Archive for the ‘Environmental’ Category

A couple of years ago I worked on a major global project assisting a client with a change program. The outcome of the program was very dependent upon the climate created by the leaders at the head office and in each business unit. The climate of any company is a much unappreciated but essential ingredient towards high performance.

One way to understand what leaders do in the context of organising the climate is to compare successful companies with unsuccessful ones. The unsuccessful ones might well be called “disorganisations.”

They are:

Divided. Factions and divisions fragment the organisation and sap its resources.

Confused. Each person has a different understanding of what’s going on. There is a lot of gossip, but not very much information.

Passive. Most “members” do very little; one or two people do most of the work.

Reactive. They are always trying to respond to some unanticipated new development.

Inactive. Prone to drifting. There is little purposefulness to meetings, actions, or decisions, and things drift from one meeting to the next.

Successful organisations, on the other hand have,

Unity– In successful organisations, people are united. They have learned to manage their differences well enough that they can unite to accomplish the purposes for which the organisation formed. Differences are openly debated, discussed, and resolved.

Shared understanding. There is a widely shared understanding of what’s going on, what the challenges are, what the program is, and why the current course of action was adopted.

Participate. Lots of people in the organisation are active; they not only go to meetings but also get the work of the organisation done.

Take initiative. Rather than reacting to whatever happens in their environment, they are proactive, and act upon their environment.

Act. People do the work they must to make things happen.

Share a sense of purpose. There is purposefulness about meetings, actions, and decisions and sense of forward momentum as work gets done.

It is the quality of the work leaders do within them that makes groups and their culture work. A good leader steers the group away from the bad characteristics of the “disorganisation” and toward the characteristics of a good organization.

Leaders turn division into solidarity by building, maintaining, and developing relationships among those who form the organisation.

Leaders turn confusion into understanding by facilitating interpretation of what is going on with the work of the organisation. They turn passivity into participation by inspiring people to commit to the action required if the group’s goals are to be accomplished, and they turn reaction into initiative by strategizing—thinking through how the organization can use its resources to achieve its goals.

Inaction becomes action when leaders mobilize people to turn their resources into the specific actions that will lead to the achievement of their goals, and drift becomes shared purpose when leaders accept responsibility for overseeing the group and challenge others to accept their responsibility as well.

Where is your organisation?


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