There's no paucity of resources in growing under challenging times. Growing, though runs the risk of getting into all sorts of complications.
On-purpose organizations should aim for simplicity, not just in operations but in strategy.
The moment the strategy gets lost in the minds of stakeholders in the organization, confusion and frustration set in.
I was working for a non-profit organization a few years ago where a grand vision was unveiled only to be reduced to a few doable 'strategic chunks' at the end of the honeymoon phase between the Board and the new managers. No resources and incentives were set in place to fuel the commitment to action. It became one of those 'false starts.'
High on good will, the leaders lost it by failing to bring down the vision into its elegant simplicity, which means showing the first key steps to making it real in the lives of customers and seeing progress through.
Simplicity is far from failure work and simplistic notions. By working on simplicity, organizations with scarce resources and under-pressure to provide value for less can support their mission with greater clarity and effectiveness.
People are not necessarily afraid of change. It’s the journey that gets to them, most of the time.
Show them that the future is that good that incentives for switching outweigh the perceived or imagined problems.
When everything is urgent, nothing is urgent.
When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.
Change efforts go by the wayside if there's not enough urgency within the organization
to ensure that it will be given an undivided attention and resources it needs. Moving the strategic priorities into implementation requires consistent and constant pressure from management that understands strategic management.
85% of strategic plans do not get implemented. When the rubber hits the road, the tendency is to focus on the day-t0-day mundane issues, relegating the higher objectives into the backburner. This stop-and-go scenario will delay your progress and unconsciously reward inventing obstacles.
Managers and leaders- stop treating all crisis as equal. You should know how to treat priorities as real priorities, or your employees will not believe another memo with an urgent stamp.
It's not what they hear, it's what they see in action that gets believed.
The majority of people in organizations will just gladly go along any changes communicated as a positive development in the right direction.
But for some, change is not an easy sell, and more processes need to happen to ensure buy-in for all important stakeholders. As an on-purpose leader, you can take these small steps:
1. Overcommunicate the positive gains and the immediate steps.
The rest of the time, it's the middle phase that's ambiguous but not necessary to be bogged down by it. Keep the focus on the high-level objectives and what they can do right away. Immediate steps take their eyes off worries and fears, and lead them to practical things they can work on.
2. Be clear about the challenges and pains that will be faced
Do not promise the moon and the stars. What is mostly likely to happen in the beginning is that there would be massive amounts of adjustments to be made and then, the 'settling' period which would be the 'in-between' moments for most people. Tell them all the pains that will have to be endured and don't gloss over critical issues for each departments to do.
3. Resist going back and staying in one place in the change continuum
Do not go back romanticizing the past ways or methods of doing things. Resist this water-cooler talks in your office and in your boardroom. The legroom of moving initially is already an achievement in itself. You have come along in this continuum.
But don't rest your laurels in one place. You have to move to the next level-whether is developing and strengthening your talent, building a pipeline of future clients and customers, building a knowledge management system, among others. It could also mean preparing your Board Trustees and executives for a robust leadership role throughout these change period.
4. Celebrate with your key team and learn ways to accelerate
Gravity pulls us down. As much as we'd like to think that all the resisting dragons are slayed. Inertia and entropy, like gravity can bring organizations out of their momentum and elide their impact. Learn ways to accelerate and defy the need to do a lot of consultations which would not add value or wait for the next greenlight from higher-ups.
Be the best believer of this transformation in your organization. When the chips are down, remember, this is a phase, not the end. Resistors are not enemies to be thrown out of the bus. You should appreciate the value they provide and how much worth the journey it is to keep them alongside with you throughout the process.
Everyday, people are moving on with their lives. They are getting married, having babies, building companies, hiring people, and trying to make a living.
If there's one consolation we can derive from another extended lockdown- we don't have to meet people, we don't want to meet.
We don't want to waste our time in meetings that go nowhere.
We don't have to fall in line in stores when we know we can buy online.
We don't have to drive or ride a plane to get to seminars, workshops, conferences.
But we want to, we will make a way for things to happen.
If you're not moving on, you are resisting the flow of action.
Contradictions rule our time. Everything is in flux, including yourself.
Go with flow and welcome uncertainty as a given.
People nowadays, tend to equate game changer with change maker.
These two have very different connotations.
Would you want to be a game changer? or a change maker?
Game changing is about changing the direction of the game (or game itself), reframing the scope and parameters of the engagement, and ensuring that you come out with a winner's advantage. This can be a short-term project or a long-term horizon perspective. Consistent game changers are Apple, Amazon, Fedex, to name a few.
Whereas, being a change maker reminds me of the long-term work that needs to happen to get our audacious goals for ourselves, our communities, our enterprises succeed.
You can position yourself as both.
This world calls for game changers with the short-term stakes on the pie, and change markers with the eye for long-term sustainable progress.
But, if you have to choose, choose game changing, because the ambiguous future looks to bold and audacious leaders who are willing to stretch the imagination of society, so that we can all come out thriving, not just surviving.
Game changing doesn't require a lot of brain power, or talent, or more connections. It doesn't require you shift lanes or careers or jobs. It doesn't require lots of capital infusion.
They can see the writing on the wall when others are busy mounting on their saddles again. It's called prescience, reinvention, mining opportunities, and #beyondresilience attitude.
Drop me a line to learn more about these new concepts.
Yesterday, I spoke at Trico Changemakers Studio and it was a delight to have a very engaging discussion with the members present.
What I observed about the resilience narrative is that they are based on patterns and a sense of predictability that is not present right now in a climate of ambiguity, uncertainty, complexity, and volatility. I have made a Beyond Resilience paradigm to show what we are missing out on many important themes.
Instead of asking yourselves, are you ready to bring your kids to schools, ask about how education can be reimagined for the future generation.
Instead of asking how can we solve homelessness together, why don't reimagine how the vulnerable population can be part of us, not something to be considered separate, different, and wanting?
We asked the wrong questions therefore get the wrong answers.
We need bold imagination for a future that is not what we desire, but we can thrive and build stronger.
Let's start a conversation.