Over the holiday’s I was thinking about what I believe, a picture of company success would look like if it were run in a new open and authentic way. In reviewing all the teams that I had managed over the years, it became relatively easy to isolate out some of the best characteristics. Taken singularly, there are some ideas and answers that can be brought to bear but in the complex arena of organizational governance and politics it becomes a much more difficult & complex issue. Below are some of my thoughts for you to digest. What do you think? What would you add? What would you remove?
In my experience when something is proposed as a best practice, then it implies that every other practice is inferior by default. However, if everyone is doing the same best practice, it leads to conformity. The uniqueness that makes up your company now disappears.
Excellent Question: How can our business outperform the competition if it is using the same best practices as everyone else in your industry? The answer is, it can’t. This applies to every area of your company where you may choose to apply them. HR, Accounting, Marketing, Social Media, or IT can all succumb to applying a perceived easy way to invoke order.
Are you struggling with making positive cultural changes? Does this look like a typical day in leadership heaven? One of your important projects is nose-diving into oblivion, it is going nowhere, and no one is calling it out. As the leader in your team, do you take responsibility and get the job done, or do you continue to delegate it off on an unfortunate subordinate in hopes that they will have a genius moment?
I believe most of us have been in similar positions at some time in our career. The initiatives that tend to suffer most are the strategic initiatives of the important-but-not-urgent variety. Everyone involved is frustrated, tired and morale is lousy, especially the rock star assigned to lead the effort. Every status meeting is like a scene from the movie Groundhog Day, with the rock star reporting lots of activity, with little progress. They serve up a revised plan with lots of new activities, and of course, an extended timeline. Everyone KNOWS that something has to change. The question is what?
Today, many executives dream of ascending the ladder for the sole purpose of gaining more authority. Once they have arrived then they truly, believe they can make “things” happen which will create a change that they have in mind, usually without much input from others. In addition, current senior executives, often report they are frustrated by how little power they really have. Is there ever enough authority?
First, authority is not all bad. The issue, in my opinion, is that while authority can compel action it does little to inspire trust or belief. Only leadership can do that. While getting people to do what you want done seems to be paramount, it is not enough, they have to also want what you want or any permanent change is bound to be short lived. Continue reading
An interesting article by The Wharton School in June, 2012 regarding Declining Employee Loyalty started me thinking about this concept and the current management wish list of re-engaging employees. Much of what was discussed in this article had a foundation in good logic and some great experience.