Articles tagged "Organizational Change"
I recently bumped into "Terry," the president of a company I worked with four years ago. During my engagement with them, we'd done strategic planning, leadership succession planning, and lots of management team and systems development (i.e., process and procedures development and management training). Because it'd been awhile since I'd worked with them, I asked, "How are things going?" Terry looked embarrassed, hesitated, and then said, "Well to be honest, we're drifting off-track a bit... I'm travelling a lot these days so I'm not spending the time with the management team I need to. We've lost money the past three quarters and I need to stop that... But standing here looking at you and listening to myself, I'm just making excuses aren't I? &%$#!"
Instead of simply saying "Yes" which I could have, I said, "Terry, you're human, but you are the president of the company. If just seeing me causes you to feel guilty, you've probably known you've not been doing your job lately: You're not leading your team as they need to be led. And, Terry, you know what? You're not alone. If leading effectively during tough times were easy, there'd be many more successful organizations out there."
After he answered a few more of my questions, it became clear to Terry that he'd not only allowed a few of his key leadership responsibilities to drift away; he'd allowed them to jump off the tracks!
- Are you and the management team reviewing your strategic plan regularly? No
- Are you still meeting with the management team regularly to keep them informed of company issues and to allow them to communicate across departments to develop better working relationships? No
- Since you're not meeting regularly with the management team, how are you letting them know what you expect of them to help address the financial and management issues facing the company? Well, email of course and I connect with them one-on-one as I can.
- Are you still working with the managers in developing their skills so they can cover for one-another and for you? No
- Are you still focusing on training to develop your employees and management team to build skills and talent deep and wide within your organization? No. I stopped that because we're losing money.
I stopped asking questions, the guy felt like a heel. He knew he'd slipped into a reactionary role instead of acting as a leader. He was pulling away from his management team when he needed them more than ever. In talking with Terry, it wasn't my intent to embarrass him, I was simply curious as to how he, his team, and the company were doing. After all, I'd spent three years working with them. However, just by seeing me and answering a few questions, Terry "looked in the mirror."
So here's my challenge for you, if I were to bump into you within the next few days and ask you the questions above, what would you see in the mirror?
Are you leading effectively?
We’re now in the midst of the traditional strategic planning season. Given that, we’re partnering with several organizations whose planning teams are working hard to outline a clear, focused path forward for their respective organizations. For leaders who have previously experienced the strategic planning process, this process can be frustrating, stimulating, demoralizing, and energizing all at the same time. However, for leaders who struggle to comprehend the need to define and capture new strategic initiatives while not documenting and tracking oppressive current operations, the strategic planning process can be perplexing to say the least. Being able to understand and accept the difference in strategic versus complex operational actions is key to successful strategic planning.
How much of an impact is your leadership having on your organization’s culture? If you don’t already know, it’s time to stop and assess its impact. If you do already know, and the impact you’re having isn’t positive, what are you doing to correct it?
If you already know the impact your leadership is having on your organization’s culture is not positive, what are you doing to correct it?
As you look to the next 12, 24, or 36 months, is your board of directors composed of the right people with the right skills, energy, and expertise to help you drive towards your vision? Are you as intentional in recruiting, onboarding, and developing directors as you are with key staff? Is your board a key to your organization’s success. Or, are your initiatives, pace, and success limited because your board believes they’ve fulfilled their responsibilities if they show up, vote, and leave?
Besides the desire for control and independence, many of us start our own businesses to also determine our own financial futures. However, as we move closer to our retirement years, being able to retire in a financially comfortable manner may not be a reality if we haven’t created a business that will allow us to do so.