Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 52 – The Unfollow Button

The Unfollow Button

7th June 2021.

Dear leaders,

Today I want to introduce you to a concept that many people have not really considered.

I call it the unfollow action.

Most important unspoken action in business – the unfollow

We are used to having to actively ‘follow’ colleagues, from a small number of colleagues to hundreds of colleagues in larger businesses.

You follow their work, you receive their emails, their reply all’s, you are pinged on internal chat tools, in countless work meetings with them, notified of their updates on your project management tool and in some cases, you follow their career and help to mentor and coach them

The unfollow action or in many cases, an unfollow/mute button is where colleagues actively choose to:

  • unfollow colleagues
  • unfollow goals
  • unfollow the mission they are set
  • and unfollow business leaders

This action goes unspoken but happens daily.

The ‘unfollow’ happens and can have huge impact

In 2020 into 2021 we saw a huge unfollow materialise, this as much by the situation and environment as much not being in proximity of people in the office, you had fewer interactions with acquaintances and fewer interactions with colleagues.

This can be a noisy work graph – too many connections

This all led to passive unfollows, this is not always a negative series of events, it does mean there is a conscious unfollow and unconscious unfollow.

2020 – 2021 we saw the great unfollow by situation and lack of proximity

In the coming months, we will likely see an increase (due to offices being reopened safely) in connections, this does not mean there will be more follows, it could mean there are more unfollows as the less relevant or the more frustrating colleagues become it can all lead to more unfollows.

Not being as close to the outer circle, the ‘People in the office’ will lead to fewer follows, it is up to you to ensure ‘people in the office’ are kept in the loop for important updates, important insights are shared and when required aware of their interaction levels with you.

The question for you to answer in the coming weeks is the unfollow a positive or a negative for your team, department or company?
How do you keep buy-in into your leadership, into goals and into your colleagues and team?

Have a great week and consider how the unfollow might happen within your business.

Danny Denhard

PS The images in this week’s leaders letter are part of my future of work keynote presentation on June 10th. For the full download click here or watch the video below

Read more about the future of work and improving your organisational health.