Clearly from this survey, leadership skills that focus change to win are at a premium. Today, change is the norm. It is neither random nor regular but hovers somewhere in between. How these interrelationships arise and how they challenge organizations is not well understood (IBM & KMPG Surveys endorse this)
Why should leaders focus on their organization’s essence?
An organization’s essence is the amalgam of mission, vision, values, intent and ethics. These components should be the focus of aligning and realigning people rather than delivering the corporate directives after a strategic planning retreat. Sustaining an organization’s essence is a dynamic that requires everyone’s engagement to define and redefine under changing situations.
It’s only by leaders “inter-reacting” that they can develop people’s shared clarity about the organization’s essence – “what we stand for!” From shared clarity comes confidence, from confidence comes cohesion and from cohesion comes the freedom to decide and act. That’s how organizations will stay on track today. Many people making many decisions true to their organization’s essence.
It’s also to be expected that some employees (including some executives) will not “buy into” an organization’s Essence once it is clearly defined. Leaders should then be prepared for those employees and managers to transition out of the organization. This will benefit them and organizational cohesion
What are the dangers of using technology to increase control?
Technology increases the illusion of greater control which can feed a leader’s “Control Addiction”. More measurement equals more control. But measuring what is easy to measure can have the very opposite effect. The problem is that most of what is easy to measure has already occurred. What is difficult is dealing with the factors that are difficult to measure and with forecasting what is likely to happen down the road. We can’t spend more time looking through the “rear view mirror” when we have a winding road ahead of us. Technology’s cheapness and speed feeds this addiction with the past and “looking in the rear view mirror” by access to ever more data and information at the cost of acquiring knowledge and wisdom.
This condition is worsened by technologists clinging to largely sequential design and deployment processes which are not fully user or client inclusive, e.g. “Waterfall Process” Contrast this with agile processes which are fully supported by our contributors. See the link to comparing the Waterfall Process with Agile Methodologies .
Why do we have difficulty developing leaders that can thrive in today’s conditions?
Today’s conditions are not good proving grounds for the leaders we need. More of doing more with less, multi-tasking and the growing doubt that we may be doing the wrong things means that decision-making, and expectations are now more compressed. Consequently, entrenched expediency leads us into solving one problem so quickly that we find we have now created five more problems. We are so busy trying to solve problems there’s no time for “Where the hell are we going?” These conditions are not good for selecting or developing leaders who can work well under fluid and complex conditions.
How do we develop leaders that can thrive?
The tension between what Leader want to achieve and their current culture prevents traditional leadership training from making a significant impact. For example, many leaders’s previous training has left them feeling that they they could do a better job doing it themselves. Of course, too often this has not happened together with little sign that they have addressed their own or their junior leaders’ performance issues. The consequence is that leading up to a change they lack confidence and skills to handle the natural uncertainty that change creates. Consequently, they default to avoidance and expediency and as a result staff resistance rises morale suffers.
The conclusion is that Leaders need to develop a better framework to assess their competence to lead people and implement the next and subsequent changes more effectively.
In this section we outline how leaders can be developed to increase their chances of achieving both measurable short- and longer term results than traditional leadership training. It is based on approaches:
• Aligning People – Getting people on the Same Page
• Action Learning – Solving Difficult Problems while developing leaders’ skills
A Final Thought
Our position is that it’s only by energizing people and harnessing technologies better than anyone else that organizations can survive and thrive. Genuinely aligned, empowered and collaborative people will outperform the competition every time. A leader’s role is to create successful change that fulfills people and avoids human casualties. Leaders need to create working relationships that are rewarding not just superficially productive.
- Organizations must change with the times to remain successful and maintain competitive advantage.
- However, change failure rates currently are above 60%.
- To find out why, we analyzed 6000 business leader comments from 80 countries related to their experience with change management.
- Failure is caused primarily by people-related factors. Organizational change can be traumatic and resisted by those involved, and when it is, change fails.
- Leaders need aligned employees that support and trust change to stand any chance of success.
- Once Leaders recognize that change resistance causes stress (and vice-versa) and identify their specific stressors, they can be more effective in reducing it.
- Focusing Change to Win is a change manual for leaders which distills the collective wisdom of over ten thousand years of change-management experience. It outlines how questionnaires and action point checklists can be used to increase the chances of change success as leaders review, navigate and plan change
- Above all, this book is useful and practical! It provides guidance as you move to reap the benefits of gaining competitive advantage of implementing successful change in your organization.
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