What is communication without strategic purpose?
It is like a cymbal being beaten incessantly without rhyme or reason.
It is the spam you don't want to receive.
It is the advertising in the television that you want to skip when it's on.
It is your company newsletter that is telling all the good news but not taking time to consider what bad news needs to be communicated too!
It is the talking without the regard for the needs of listeners.
It is empowering to talk and communicate in itself without the higher purpose of fulfilling one's life mission or organizational mandate.
Stop wasting your resources on one-way communication. It is good to build skills on communication but without alignment to the strategic objectives, it becomes a self-development crusade. It is just 'good-to-have.'
Value-based governance and leadership is the newest breakthrough these days.
The underlying belief that the values of the staff and stakeholders match the values of the company and therefore, it is the best test for the cultural fit and the drive behind excellent performance within organizations.
Values-based has gotten to be practiced in extreme. CEOs telling human resources to pick certain types of people who are more compassionate but do not have the skills set for the job means that cultural fit trumps other considerations when hiring.
Cultural fit although very important in the success of the employee and the company together cannot be the end-all and be-all of effective hiring, retention, and training process. The competencies for the job is critical for that person to succeed or feel fulfilled. Certain types of employment and occupations call for a balanced combination of skills, competencies, and values appropriate. Those social types without the structure of the job will not be capable as the fish in the aquarium.
But values are intangible? How to govern through value-based leadership? Values are demonstrated through beliefs, beliefs are manifested through attitudes, and attitudes form part of overall behavior. We can influence the values of a person to a certain extent, but it is mostly an individual choice and a product of their context. We cannot shove it on their lungs to become a worker that values integrity, compassion, and excellence if they don’t have it in their DNAs. The right ‘fit’ as they say.
Training and development programs in companies do not tackle the belief systems of individual workers and their teams but are typically looking for short-term remediation in performance, addressing behavioral issues that arise, and keeping it topical and on-point as part of the Return on Investment on Performance.
The following questions should be asked when you are working on value-based governance/management?
1. How does your value-based leadership impact behaviors that are helpful for the organization?
2. How does your value-based leadership measure behavioral performance that are good and not good for the organization?
3. How does your value-based leadership reward great performance over bad performance?
The starting point is to check on behaviors that manifest those traits that demonstrate great performance over mediocre ones because the latter are latent and can be observed with the naked eye. The best training and development programs are those that address behavioral problems with adequate, effective, and compelling rewards and non-rewards systems that align with company culture and ethos.
Only when great behaviors are consistently reinforced and aligned, then beliefs and values will align to behaviors.
I am popping a lot of bubbles lately.
There is a tendency by the rank-and-file to project a certain aura of greatness about their companies to the point that when the rubber hits the road, tries to defend their stupid policies and procedures and leave the customer wanting to obliterate them out of the face of the earth!
A classic example of a website form that this organization is promoting to spur up public involvement and engagement with their programs. I put out my hand and expressed interest and started engagement. Well, they have a convoluted and archaic policy of internal referrals and Board approvals, aka 'insider trading.' I called the BS and they can't fail not to admit that if they want to remain exclusive at their own peril, they do not have to bother public citizens like us with these fake forms.
Another classic example of that is the fact that organizations whose mandate is to create public engagement end up actually creating exclusionary and elitist programs that bar interested people from actually being able to participate. Who would have thought that entrepreneurial programs espousing the values of community, transparency, collaboration are those that pretty unfriendly to newcomers and new entrants. This perpetuates the old-boys network mentality and creates incestuous relationships amongst actors in the space. Incestuous relationships are very harmful to organizations and individuals. There is no fresh air coming in.
Whether it is from the public and private sector, citizen leaders like us should refuse to accept the BS, call it for what it is, and get the attention of the decision-maker of the organization. Whether it is an airline, a grocery store, a non-profit, a church, or whatever, bad policies, procedures, protocols, or whatever systems have to be resisted with gusto. Organizations that fail to make corrections are set to suffer from many troubles or count their not-so-long shelf lives.
Are you planning to improve your organization this year? or are you gearing up to do the same-old, same-old?
A lot of organizations these days tend to do the latter. They think that by cruising along and being more busy (than means doubling up on the amount of programs and activities), they are being strategic and effective. Effectiveness here means in my vocabulary the ability to achieve the outcomes and results they wish to seek through their efforts.
Businesses, nonprofits, and governments cruising along and wishfully thinking that they can copy past success by doing the same thing are totally misled. If there is no effort to improve and surpass past year's performance, status can keeps mean sweeping the problem under the rug delaying the resolution of some of the issues pestering the organization that will actually help the organization move forward.
Are you stalling to discuss the next direction of your organization for fear of catching more problems than anticipated? What about the changing environment where complacency doesn't do you any good?
Get out of your comfort bubble and tackle the obstacles in building a new and secure strategic direction before an overwhelming situation compels it at your own expense.
If there is high commitment, it beats compliance any day.
If there is no commitment, then you have rules and more rules to compensate for the lack of real and genuine engagement.
Governments and regulatory agencies slap rules and more rules when it is more wise, productive, effective, and affordable to elicit more engagement, thereby in the long-term, you get commitment and fierce dedication.
Business leaders, owners, and managers must clearly understand this differentiation. If there is no real accountability and commitment to staff and employees, you will get compliant but mediocre and low-performing average crew. Businesses cannot thrive in the atmosphere of compliant, obedient, but brainless individuals whose task is to keep their jobs, stay away from trouble, and always say yes to the boss.
Committed employees take their time to understand their roles, participate in efforts to improve their work and their performance, and show their best towards the customers or clients of the organization. They are enabled, empowered, and do not ask permission to make a decision that will redound to the greatness of their organization. They are permitted to cherish the customer and showcase their talent going sometimes beyond their duties to accommodate what seems to be the right thing to do versus what is comfortable at that time.
There is a risk taking that is not merely tolerated but actually acknowledged and encouraged because the rewards for action make the difference.
When nobody is looking or paying attention to their work, are your employees able to showcase compliant behaviors or committed behaviors? Find this out for your self.
In the Philippines, we have a traditional song that goes....
"Planting rice is never fun"
"Bent from morn till the set of sun"
"Cannot stand and cannot sit"
"Cannot walk for a little bit"
It is not fun at all when you have a water buffalo that wanted to do something else! Life in rural Philippines had changed dramatically but in very remote locations, you can see a farmer with his buffaloes.
I don't know about you but planting the seeds of consciousness starts with preparing the mindset for a new thinking, acting, and doing. It is laying the ground work for future action that will take place in not so distant future. It happens in organizations that are thinking strategic, thinking long-term, and thinking about investing further along. Managers need to think carefully how to set the stage, create an environment where the status quo is no longer adequate to account for challenge, let alone, to compete effectively.
The best scenario is the one that comes from the decision-makers themselves and this goes not by serendipity but by actually nurturing and creating those needs for action, the ownership will be there, and of course, the resourcing will never be behind.
Leading from behind is more art than science. Let your nudge take them where you want them to go.