One of my loves is Star Trek; I've talked about it before here and there, especially when talking about ethics. Whenever I have a chance to talk about different episodes or characters, I'm a happy guy.

So it was with glee that I was having a conversation with a few people online about a week ago and we were talking about the introduction of the Borg in the series. For those who don't know who the Borg are, they were this race of aliens that were a mix of machine and human that had one brain, one thought, no individuality. Their only goal was to improve themselves and their technology, and they took what they wanted, assimilation if you will, and told any race they came upon that "Resistance is futile".

I thought about that as I thought about business. To most people, when they consider your business they tend to believe that everyone working in that business has the same belief. They don't see individuals who might be able to help or assist them. They don't understand that there is no hive mind, or collective mind. What they see is the corporation, faceless and nameless and unwilling to do anything for an individual.

As strange as that seems, it's actually the same mentality that a lot of employees have about leadership in their own company, often of their own managers. If their managers don't seem to support them or help them or interact with them in positive ways, they often feel that's representative of the leadership culture of the organization.

I was a fairly personable manager for both my own employees and employees throughout hospitals I worked at. However, most of my employees felt the same way about the rest of leadership as I describe above once the CEO who was there when I arrived left, as he was a very outgoing guy who lived in the community. New leadership, including myself, all lived more than an hour away and sometimes they didn't communicate as well to employees or the community as they needed to.

So one day I decided to change things up. I asked the VP of Finance to come to meetings I was having the next day with all of my employees. I had to schedule multiple meetings because we had coverage 24/7. I told everyone a day before that he would be coming, and I knew the excitement would build up, as well as the anxiety.

The day of the meetings was very interesting. There were a few people who wouldn't say anything and others that did. Overall it was a great experience, and the day after it was something that most of the employees kept talking about, as they saw a different side of leadership than what they'd been expecting. The VP also felt something good has happened and decided he was going to ask all the other directors that reported to him if he could address some of their meetings.

Even if an organization has one official voice, companies have multiple voices, and if they're open enough are willing to listen to some of those voices when they have something to say. That's one way of breaking down the culture of "us vs them". It also proves that there is no hive mentality, no monolith. We are not The Borg; thank goodness.