Leadership under siege
With all the changes under foot, between the economic and political crises, much less the upheaval in business caused by the new digital technologies, management is generally not in a comfortable position. Organizations are needing to transform themselves almost overnight.
Business models, product life cycle, talent management, sustainable development… These are some of the many challenges facing leadership. And yet, at the core, remains the employee.
Putting the client first is all very well, but most organizations are far too inwardly focused (due to elements such as short-term profits, tight-lipped product development, internal politics) to figure out how to listen to the client. In order better to serve the client, organizations could start by regaining the confidence of their employees.
Brands need to find, hire, train and retain great staff in order to execute excellence in service. Keeping quality employees — especially in the more demographically challenged economies — will be one of the major corporate battlefronts of the future. If you think it was hard before, try in ten years time.
Cultural shift beyond social media
Getting the internal climate right such that employees feel engaged, enthusiastic and prepared to go beyond the “call” will be vital. And, in large part, despite the wonderful opportunities to integrate new technologies, business and social media networks, etc., I believe it is a case of getting back to basics. It sounds trite, but I know from experience that it is easier said than done.
I WANT YOU
Leaders need to adopt the I WANT YOU philosophy. This zippy little acronym speaks to the four greatest “soft” (ie. human resources) challenges faced in organizations:
- Learning. Explain the why. Allow your employees to learn, understand the reasons for the vision and orders given.
- Collaborative. Be in a listening frame of mind. Think to build together, to collaborate, think by association. Use AND in the place of BUT, and be constructive and additional in your conversational style.
- Effectiveness. To the extent the resources are limited, we need urgently to make tough choices to stop wasting efforts on “old” paradigms and stop staying in the comfort zone. In order to optimize our time (and avoid prevalent burnout), we need to eliminate the unnecessary and get focused on the true levers of business. This means saying “no” to some old ideas and culling the new ones.
- Motivation. There is no stronger tool for motivating your team than recognition.
Here’s a video that describes the I WANT you myndset. Would love to have your feedback!