Maybe five or six times over the years I’ve been engaged with an organization because a new leader came in and figured out what was really going on and needed to make some big changes.
By all reports most people, including the employees, thought these organizations were doing well. They were hitting revenue targets, they were profitable.
I suppose this message is about perspective.
It’s easy to “move into” our own stories. It’s more subtle than believing our own press clippings. I think what happens is we just get comfortable. We set expectations and we meet them.
For example, great change leadership requires some activities that many organizations don’t do. These activities are really hard and the change leaders, over time, have institutionalized not doing them.
Someone may complain that changes aren’t implemented well but nobody asks about change readiness or change impact analysis. That doesn’t mean the activities aren’t valuable and necessary. Project managers and their leaders unwittingly mask the real story.
When a new leader enters the environment, with different measures, looking at different indicators, there is a different view point on the truth. In this different perspective lies hidden value. Does this mean we need to rotate leaders in to see things differently? By purposely understanding and controlling your perspective that won’t be necessary.
I suppose this message is about potential.
As we get comfortable we can set comfortable metrics and meet them. Great leaders are asking questions like: Are we stretching? Are we doing things differently so that we can get different and exponentially better results? Are we pushing toward our potential?
What is testing people to learn their limits? I’m not talking about tricks here. Rather, challenging as part of a development plan both parties agree to pursue.
The ideas we’re introducing here are complex and subtle. This shift in mindset is just the tip of the iceberg to achieving all that is possible in your organization.
Fight comfort. Shift perspective. Push potential.
To Do This Week: Act as the new leader coming into the organization. What indicators will you review and validate to determine the health of the organization? I’m curious what indicators you found most telling.
Let me know how it’s goes. Click the “comments” box below to participate in an on-going discussion via LinkedIn.