a team assembled for project work. We think of “7 Strong!” as the mantra for any and all focus groups, task force teams and pilot projects, and the coaching here is that collective strengths are in play: Each person is expected to, and challenged to bring their specific strengths into the work at hand as their tangible contribution. The bonus in this approach, is that when a project pilot is over, team members value each other with added significance — they have learned more about each others talents, and they connect a teammate’s personality and character to their values and strengths going forward.
— Managerial Batching: 1, 2, 5 and 7
In contrast, our ‘tribe’ is connected to Managing with Aloha as a philosophy. We are a community of lifelong learners who subscribe to employing values-centered management for a diverse assortment of teams in different industries, who are scattered across the globe. We primarily communicate virtually, with this blog as ‘MWA Central’ post-book.
Thus, we fill those tribal requirements Godin articulated: “A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
My recent decision, to publish Talking Story with the Ho’ohana Community in addition to this blog, was a result of my questioning myself: Have I been communicating with you enough, and in the right manner?
Kākou Brings Inclusiveness to Communication
In my first writing of Managing with Aloha, I did not explicitly refer to Kākou as the value of good communications, yet these 12 years later, that is definitely how I think of it, particularly in culture-building and fostering the communicative environment of our tribe.
With Kākou in mind, you constantly question how and when you communicate your messages, and to whom:
—Does everyone know about this? Is everyone aware?
—Have I left anyone out?
—Who was on vacation/ on leave/ temporarily mia when we went over this?
—Who else has to know? Who else may have more input for us, or feedback on early results?
—What about our suppliers and vendors? What about our staff’s families?
—Does this affect our customers? Our clients? Our Board of Directors or owners?
…and the exquisitely wonderful, How should I be following up?
There is definitely an Aloha attitude and Mālama stewardship inherent in those questions, however there are 2 other factors connected to the value of inclusiveness that every manager and leader can love:
- When you embrace inclusiveness and diversity, you get complete input and thorough feedback. Kākou promotes synergy as a habit of creation which seeks additional solutions and alternatives.
- Cohesively shared information-giving will increase the amount of responsibility and buy-in others accept as their own because you included them. The person possessing Kuleana, the value of responsibility, will be quick to say, “I accept my responsibilities, and I will be held accountable.”
As Jan Carlzon has said, “Giving someone the freedom to take responsibility releases resources that would otherwise remain concealed.” and, “An individual who is given information cannot help but take responsibility.”
You bet I do.
As Kākou reminds us, we are in this together. “Together we are stronger. We are better.”