Blog - Opinion
The Jacoby Consulting Group Blog
Welcome to the Jacoby Consulting Group blog.
You will immediately notice that this blog covers a wide range of themes - in fact, whatever takes my fancy or whatever I feel strongly about that is current or topical. Although themes may relate to business, corporate or organisational issues (i.e. the core talents of JCG), they also cover issues on which JCG also feels warranted to comment, such as social issues, my books, other peoples' books and so on. You need to know that comments are moderated - not to stifle disagreement - but rather to eliminate obnoxious or incendiary comments. If a reader wishes to pursue any specific theme in more detail, specifically in relation to corporate, business or organisational issues, or in relation to my books, then the reader is invited to send an off-line email with a request. A prompt response is promised. I hope you enjoy this blog - sometimes informed, sometimes amused and sometimes empassioned. Welcome and enjoy.
25 September 2014
09 May 2014
Bias in the workplace
When change occurs, the impacts on people don’t necessarily remain within the organisation's boundaries. People take home with them their stresses, concerns and anxieties that exist at work. Similarly, when 'stuff' is happening to people outside the workplace, then it’s a rare person indeed who can disassociate him/herself at work from all that is happening to them out of work.
As an example, if a person has significant financial commitments and if a change threatens that person's job (i.e. suggests potential redundancy or demotion,) then it should surprise no one if that person experiences some anxiety and stress about the change - certainly until there is more clarity about the specific impacts of the change on that person. When that person goes home, then their home situation is affected by the emotion generated at work.
Similarly, when a sole parent has a small sick child and relies on his/her salary to sustain them both, then they will be under huge stress to tender to their child while earning revenue. Not to notice the impact on the person at work would be unusual. Life changes, births, deaths, marriages, health, economic stress, housing all come with strong emotions that have carry over effects in the workplace.
Being able to avoid stress and anxiety requires suitable timely communications to the people who might suffer from these normal yet difficult emotions.
Yet while good communications can avoid or remedy some emotions, it’s unlikely to be a remedy for all negative emotions - only because those emotions are entirely normal.
Remember, even when good stuff happens it can create an emotional response. For example, a person being promoted may be anxious about their ability to perform in the new role - a positive change certainly, yet a potentially negative emotion.
Sometimes and for some people however, these anxieties act as stimulants for achievement.
The scientific evidence is extensive for the significant effects of emotion on behaviour, on one's mind and on one's body. A strong common thread however, is that emotions have a purpose and help a person cope with situations.
03 May 2014
Right or left does not refer to competence but to preference. Those who are capable in one hemisphere are commonly capable in the other - but may not have the confidence to do so.
A left-brain preference implies a desire for predictability, certainty, clarity, and detail. The person is likely to be analytical and needs to be convinced before there is acceptance.
A right-brain preference implies a comfort with the abstract, ambiguous and creative tasks. The person is comfortable in non-exact 'spaces' and works through them without much discomfort.
The implication of this is as follows: the place a person sits within an organisation or the work that the person does for a significant period must sit with their respective brain-hemisphere.
What this means is that although most people can operate in either hemisphere, they struggle to do it over long periods because it’s not their preferred brain activity.
Left-brainers are suited to performing analytical and exacting work over long periods. If as a result of a change initiative, you ask them to be creative over the long-term, or to work under a matrix style management structure, then they will probably stress because they are out of their comfort zone. A Matrix style of management requires a person to answer to multiple managers with differing and sometime competing priorities. A left-brainer needs precision so this ambiguity and imprecision is likely to be stressful.
Right-brainers like to set their own agenda, be responsible for outcomes but not for exacting rules or processes. They value opportunities to be creative or to work on abstract concepts and ideas. They don’t feel much stress during changes in the organisation and go with the flow. They do however, feel uncomfortable with tight control. Therefore, if you were to impose on a right-brainer deeply analytical work with tight controls over long periods, then stress and discontentment would surface.
Interestingly, successful managers can operate in both hemispheres with high competence for considerable periods.
The point here is, you should know the psychological make-up of the people that your organisation is impacting before you decide on solutions and a change management strategy.
01 May 2014
Part time directors
When you're very close to the action, you inevitably become part of the action and as a board member, you then have to adjudicate over your own decisions, actions and performance.
Extensive research has demonstrated that managers and directors act subjectively (but with well-meaning intent.) Such subjectivity needs to be effectively over-sighted in the interests of the company and its shareholders.
Further, different companies in different contexts at different stages of their development need different inputs from their directors. There is no universal truth here.
30 April 2014
Our political system is broken
Add to this atrocious behaviour by our elected leaders, is the reality that both major parties will do anything and say anything to grab power and then hang onto it. Promise something to get into power then do the opposite, or arguably worse, pull out the secret agenda that underlines their particular world-view.
All of this in one of the supposedly most advanced democracies on earth.
Obviously something is broken.
Maybe we need a new model of leadership; a new model of accountability; and a new standard of honesty and service to its constituency.
Maybe, we the non-politicians, should band together as concerned constituents, in a national debate without politicians, to craft and define what we demand of our leaders. We do not want politicians telling us what is good for us. We need politicians that listen to the people and then make happen what we want. And we should hold them accountable for how well they give us what we want.
29 April 2014
Enterprise Transformation success
- Your project, new system, new business initiative, strategy or whatever the change outcome was will have been implemented effectively and successfully.
- Your project, new system, new business initiative, strategy or whatever the change outcome was will have been implemented on time and on budget.
- Your people will feel they know why the change was required.
- The change will integrate effectively and efficiently with all parts of the organisation and stakeholder environments that it’s meant to.
- All of your people will feel comfortable they were involved in the change journey and had plenty of opportunity to contribute and make any comments they felt were warranted.
- There is a feeling of a shared common purpose and desire for the change to happen.
- During the change program, everyone knew what they were meant to do.
- Everybody will be skilled and trained in using the new processes, as well as all of the systems that were underpinning your change initiative.
- Consequently people will feel supported, capable and comfortable in accepting the new processes and systems, as well as any other components of the change initiative. They will feel part of it all, as opposed to feeling like they are standing outside looking in.
- There will be ample and adequate documentation and induction processes for new people who join your organisation. This will include information explaining what the change was all about and the benefits those changes delivered. Access to training material on the organisation’s Intranet (where available and practical) will be made easy and its use will also be easy and effective.
- People will be experiencing a more effective way of doing their work: a better way, a more efficient way, a more meaningful way - with more accurate information available to them.
- Risks were managed well.
- There were no rogue issues.
- Information about the change was readily available and accessible by all who needed it.
- As a result of the change journey, your people will feel they contributed value. This will enhance their self-esteem, enhance their motivation, and will engender a more ‘respectful culture’ within the organisation.
27 April 2014
Simplistic Vision Statements
The problem with this approach is that it is too simplistic.
Firstly, is it a statement for its PR value in the market or is it intended to motivate staff? Generally consumers don't care about the company; they care about the value they're getting from it for their invested time and money.
Secondly, it appears that the vision is driving what the corporation 'will be'. A Vision statement in a multiple-shareholder corporation is an enabler, not an objective. In other words, a Vision is a picture of the corporation at some time in the future delivering the corporation's mission - not the other way around.
In a private single-shareholder enterprise, the Vision can be anything it wants and defined any way it wants. It only needs to live with the consequences of its 'vision'.
Thirdly, in order to make a Vision statement meaningful, it has to enable decision-making. A one-line or even one-page Vision statement means that management must subjectively (but with well-meaning intent) interpret the one line or one page. This is fraught with danger.
To be more effective, a Vision statement needs to explain or define the Vision for all key parts of the organisation: What will our market look like in the 'new world'? What will our products and services be composed of? What are the future characteristics of our channels, support requirements, communications and promotions, human resources, systems and processes, and our structure and management? Only with this sort of clarity, can management make decisions that help take the organisation toward its vision. Only with this level of detail can a corporation justify a significant change to its vision when circumstances change over time.
23 April 2014
Objections, negativity or resistance
ONR when not addressed and or negated; can fester and permanently poison the culture of the change initiative and thereby lower the likelihood of its successful implementation.
Realistically, not all instances of ONR are of equal importance or validity.
ONR issues are commonly (but by no means exclusively) raised on the basis of perception rather than fact, thereby making them subjective. However for the perceiver, perception is often 'fact'.
ONR from a customer stakeholder that spends $100 per annum is less important than the ONR issues raised by a customer that is responsible for 60% of the organisation's revenues or effort.
The ONR issues raised by the board or CEO or CFO or COO have more weight than almost any other ONR issues raised by any other stakeholder. That doesn't mean that their (or any other) ONR issues are legitimate; just that their voice has more impact and immediacy. After all, if their ONR issues are not resolved, then they can terminate a change initiative.
Although you may reasonably choose to prioritise certain ONR issues over others, be aware that even an ant-bite can cause injury. People feel particularly peeved when they get the message that what they have to say is irrelevant or unimportant. 'Small people' can have loud voices and can influence if they turn their mind to it - so ignore ONR at your peril.
20 April 2014
My LinkedIn page has in excess of 1000 followers and will accommodate my professional-related views while this blog will contain more personal views of stuff although each site will cross-pollinate from the other.
Apologies to all if this is a hassle.
31 March 2014
Discipline within organisations
Furthermore, my observations suggest that 'poor discipline' is commonly not uniform across the organisation.
For example, if a particular procedure or process is stupid, illogical or counter-productive, and if people don't comply with it, it might still be interpreted as poor discipline. In this instance, discipline and the level of its compliance, are determined by the robustness of the issue to be complied with in the minds of the people who must comply with a directive. If everything else in the organisation makes sense, then there is discipline everywhere, except where it doesn't make sense.
Using the same logic, lack of discipline in leaders' direction may be caused by poor leadership. Just because a person is 'ill-disciplined', doesn't mean that the person doesn't have the organisation's best interest at heart. It may be caused by poor direction (or understanding of the people that need to comply) or poor understanding of the issue (i.e. the logic of the direction) by the people who need to comply.
Discipline is necessarily contextual. If you don't appreciate the context and the people within it, then there is a good chance that imposed discipline may not achieve the outcome desired.
All of the above occurs within an organisation's cultural reality. Among other attributes elsewhere discussed, an organisation's approach and reaction to discipline forms and defines its cultures.
29 March 2014
The ENVIRONMENTAL issues are impacting on companies as their factors of production become more expensive and/or they need to be active in an increasingly regulated context.
With a more sophisticated (and global) economy comes greater choice. The ability of consumers to identify legitimate purchase alternatives has never been easier and manufacturers and service providers are quickly learning that in order to compete, one must demonstrate and deliver VALUE to the customer. Most corporations understand this requirement even if they don't know how to deliver it.
Channel adaption to the new DIGITISED economy is challenging for many businesses. Business leaders are learning of the potential of this medium through engaging with it in a private capacity and contemplating ways to extract value from it in their corporate capacity. What we see out there today, is not the end of the story. There is a lot more development, experimentation and adaptation ahead of us. Both exciting and challenging. Probably the biggest evolving issue here is the emerging ability of manufacturers and service providers to deal directly with consumers and adapt product and service to suit the consumer.
Gen X, Y and Millennials don't fully appreciate the DEMOGRAPHIC shifts that are occurring. New Baby Boomer networks are being established to circumvent the Gen X, Y and Millennial corporate leadership to provide ongoing, sustainable economic value.
TECHNOLOGICAL developments are creating amazing new possibilities while threatening established products, services and channels.
STAKEHOLDERS already exist in abundance in most industries. That leaders might not currently engage with these stakeholders effectively does not mean that there will be more stakeholders in the future. Leadership has always been about effectively understanding and managing stakeholders (among other responsibilities).
There is discussion about a power shift toward stakeholders. In that stakeholder 'stickiness' (i.e. the ability to go elsewhere) has diminished (i.e. become less 'sticky' thus more fluid) with the new and emerging environment, then I suspect that this is accurate. However, just as 'easily' as stakeholders can move to other environments, so can the corporation to some extent, by reinventing itself and appealing to different categories of stakeholders. I am seeing a trend in companies that says " we acknowledge that this group is our market and that group is not" is a significant drift to greater clarity in the value proposition they deliver and away from a "serve all" mindset. That's an enlightened trend but comes with the danger and risk of 'over-specialisation' and undue dependence on a small group of stakeholders. Notwithstanding this trend, the more specialised one becomes, the more powerful become its stakeholders.
28 March 2014
23 March 2014
Although Project Risk Management, for example, relates to the risks within a project; risks incurred within that project may also impact the host organisation and stakeholders beyond the scope of the project.
For example, a project that is meant to integrate into, say, the General Ledger, but instead corrupts the data in the General Ledger, will impact the entire organisation as well as suppliers and customers.
Risk Management therefore, is as much about 'inoculation' and 'prevention' as it is about 'avoidance' and 'mitigation'.
Risk Management is fundamentally about the management of uncertainty and prediction. Although most Risk Management focus is on managing potential negative impacts, uncertainty can also provide positive opportunities for a project and the organisation.
As an example, a new system or software or process may be made available during the life of a project that enables the project (and organisation) obtain greater benefit and/or functionality.
Furthermore, while a risk may be known, understood or certain, all its ramifications may not - particularly if the event is also likely to affect the organisation's external environment and external stakeholders.
Being able to think effectively in Risk Management terms, requires an ability to think of all the bad things that could happen or all the things that might go wrong.
Asking those sorts of questions won't make you popular with the person or people who are advocating for a change initiative (for example) to proceed (and who may understate some of the risks.)
In order for risk to be effectively managed, it requires:
- That all senior managers in the organisation and the Project Sponsor commit to managing the identified risks.
- That all stakeholders within and external to the organisation commit to work together to manage mutually-impacting risks.
- That all stakeholders are engaged through effective communications and involvement throughout the risk management process.
- That suitable risk management plans and processes are established, approved and implemented.
- That approved risk management plans are complied with.
- That each risk is assigned to a suitable person, group, function or department as part of their responsibilities and held accountable for its monitoring and management.
- That risks are continuously managed throughout the project, and where relevant, beyond it.
Generally, both of these communities are transfixed by the known and the existing, and ignorant of or actively avoid the unknown or the vague. They have a vested interest in the status quo and avoid periods of change and transformation - often until it is too late.
Labels: risk management
18 March 2014
There are two processes in play in relation to these goals. The first is setting or clarifying the logic behind what and why you have set the goal. This process may be entirely internalised (e.g. I want to do it because it will make me feel good); or it may relate to the external world (e.g. I want to be the biggest, the best, the one with the largest number of customers, etc. since these are relative goals to someone else.)
The second dimension of a goal is the set of strategies (and then actions) required to make the goal a reality.
Both are critical as a goal without the implementation is a dream; and implementation without a goal is mindless activity.
16 March 2014
- the meaning they give to behaviours and activities;
- the values that act as guidelines for people's behaviour;
- the vision the organisation has of itself and into the future;
- the norms and beliefs adopted by its people;
- the language used in the work environment by its people;
- the systems and processes that are used and adapted to satisfy its nature and needs;
- the things they do that have been learned by their own invention, discovery and development;
- the symbols used in the work environment;
- the rituals and habits that people in the organisation display and which the organisation endorses.
These factors combine into a unique mental and attitudinal frame that is shared by employees and which is 'taught', normally informally, to new employees.
The culture gives the people within the organisation a sense of belonging, a group identity, a sense of family and a validation of why they think about things in a certain way.
It offers both an excuse for behaviours and attitudes while simultaneously providing the encouragement for those same behaviours and attitudes.
Culture can also confer on people power, status, authority, rewards and punishment, friendship and respect.
Parts of the culture may be documented into formal statements such as the Organisation's Vision, or the organisation's A Statement Organisation's Values. Other aspects remain informal and rarely documented.
People sculpt culture; people affect people; managers affect people.
Therefore managers and people, by the way they interpret the culture and support or oppose it, can influence the way the organisation's culture deals with matters - such as change.
Some large organisations with complex, distributed or varied activities, may have multiple sub-cultures operating simultaneously. This certainly complicates matters but its people are practised in navigating their way through the complexity.
As an example, a company may have a Head Office culture while its operations in the mine fields may have an entirely different culture. A division of an organisation in one country may (and probably will) have a slightly or significantly different culture to a division in the same organisation operating in another country. The sales function in an organisation may have a different culture to the manufacturing division of the same organisation.
Remember too, that an organisation's culture is itself a sub-culture reflecting many or most attributes of the social and cultural context in which it exists.
It’s easy to suggest that multiple cultures in the one organisation lead to conflict. It certainly may, but most large organisations have multiple cultural nuances that do co-exist. The reasons for this are simple:
- Each culture works in its own context;
- The degree of overlap is minimal. The workers in the mine stay in the mine and the workers at Head Office stay at head office. Most commonly, they interact at senior or functional management level.
- When people of two separate cultures interact, they adopt a third neutral culture within which they will transact their needs. Everyone understands this and knows not to try to impose one's culture on the other.
For these reasons, multi-cultural organisations are still able to work effectively.
That doesn't mean that it's easy or that cultural mismatches never occur; they do, but the presence of sub-cultures does not automatically flag problems or failure.
Culture is one of the hardest (if not the hardest) things to change within an organisation, particularly a large one, yet it’s possible to achieve with care, preplanning, understanding, empathy and wisdom.
Despite the difficulty, culture should never be regarded as a given. Culture exists as a result of the organisation's evolution and its needs. Sometimes the culture helps the organisation do what it’s there to do, and sometimes it hinders its efforts.
As hard as it may be, sometimes it’s necessary to realign an organisation's culture with the organisation's objectives and intent.
The reason this is difficult is because people become familiar and comfortable with the various filters that define the organisation's culture. Being able to play the game is very important in many organisations. No wonder then, that when you attempt to change what people feel secure with, they will resist.
We noted previously that the organisation is never a culture-free zone. Apart from its own evolution, the organisation is composed of individuals, each of whom comes to the organisation with their ideologies and value systems. Sometimes they meld effectively into whichever organisational culture or sub-culture they are immersed in, and sometimes the melding process carries tensions and stress. Organisations are therefore rich with cultural overlays.
12 March 2014
Effectiveness of performance measurement
There are many instances where formal performance management works well. Similarly there are many examples where it doesn't.
I suspect that in those contexts where it isn't effective, there are a number of influences at play:
1. Although performance management is utilised, the culture does not promote on the basis of merit.
2. The culture has a charged political environment where influence and power are king.
3. Management are not trained in performance management principles or techniques.
4. Employees lack trust and confidence in management.
5. Employee turnover is above average.
6. Management doesn't 'walk the talk'.
In principle, performance management makes business sense - that doesn't mean it's easy or effective in every context. As with computers where nobody was fired for buying IBM; no manager is scalded for having a performance management process. Since there is no 'standard' method for the conduct of the process, there is no standard way of measuring its effectiveness. However, 'just having it' often fulfils management's purposes. Ensuring it's effective often fulfils the employee's purposes.
A couple of alternatives to a 'conventional' performance measurement system:
1. 'Do or die'. Have a measurable performance requirement. Achieve it or leave (i.e. be sacked). Brutal of course, but many companies (particularly sales companies) use this method.
2. Only hire experienced personnel that "require no development". Many smaller companies where career progression is severely limited use this method.
3. Use standard third-party survey tools (e.g. 360 reviews)
4. Use specialist third-party contractors to provide independent assessments and recommendations.
5. Benchmark performance expectations and require employee to achieve them.
6. Use negative incentives: "This is what's required. If you breech this requirement or fall short, you will be punished."
As with most things, whether you use the formal performance management process depends on context, culture, people and requirement. Not all are the same.
Labels: Performance management
11 March 2014
In general, an effective Performance Management system should have the following attributes:
1. The organisation must be crystal clear about what it wants the employee to do and the way they want that employee to do it.
2. The employee must be crystal clear about what he/she is expected to do and how he/she is expected to do it.
3. The employee must understand how the organisation will assess/measure his/her performance (i.e. what are the KPOs (not KPIs) that are required from the role) and what are the timeframes for each KPO.
4. What is the frequency and method with which the employee can/will discuss with his/her manager the progress, issues and obstacles associated with the role.
5. What is the timing of formal Performance Reviews.
6. What is the expectation for on-going feedback (up and down) between the employee and the manager and where relevant, peers and others (maybe 360 and maybe not).
7. What is the agreed steps after a formal Performance Review if/when KPO performance (or other issues) fall below expectations.
8. When can the employee get assistance if needed.
9. Is there an appeal process?
10. Have all of the above been agreed by all relevant stakeholders (Board, management, employees, unions)?
11. Is the manager skilled enough to conduct effective Performance Review within an robust Performance Management function?
12. Does the manager need training?
13. How effectively is the data coming from these various activities and steps captured, maintained, stored and accessed?
14. How is employee privacy protected?
Labels: Performance management
- Language used - is it common to the recipient (not only is it English, Chinese, French, etc.) but is it technically on the same wave-length as the recipient? Do they understand the jargon?
- Attention - is the communication going to capture the attention of the receiver? If you are sending a message about a new policy in the middle of the busy season, or when the production line collapsed, or you are in the middle of a major industrial dispute; then how much attention can you reasonably expect receivers to give?
- Relevance - why should they pay attention? If it's not relevant to the receiver, then why should they bother?
- Right and left brain - some people prefer detail while others are very comfortable in the abstract. If the communication isn't pitched correctly, it will either 'bore them' or 'lose them'.
03 March 2014
Aspects of cultural change
Employee promotion, selection, recruitment and removal
An organisation will promote those people who play the game and who play it well. The people who don't play the game become non-team players and reasons are found to replace them or remove them from the organisation.
The organisation will also hire only those people who it’s felt will fit in to the organisation's culture - whatever that is understood to be.
Conversely, removing certain influential players can be used effectively to send a strong message of the inappropriateness of certain attitudes or behaviours, or to protect the existing attitudes and behaviours.
For example, a culture that preaches equality and tolerance will have a problem with someone who demonstrates intolerance or racism.
Both through formal induction training and informally, new employees are exposed to the value system and practices of the organisation.
Normally there is not much room for debate here - the new hire is told what the expectations are, not asked if they are happy with it. The attitude is commonly, "If you want to work here, then this is what you need to do and think."
Carrot and stick
People who play the game get rewards. Those that don’t won't. And those who won't, and who do it badly, get removed from the organisation.
"If it's good enough for the boss, then it's good enough for me," plays an important role in modelling behaviour and attitude.
In the same way that nobody got sacked 'for buying IBM', nobody can be accused of fighting the system if they emulate the leader.
In principle, strong involvement of the people being changed is a good way to enhance cultural understanding and commitment.
However, it's not a guarantee: poor implementation will only reinforce existing negative feelings and require strong remediation.
Sometimes a deliberate strategy to fight negative cultural behaviour or attitudes is to involve deeply the target person in a change initiative that has cultural overlays. To succeed in an important or sensitive, but highly visible initiative, the target must decide to either play along for the sake of the initiative and the organisation, or to resist.
If the change succeeds, the target's opposition will probably have diminished, and by association the target owns the change. That's a good win-win outcome.
If however the change fails as a result of the target's opposition, then the target will be, and be seen to be responsible and a strong candidate for removal - also probably a win-win as the target might be happier in another organisation.
The way the organisation 'talks' to its people and the way its people talk to each other is often a subtle way to reinforce the cultural values of the organisation, or conversely a way to suppress those attitudes and behaviours that are not appropriate.
A typical organisation records its expectations, standards and aspirations in its formal and official documentations and constructs.
These include its manuals, policy documents, structures, procedures and the way it allocates its resources across the organisation.
For example, an organisation that valued corporate governance would probably have robust governance procedures. An organisation that valued quality would have robust quality procedures and resources.
An organisation that valued honesty, sharing of knowledge and mentoring, for example, would embed them into their documentation and ensure that it formed part of the performance appraisal process.
In other words, organisations have the ability to ensure that their cultural hot buttons are embedded in all that they do to ensure uniformity, compliance and acceptance.
02 March 2014
Terminology of redundancy
When an organisation needs to 'rebalance', 'restructure' or cut jobs, it is almost always a product of management's failure to understand context, understand the impact of context on the organisation and a failure to effectively plan its human and other elements effectively in sight of a stimulus.
We all know that stuff happens within and to organisations, some of which they have no or little control over. Yet much that is claimed as 'unforeseen' is actually foreseeable with intelligence, honesty and effective planning. Also, something over which an organisation has little control over (e.g. downturn in the economy) doesn't mean that an organisation can't develop a contingency in the event that it happens.
The need to take pre-emptive steps in response to stimuli before they hit the fan is often shunned because management needs to sell their judgement to the board in an environment when stability (as good as you can achieve) is preferred. Change equals risk and many managers and directors have a vested interest in the status quo.
Attributes of leadership
1. Walk the talk.
2. Respect and acknowledge good ideas, regardless of where they come from.
3. Don't blame - seek to improve or change. Recognise that most poor performances and mistakes have multiple parents.
4. Don't assume that everyone is motivated by the same stimulus - take the time and effort to find out what it is.
5. Never 'put down' a peer or subordinate in front of others or in private - identify the issue, identify the better path, and give the 'culprit' a chance to redeem themselves (within reason).
6. Be prepared to accept failure - once - but insist that all failure is as powerful a learning tool as success.
7. Listen with both ears.
8. Be authentic.
9. Be transparent.
10. Be grateful to those who provide extra effort, extra performance, extra consideration, extra support to others, and who share their knowledge and experience.
11. Delegate responsibility but monitor the delegation.
12. Embrace change when it makes sense to do so.
13. Never tie your 'status' and 'ego' to any single decision, strategy, action or project. Always be prepared to change with new evidence.
14. As far as you can, engage personally with as many people in the organisation as you can. Shake their hand, look them in the eye, listen to them and give them feedback - and above all, respect them as fellow human beings.
28 February 2014
Focussing on KPOs during transformation
If change or transformation does not contribute to the corporation's KPOs, then it shouldn't be undertaken. Therefore the ability to handle change and transformation becomes a key criterion of managerial competence.
Goals are achieved though people.
It’s common within organisations to observe managers who think that all they have to do to change things, is to announce the change and it will happen.
Rarely, if ever, is this the case.
What managers are increasingly learning is that most change within organisations affect people. If you change the way a person does his/her work, or change who he/she reports to, then you are changing the way that person thinks about what they do and who they report to, among other things.
These aspects of a person’s work life are instrumental in shaping the way they regard themselves. It shapes their self-image, their feeling of value and worth, and inevitably, their sense of security. It’s not surprising then, that changing a person’s context can have enormous impacts on them. Some people can handle well the change and the unknown, while others are impacted enormously.
When that happens, and if the people being changed don’t understand why you are doing it or how it will affect them, they will respond with some type of psychological reaction – some reactions will be noticeable and some not. Some reactions will be supportive of the change while other reactions will impede the effective implementation of the change.
However, most of these reactions are unsurprisingly negative, at least initially, and may generate stress in the employee or may trigger serious dysfunctional behaviour – either at work, at home or socially.
The management of change discipline is intended to help the organisation manage these impacts on people. At the most basic level, an effective management of change strategy:
- Prepares people for an intended change
- Explains the purpose of the change
- Explains how people will be affected by the change
- Explains how people will benefit from the change
- Explains how the work that people do will be affected by the change
- Trains people to be effective after the change
- Provides on-going feedback on how the change is performing
Therefore, an effective management of change strategy should have the following impacts on a change initiative – it will:
- Increase understanding across the organisation
- Increase understanding of the change by external stakeholders
- Decrease resistance to the change – internal and external
- Decrease stress and dysfunctional behaviour on change-impacted people
- Increase skill-preparedness of change-impacted people
- Increase confidence and cooperation
- Decrease re-work
- Decrease time needed to deal with resistance and objections