Resistance to change among top executives during a change may come because someone has his or her own agenda, it may be a fear of change, it may be due to a fear of loss such as the loss of one’s job, or of losing power. Another challenge is the client’s experience with previous changes, particularly if the experience was a negative one. Resistance to change can be put into three general categories. These categories are technical, holding onto the status quo, especially if a lot of money is involved having reached that status quo and efforts to maintain it; political, the loss of power; and cultural, the desire to stick to current systems and procedures.
Will your business be ready the next time there is a crisis?
Being caught in a weak position when a crisis hits is something no one wants. The time to make sure your company will weather whatever the future holds is now. With careful, targeted recruitment and internal development, you can stack your bench with talented people who may have been out of reach just a few short years ago.
The time is now to look at positions that are the most difficult to fill or that have a high likelihood of becoming empty and assess your current leadership lineup to see who might fill these vulnerable slots. Start with the ones that have a deep impact on the business and would be the most difficult to do without. If losing someone would mean scrambling to find a replacement as soon as possible, there should be a highly qualified understudy in the wings.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended a meeting of professional consultants. One discussion centered on a question a client might ask a consultant and that is, “Can you guarantee your work?” The consultant initiating this discussion stated that the reply always given is, “Can you guarantee that you’ll do everything I recommend you do?” It’s unlikely that a client will do everything the consultant advises and even more unlikely that the client’s employees, including the executive team, will do everything the consultant or even the CEO advises. Given such circumstances, is a consultant foolish to offer money back or any level of guarantee?
In conducting some brief, non-scientific, research for this article, I found that consultants offer a variety of guarantees.
This year, how are you going to fill the bill for your organization to provide innovative products and services, high performing work teams and higher profitability? Today, market demands are changing at a head-spinning rate. This requires your organization to have greater flexibility. Stakeholders are looking for greater ROI, the need for talent with specialized skills and employees who want meaningful work are examples of other changes affecting businesses. Is your organization keeping pace? Are the right people in the right positions to meet the needs of conducting, leading and implementing the strategic changes needed to beat the competition?
Building a team from scratch is a rare privilege that few CEOs get to experience. Inheriting an executive team is more the norm. The functioning state of a team can be ubiquitous. A newly acquired team could be at any stage of the forming, storming, or norming process. It could consist mostly of people who like to take action, or people who are skeptical. It could include a majority of those who like to analyze every detail, or those who chase the next shiny, new management fashion, process, or business trend. Not every leader has the ability of accurately judging others. How can a CEO build on such chaos?
It used to be that teambuilding was composed of exercises just to help everyone get along and tolerate one another. For example, one exercise might be for each team member to tell two truths and a lie about oneself. Then, everyone else has to guess which fact is the lie. Another exercise is to tell the team about some item you brought with you and explain why you brought it and what it means to you thus providing “deep” insight into your psyche or personality. Obviously, this is a facetious observation. The point is that while these types of exercises might have their place and purpose, cultivating a highly functioning team with true insight and understanding requires a more scientific approach.
Culture Club was a rock group popular in the 1980s. The group originated in the UK. However, they were able to compose and deliver music that had a broad appeal. Companies facing a merger or acquisition face this same challenge in needing a culture with a broad appeal.
Culture has been defined as the sustainable competitive advantage that an organization can control. Culture surrounds the raw competency of an organization. In other words, how the organization does what it does and how well it does it. So how is culture manufactured and where does it originate within an organization?
Boy George was the leading influence in establishing the culture of the successful group and in setting certain fashion trends. The culture of an organization is often created from the top leadership. However, surprisingly enough, it can come from other areas within the company. For example, oftentimes middle management can create the culture. This can result when top management is weak. Weak leadership can even be dangerous within leadership itself. For example, many of you will no doubt remember the Daimler-Chrysler merger.
TTI Webinar: Executivng your strategic plan with the right talent.
In this informative webinar, we’ll look at the concept of having the right seat on the bus (addressed in Jim Collins’ Good to Great) and take it one step further. Do you know what your bus looks like? Do you know what purpose each seat plays in making your plan come to fruition? Join Ashley Bowers as she identifies five steps to understanding your “bus,” designing your seats and hiring the right people for each.
1) Organizations need to communicate to everyone that accountability and commitment are important. This provides an opportunity to analyze your communication system.
2) Align every job description to your company’s strategy and goals for the coming year. Ask everyone to commit to a shared vision of results. Annual strategic planning will keep you on track with this step.
3) Make accountabilities clear for everyone by using the benchmark for their job to start a discussion about how their individual contributions matter. Incorporate this strategy into your hiring system.
4) Have job-related professional development planning in place for new employees. This will help them reach their full potential consistently and more quickly.
5) Build accountability into your company culture using “what and by when” goal and task planning. Project management can be very sophisticated, but the bottom line is “who, what, and by when?” Having simple project management tools in place will work wonders for this step.
6) Offer ways for employees to communicate obstacles and request the help or resources they need to achieve their goals. When you listen to them, recognize that what you’re listening to is someone who is committed to producing results.
7) Involve employees in an ongoing dialogue about how they can identify process improvements or otherwise increase the quality of their work and the team’s productivity. A great way to do this is through brainstorming sessions. These can be fun and productive!
8) Use small “course corrections” on a monthly or as-needed basis to guide employees toward behaviors and practices that are effective for meeting goals. Don’t wait for the annual performance review. You wouldn’t wait until arrival at a destination to notice a wrong turn along the way, would you? Always build in check points on every project to help eliminate processes and components from falling through the cracks.
9) “Catch” people doing something right: Give frequent, honest and positive feedback. As a general rule of thumb, a ratio of five positive interactions to one critical interaction will help managers build an open communication channel with direct reports. A true performance system involves constant feedback.
10) Identify ways to recognize and acknowledge employees company-wide when their actions exemplify an “above and beyond” commitment to company objectives. Success breeds success!