People need goals to strive for, measure achievement against and to aspire to. The role of a leader is to ensure everyone has them and the tools to achieve them.
Any change is hard to implement and people inherently hate and resist it. So in a time of constant change, increasing business tempos, globalisation and technology innovation the challenge is to build a culture of “constant change”.
Leading in constant change is about being consistent. Being true to Purpose and values, treating your people consistently, investing in them, coaching, mentoring, guiding, setting expectations, being tough on achieving agreed KPI’s & goals are all good ways to grow resilience.
This article (Link here) from HBR is interesting in that the same barriers to change identified in the 1950’s remain the same challenges to overcome today. It is all about leading through change, people and taking them with you.
I’m interested in your experiences.
Yesterday I went to a business presentation that had Chairman of the Canterbury Chamber of Commerce, Peter Townsend, outlining where he thinks the Christchurch rebuild is at. Some interesting stats;
1. Biggest insurance event ever.
2. Rebuild has not even started ie 700 of 25,000 houses fixed, 10,000 new houses needed.
3. Road repairs & horizontal infrastructure upgrades have 3 further years to run.
4. Big decisions still to make for the city centre and the plan.
5. $40Bn plus coming into the economy.
Overall the message I took away was that whilst there are many issues to address, problems to overcome and some big unknowns (no one has rebuilt a NZ city on this scale before) the overall economic picture for Christchurch and the country is very positive. The next ten years are going to be busy and productive ones.
Bring it on Christchurch.
“You did us proud pushing us to hold the funders to task”
Christchurch based Nationwide company
Often when you set strategy and start to execute it and make things happen it is very easy to lose perspective. It generally requires some change and with change comes uncertainty and a feeling that there is a loss of control as the company ventures outside the normal comfort zone of Business as usual.
Recently a client planned to change their whole business model and the way in which they make their money. It required taking a government funder to task and challenging the status quo. Get it right and things go to a new level, get it wrong and suddenly the company is relying on commercial funding. Either option has some risk but also presents new opportunity.
I didn’t do much except encourage them to be brave enough to back themselves and to execute what they planned to do. As an external trusted advisor, I was able to see they were on track, but just in the chaos of the change. Having less emotional engagement allows a different perspective. The Directors of the company pushed on with their well thought out strategy, kept going when things got tough and some really exciting things are now happening.
The learning: What got you here won’t get you there and with change comes opportunity.
Its a great feeling be making a difference which is the whole reason I love this role.
“The Company Who Owns the Voice of the Customer Wins.”
This short video from Leadership Thought Leader and Author, John Spence, is well worth watching (Link here). I have recently facilitated “Voice of the Customer” sessions for a number of our clients and it is a powerful tool for changing the approach of teams as to how they deliver products or services. To be clearly told what you do well, what sucks and what you can do to get more business or to get even closer to the users of your products is absolute gold. Have a watch of the video and let me know if it was of value and what you thought.
“In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.” -Robert A. Heinlein
Isn’t that the truth. I come across people & businesses most days who in the absence of good strategic goals, actions and focus live in a chaotic world of business as usual. Business as usual is the biggest enemy of execution……actually getting important stuff done. Make the space for some good effective planning, think bigger picture and define what you are trying to create and then go like hell to implement it. Along the way there will be trials, learnings and changes but something cool will happen.
Just do it!
“The true measure of a person is how they treat someone who can do him absolutely no good.” – Samuel Johnson
Had a client today lose a lot in a building fire. It is a good reminder to have good business interuption and income protection insurance. Up and running almost immediately. There are enough decisions to make, problems to solve and staff to keep employed without the added stress of an insurance problem or worse……none! Thats the immediate stuff starting to get under way.
With a good strategic plan (as we saw during the earthquake) and a team that is engaged with it a company can quickly update the immediate actions that need to occur and alter the tactics if required. The company quickly then realigns and does what is needed.
Times like these are full of uncertainty and tough decisions but they can also pull a team culture together if there is good communication and strong leadership.