I hear from a lot of managers how their organizations want to achieve too much with a fraction of its real costs and get staff to do more than they can possibly accomplish.
The disease-to-overachieve that permeates in many organizational cultures is strong where the need is irrational leading to unhealthy decision options. Manager complain of longer work hours, additional responsibilities without supports, resources, and systems alignment, and expectations to be easy on the budget.
Overachievement comes from fear.
Fear of not measuring up;
Fear of failure;
Fear of being not being seen as a strong and viable entity;
Fear of not being on par with your constituencies and networks;
This fear is overcompensated by absorbing too much, too soon, and with too little. Scope creep becomes an accepted norm. Resisting this in a culture where more is great is near suicidal and would cost a career loss.
I heard some time ago from a local town person that their local township is trying to be what it's not. People in the inside can't see this clearly.
If you're caught up in the whirlwind of overachievement, ask your leaders, the following questions:
1. What exactly they want to remove off your plate so you can get things done on more important things?
2. What supports and resources are available right now to achieve these goals?
3. What goals are good-to-have and what are the musts?
4. What activities generate the best outcomes?
These questions can lead to more realization and quite frankly, a light in the tunnel.
In an change effort, the worst leaders can do is to ignore the emotional aspect of the change process.
Impact organizations are 'people organizations.' The people are the lifeblood of the organization for which any discussion about growth, scaling-up, or stability is generally about how the people can be nurtured, developed, managed to get to your strategic objectives.
While the change management field is filled with approaches and strategies to slay resistance and achieve a transformational change that any CEO would be proud of, in general, emotions can get the better of any leader.
In a recent local change effort that I have studied, I noticed that the President in his speech only mentioned once that they will be compassionate with the people that will be affected by the change.
Being compassionate is one thing but before they begin to determine the extent of impact that changes will have on staff, they should have the following at the back-end:
1) increased relations with every one concerned, even before the impacts will be felt, communicating what is to come and determining the best method to resolve it without accruing undue stress for staff;
2) increased trust-building; a low level of trust does not engender cooperation to find the best solutions for all parties;
3) increasing the voice of employees, whether they have a say or not, they should be informed and their voices heard;
4) build a strong follow-through in your every action; no one wants to be left behind after a decision had been made from the top;
These are not good-t0-haves but are musts when it comes to managing the emotions, defusing tension, and building a more collaborative approach to solutions-finding.
When one think that people will take a very rationale approach to changes is a very unfounded reaction. People have built in resistance to anything that could disrupt or alter their existing comforts, positions, and privileges. Moving them along towards a better state means more work on the journey where denial, resistance, and low-energy can bring your efforts to a grinding halt or slow motion.
Emotions are powerful elements if used in a positive way. In reality, a negative emotion is a fact and must be managed well.
It's risky to do all these steps after you have announced a change or about to announce one.
There are many faces of Canada right now that we are pained to see.
The uncovering of the mass graves in residential schools is a case in point.
The on-going struggle to get our economy back on track is another.
The targeted terrorist attack against a Pakistani family a month ago....
We have a long way to go as a nation.
We need healing, reconciliation, and justice before we can experience real peace that transcends our narrow interests and identities.
The Canada that I know when I moved here 11 years ago is a Canada that:
- respects differences and celebrates diversity and inclusion;
- empowers new immigrants to bring their selves into this country and play a vital role in building a nation and economy;
- is a peace and democracy-loving country amongst the nations;
- has a strong and stable government and corruption-free;
- has the best healthcare and educational system in the world;
Definitely, these are superficial facts that foreigners see from the outside- only a tip of the iceberg in terms of the condition of the country and its people. Now I know more but it doesn't give me regrets that I moved here and consider myself a Canadian.
I am proud to be alongside other Canadians in creating a great nation one day at a time, one generation at a time, and one impact at a time.
Let us not forget too that we are all Canada and what we bring into our communities, represented the best aspirations and attributes of our collective greatness.
As Andrew Malcolm said about Canada: It's going to be a great country after they're finished unpacking it.
Very true, we are all, a work in progress....
I have been harping about the incoming emergence that is set to make the world spin-literally with the reopening set for fall or early winter.
Like preparedness for disasters and emergencies, how are you bracing up for the revival?
Baby boomers are retiring and creating new businesses
Women workers are quitting their jobs and designing their careers
The stock market is at all-time high!
Vaccine sharing is on the offing
Borders are slowly opening
On-purpose organizations should see themselves honestly in this rubric. This is not a sprint but a marathon. The closer you are to the ground, the better your responses will be.
The Survivor-they will never prepare and invest in this great emergence because their main prerogative is to keep the house in order, first.
The Wait-and-See-they have the cards on their chest and are wary of doing anything different than what they're currently operationally and strategically impelled to do.
The Provocateur-they saw the signs and realized that their current strategies and mentalities are no longer viable for the future that's coming soon. They want to do something new now in a more intuitive and sustaining manner.
Are you the survivor, the wait-and-see, or the provocateur?
Do you feel like you're on a roller-coaster ride, navigating both smooth and rough waters simultaneously?
Are you fed up with the constant barrage of the need for change but don't know how to start? Are you trying to wait until the pandemic is over before doing some long-term work in your organization?
It is your best self-interest to ensure that your organization remains competitive and growing in the years to come. Avoiding atrophy is a challenge even in the most stable and secure organizations I know.
If at night, you can't sleep because of missed opportunities, then there are reasons to do what's necessary not what's comfortable.
Don't wait for the green signal. Take the next best step towards your greater impact.
Employee engagement as based on research is defined as "asking for the employee to go the extra mile. " This is different from all the motivation, commitment, loyalty, and other positive feelings associated with the organizational affiliation of employees.
When it's about asking employees to go the extra mile, what does it really mean?
The ugly side of this 'engagement' as some critics say, could be just a fad again, is the fact that how much more can we ask employees to go beyond and above their current performance.
Is this something that can only lead to more burnout, frustration, anxiety, and general negative disposition in the workplace?
Engagement linked to clear strategic objectives for the organization is a sound approach. However, going the extra mile when ill-defined, ill-conceived, and inconsistently measured can lead down a path of irreversible damage for the organization.
Don't let your HR tell you what employee engagement is. Everyone in the organization should decide what's it's all about and whether there are clear metrics attached to organizational success objectives that you can leverage to make it purposeful in your own work.
The funny thing about start up boot camp is that it's just a boot camp.
It simulates real-life struggles, pains, and turmoil but can barely do so without either running out of steam or funding.
Start ups who are cocooned in this type of environment believe that it will always be easy, there are answers to almost everything, and that with the right technique you can have it all in quick time.
In business and in life, there are many uncontrollable factors and under time pressure, funding pressure, and impact pressure, few entrepreneurs make it without the emotional, psychological, and physical trauma and strains of keeping with the program.
The biggest take-away that a boot camp can do is to let entrepreneurs learn on their own without the grants, supports, networks, and prized monies. What will that look like?
Strip away all the prestige and glamour attributed to entrepreneurialism, it's really about marshalling whatever you have, rather than aiming and getting to their best position.
Bird in hand....