Change and a whole new world or not?

Change can be scary even in a turbulent world

Throughout our lives and careers we all have to cope with times of change, either of our own making or where we are pushed into it. With the changes in governments, changes in expectations of how stable or consistent the world will be. What is it that we can do, well we can all opt out, run for the hills or realize that these changes will happen and that we can influence somethings and sometimes we are unable too. I heard a radio programme the other day where they talked about a post trust age, really have we really stopped trusting

There’s no denying that change can be scary, but that’s normal.  There are several perfectly justifiable and normal stages that we go through.  The first is normally panic, followed by confusion and then a need to find out more information.  You can’t subvert those stages, but by helping people through that process and by encouraging them to do things that are positive and productive it can change their view of the situation.

This time of year is one of reflection and looking back so for me its been a different year, writing more, spending time with family especially recently arrived granddaughter, enjoying working with new people and deciding what to do next.

Worst case scenario

When career coaching, the first and the only piece of advice I would give would be to stop panicking.  Of course, that’s very easy to say and quite hard to do.

In my experience people tend to react far too quickly.  For example, if they are losing their job they will often write their CV the day after they know they are going and send off several applications straightaway. But they are still at the very beginning of a personal change process where they are learning about what they need to and how to get there.

By really taking some time to explore what they’re good at, what they enjoy doing, what the most important thing for them is about their new role and what outcome they want, is a vital process.  It provides the best possible start to know how to move forward and I’ve found that getting this key stage right saves people huge amounts of time, effort and anxiety later.  If it’s not carried out properly they’ll keep coming back to it.
It’s also often the case that things are not as bad as they seem.  So it’s a good idea for people to write down the worst case scenario.  After writing it down and thinking about what would be the worst that could happen, it usually doesn’t seem as bad and some of the anxiety disappears and it becomes more manageable.   We have a tendency to over think.

I also like to challenge people’s assumptions about what they can do and help them think things through calmly and rationally and above all to do things that are productive to help them change their view of what’s around them.  By following this process it’s possible to start that person’s own journey to where they want to go by helping them come up with the solutions themselves.

My own goals for next year are to be published again this time on employee engagement something that is very important but missed by many organisations, do more public speaking its a real buzz and the most important thing be happy and enjoy life.

So what’s happening with leaders in the 21st century?

October Newsletter

Well for a whole host of leaders the tried and tested ways of the past work for yesterday’s paradigm at yesterday’s pace and yesterdays people. The trouble is today is today and we’ve not even reached tomorrow yet.

So what’s to be done? Let’s some new questions?

  • What do people experience of us on their first day?
  • Even before that, what do candidates we’ve interviewed think of us? Are unsuccessful candidates discarded even though they have demonstrated lots of great skills? What do we do with them?
  • What’s working exceptionally well right now and why?
  • Do we as an organization follow the herd or lead it?
  • Do all of our peoples attributes turn up and turn on for work?

The concept and practice of collective leadership being aligned top to bottom seems to be getting more air time and the comment and writing in this area is increasing

As early as 2011 Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP published a research article “Collective leadership: Getting organizations to work as one” it highlighted some key trends (I have added my own de-jargonised thoughts in italics)

Leaders are seeking new ways to drive effective action. Changing employee expectations demands different and more tailored leadership approaches than many companies have used in the past. (why is it that employee engagement surveys in the USA show a lowest scoring for 20 years)

The average CEO tenure is getting shorter. This creates two challenges. First, continuity of leadership is hard to sustain. And second, leaders feel pressure to produce quick results that stick. (Football manager syndrome, that’s the problem measure the wrong things well and you get the wrong things done even better)

Downsizing has taken its toll. Leadership ranks and organisational layers are thinning. Organisations have to take full advantage of the talent they have to drive engagement that fulfills the business strategy.(taking advantage or mobilizing their potential) I recently participated on a Human Resources Professionals discussion group that harped on about how the psychological contract was dead and moaned about people most of the time and then gave advice on how you can control them, at that point I left the group)

Risks seem riskier. Today’s competitive environment values executives who are able to find new ways to manage through continuing global challenges and workforce instability.(its called reducing fear and increasing trust)

This is just one of the reports that highlight similar needs so why is it so different for most organisations given that the three principles of collective leadership are easy to understand (but hard to do)
1. Creating a sense of belonging (we want to work here)
2. Gaining shared commitment (we want to stay hear)
3. Achieving a shared interpretation of the problem and desired solution. (we know what is going on and what part we play)

These principles should be used across the organization strategy formulation, leadership development, organization design, process design, technology strategy, and change management.
• Drawing lessons from the people closest to the customer
• Ensuring your people have a sense of being connected
• Enabling people to act together to achieve their goals
• Understanding the ways in which the organisation gets work done?

Recently after attending a series of business gatherings and specialist workshops where the key issues of energizing your people and managing your talent we explored.

I came away realizing that neither question had been addressed in any great detail or significance. Yes energy can be increased by ensuring you are properly hydrated (the key tip bit from a two hour presentation by a presenter who was anything but energetic).
The managing talent session was an introduction to using assessment and development centers how to do it and what makes them effective actually a really great session but not what it said on the tin which was talent management?

What’s significant about these examples?
These sessions in their different ways show the dilemmas leaders have in the 21st century, making the message clear and making the message appropriate. The time for jargon has gone people has become too skeptical and lost faith in many institutions banks, religion politicians easily spring to mind
• The time for meeting people you wouldn’t normally meet
• The time for trying new things
• The time for taking action in a way that’s different from the past

Taking some tips from Rosaline Torres in her recent TED Talk “What makes a great leader?” see video.
She asked a series of questions to establish the leaders that we thriving what was it that they we re doing
1. Where are you looking to anticipate your next change? The companies or people who are exceptional
2. What is your diversity measure? The capacity to develop relationships with people different to you, so what would someone who has never bought your product or service say about you?
3. Are you courageous enough to abandon the past? So what’s next, what’s now and what will work tomorrow? Innovation creativity is the key. Letting people have space to think without a box let alone outside of one.
Call to action to all people developers, coaches and trainers an innovative new programme

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