This summer was a season of unanticipated changes and transitions for me and for the Kadabra team. Now that we are transitioning into fall, we are individually and collectively forging ahead but we’re taking a new direction with the business and our roles.
You may be familiar with the old saying, “Only two things are certain—death and taxes.” But leaders can update that shortlist with one more certainty—change.
Not all changes are created equal. Some are admittedly much more difficult and unwelcome than others—such as divorce or the death of a loved one. The common denominator for all change, however, is that all human beings tend to process change in much the same way we experience loss. Given that, it makes a lot of sense that we would benefit from some social support as we attempt to navigate change.
Visualize leadership as your favorite muscle group—in my case, quadriceps. Under a certain amount of repetitive stress and pressure, in the form of difficult decisions and conversations, it grows and strengthens. Remove any stress and/or pressure for too long, and it tends to atrophy from disuse.
Unfortunately, too many leaders find handy excuses to continue doing just that. They avoid difficult conversations and challenging people-related decisions in favor of delegating these tasks to HR staff. And, while many HR professionals are incredibly skillful in picking up the slack, that habit doesn’t always serve them, their organizations, or the leaders they are picking up the slack for, well in the long run.
We expect leaders to behave very differently today than we did yesterday. That’s because the problems we’re solving today are different from the ones we were solving yesterday.
Today’s leaders need to unlearn what their role models taught them and replace that with a whole new set of mindsets, skill sets, and behaviors. Unlike previous generations of leaders, it’s not enough to simply follow the example their role models may have set. It’s time for a shift in paradigms for leaders who want to be successful now and into the future.
Organizational change is the process by which companies or other organizations change the way they operate, use technologies, are structured from a people perspective, and adapt to changes in the market.
Essentially, if your organization is in any kind of flux state related to people, products, or operations, you’re dealing with organizational change. And in order to remain relevant, you should have your radar tuned to early signs that a change could benefit the organization.
Many organizational leaders view leadership coaching as a one-off type of investment. It’s expensive, they think, and besides, even if it might be helpful, between a global pandemic, racial reckoning, tons of people resigning, and a lower than typical number of job applicants responding to fill new vacancies, who has time for that right now?
Unfortunately, this is the wrong conclusion to support organizational success today. There are three primary reasons your return on investment (in terms of both time and money) for leadership coaching has never been higher than right now.
All businesses today operate within one or more recognizable ecosystems. Ecosystems look like patterns of regular exchanges between individuals and organizations through which they acquire new customers (lead generation), generate revenue (selling products and services), and reduce their operating expenses (outsourcing, automation, and fractional work arrangements). Exchanges can be information-based, currency-based, or relational. All three types of exchanges can be valuable contributors to your business’s success.
I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately about their return to office plans. Returning to the office is a major organizational change after 15 months of working from home for most of us.
The people I’m talking to are fairly well dialed in on the tactical, practical aspects. They’ve thought through vaccination status, PPE stations, masks, and social distancing protocols. But they often haven’t thought about what this return might mean for their culture. Most of them don’t have a good read on what their employees think about returning to the office. It got me thinking about the role of curating culture during organizational change. In the case of this particular change, I think it’s important to focus on communicating early, often, and generously.
Every organization has a culture, whether the leadership team has tried to build it intentionally or not. That culture sets the tone for everything that happens within the organization, from who is hired and how people are rewarded and retained to customer satisfaction and ultimately, profit. The good news is you do have a choice to build yours intentionally.
Look closely anywhere in corporate America, the government, and even sports and you’ll realize: we haven’t had enough great leadership in the past…and we don’t have enough now. It’s time to change the way we talk about leaders, how we perceive people’s readiness to lead, and how we encourage the behaviors we want to see all leaders demonstrate in the future.