We Haven't Got a Clue About Leadership

PROLOGUE: Can your organization achieve a new definition of success? The longer you study this question, the sooner you will realize that companies are actually living organisms, not machines. We keep bringing in mechanics, when what we really need is gardeners. We keep trying to drive change, when what we need to do is cultivate change. Surprisingly, the "mechanical" approach to leading change impacts both the "humane" coaches and consultants as much the people who drive traditional forms of change, such as specialists in mergers and acquisitions.

The current turbulence in Trump's White House reminds us that leadership is an elusive, subjective thing...or is it? This blog post will clarify what those consultants who are paid to watch very carefully and correlate their observations with personalities, industry dynamics and performance metrics are actually figuring out.

Bottom line: If you want real, significant, sustainable change, you need talented, committed local line leaders.

Find the people who are at the heart of the value-generating process - those who design, produce and sell products, provide services and talk to customers. These are the people who are charged with innovation; if they aren't innovating, innovation is not going to occur.

Second conclusion: Identify the "seed carriers," the internal networkers who knew how to get people talking to one another and how to build informal communities. These are what we call "communities of practice." These people are there during the first round of change activities; they are the originals. Somehow, they spawn a second tier or second wave of activists.

In other words, things begin small, but as the core idea or process takes hold, networks form that carry change into wider groups.

This addresses the core question: Will the change effort be driven by authority or by learning? The answer to that question creates a central path.

Certain things hasten progress: new guiding ideas, innovations in the infrastructure, theories, methods and tools. Eventually, people begin to see that their colleagues are starting to take it all seriously.

Here's the key idea, the piece that no one really knows yet: After an initial success, things begin to get harder, not easier. So it's important to pay attention to the tension and interplay between reinforcing influences and limiting influences - especially those limiting notions that slow us down. Examples:

"We don't have time for this stuff!"

"We have no help!"

"This stuff isn't relevant."

"They're not walking the talk."

"This stuff isn't working!"

"We keep reinventing the wheel."

"Where are we going?"

Call Lynn Hinderaker to discuss leadership training and workshops: 402-208-5519

#leadership #change #organization #teamwork #insight #LynnHinderaker #wow #innovation

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