Leadership Coaching: Why Some Executives Resist Change

October 26th, 2008

Some executives over-estimate their leadership effectiveness. Other executives are not ready to change.

 Over-Estimation of Leadership Effectiveness

 There is evidence that the more an executive over-estimates their leadership effectiveness compared to the ratings of others, the less likely they will improve with coaching. This is supported by the research literature.

 For example Atwater and Yammarino (1992) found a negative correlation between over-estimators and predicted leadership improvement outcomes. It is suggested that over-estimators use the information to reinforce their opinion that he or she is doing well and no changes are needed.

 In my coaching practice, using 360º Leadership Feedback, I have found that when a leader’s effectiveness self-rating is significantly higher compared to the ratings of others, there is often only minimal improvement made by the leader. In extreme cases the leader’s self-perception of their effectiveness will border on delusional thinking. As a result the leader will not see the need for change and is not motivated to change.

 Readiness for Change

 A second area of resistance centers on an executive’s readiness for change.

 The Transtheoretical Model of Change (Grant 2006) sets out the stages of change as:

 Precontemplation: The leader has no intention to change in the foreseeable future.

  1. Contemplation: The leader is considering making changes, but have not yet made any changes.
  2. Preparation: Increased commitment to change , intend to change in the near future, and are making small changes.
  3. Action: The leader is practicing new behaviours, but has only been doing for a short period of time, say six months.
  4. Maintenance: Consistent practice of new leadership behaviours for at least six months.
  5. Relaps: often there is a return to ineffective leadership behaviours.

 It is very important for the Leadership coach to quickly determine at what stage the leader is at in their development. If it is the Precontemplation stage then a key strategy for the coach is to broaden the leader’s self-awareness of their actual leadership effectiveness. My experience is that the best way to do this is through 360º leadership feedback. In my opinion the best researched, most valid and reliable instrument for this purpose is the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ).

 It is a waste of time and money if the coach attempts to facilitate a leadership development program if the executive is not ready for change.

 Summary

 A leader’s over-estimation of their leadership effectiveness, particularly if it is significant, will reduce or prevent the leader moving from Precontemplation through the stages to Maintenance. The challenge for the coach is to find ways to broaden the leader’s perception about their effectiveness.

 If you would like to read further about how leaders can deceive themselves click Organization Renewal Online Store (see Blogroll) and read the reviews for:

 “Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box: Published by The Arbinger Institute.”

 I also recommend:

 Evidence Based Coaching Handbook: Putting Best Practice to Work for Your Clients; See below for reference – This book can also be purchased through our Organization Renewal Online Store

 References: 

 Does self-Other agreement On leadership Perceptions Moderate The Validity Of leadership and Performance Predictions?: Personnel Psychology 1992, 45; Leanne E. Atwater, Francis J. Yammarion.

 An Integrative Goal-Focused Approach to Executive Coaching in Evidence Based Coaching Handbook – Putting best Practices to Work for Your Clients; Dianne R.Stober and Anthony M. Grant; 2006; John Wiley & Sons.

Dallas Burgess

 

© PeopleAdvantage Pty Limited 2008  All rights Reserved.

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technological Change: How to Avoid Resistance

October 14th, 2008

When a new Information System is being implemented people need answers to the following questions:

 

  • Why it is necessary to implement a new system?
  • How will the new system work?
  • How will the system impact on individual roles?
  • When will the system need to be implemented?
  • What will people need to know about the system within the context of their roles?
  • How will they get this knowledge?
  • Who will do the training?
  • When will the training occur?

 Resistance to the new system will grow in proportion to how vague and general the IT group is about the change, and how much time it takes to answer people’s questions.

 

So how can an Information Technology group avoid the growth of resistance across the organisation?

 

1. Perception

 

People need to see the problems that the existing system creates. For this to occur their awareness needs to expand beyond their day-to-day use of the existing system. A shift in consciousness needs to occur. Such a shift is like the illustration of perception in Psychology 101. We first see a vase then a shift occurs and we see the profile of a young women – white to black.

 

People’s resistance will remain high when they cannot see how necessary it is to change to the new system.

 

2. Intellectual

 

If the perceptual shift has occurred people are able to accommodate and understand the reasons for the need to develop and implement the new System. At this stage IT groups need to focus on explaining the logic of, and demonstrating, how the new system will improve people’s working life.

 

Many IT groups jump straight to the Intellectual and focus on reasoning and logic  rather than first helping people to achieve the perceptual.

 

 3. Emotional

 

If people have experienced the perceptual shift, and have sufficient understanding of the reasons and logic for the change, then they are likely to be emotionally ready to change. This means they are emotionally committed to the change rather than just passively acquiescing. Passive acquiescence is not commitment and usually results in ongoing resistance, particularly passive aggressive behaviour, eg undermining the operation of the new system.

 

4. Behavioural

 

When people can see the need for change, understand the reasons and logic for the change and are emotionally committed to the change, they are ready to learn new ways of working. At this stage IT groups need to support learning. This includes helping to build people’s confidence in working with the new system.

 

Summary

 

Many instances of change failure are due to IT groups focusing on the Intellectual factors before the perceptual shift has taken place. This is often followed by a focus on training (Behavioural) before an emotional commitment has occurred.

 

If you are an IT manager experiencing considerable resistance it is worthwhile stepping back and asking a few questions:

 

·         Have I moved too far ahead of people’s conceptual understanding?

·         Have I been able to expand people’s awareness about the need for change?

·         What evidence do I have that people are ready to accommodate and understand the reasons for the change?

·         How do I know if people have an emotional commitment to the change?

·         Are people seeking support to learn new work behaviours?; Or

·         Are people passively acquiescing?

 

For more information on Technological Change See Technological Change: The Critical Role of Organisation and People Values posted on 7th September 2008 – Category – Technological Change.

 

 

Dallas Burgess

 

 

© PeopleAdvantage Pty Limited 2008  All Rights Reserved

Leadership: Three Ways to be Effective

October 8th, 2008

The first level of leadership is being able to lead yourself. This includes three important attributes:

 

1.      Self-awareness

2.      Confidence

3.      Stress management

 

1. Self-Awareness

 

This means being aware of how we feel and what we understand in relation to other people. For example, a staff member is very angry about their treatment  by a supplier. If we are not consciously aware of our own anger we may react over negatively to the supplier’s behaviour, and inadvertently give the staff member the message that it is appropriate to be aggressive with the supplier. If the supplier is critical to the business operations then our lack of awareness could have a major negative impact on the business.

 

Research suggests we have three responses to danger: Flight, fight or freeze. These reactions are built into the primitive parts of our brain. When we are threatened the primitive brain takes over – we stop thinking rationally.

 

Self-awareness helps us to engage our higher level cognitive brain and this helps us to ask ourselves important questions at the time of the interaction  - this also helps us slow down so we can make better judgments.

 

In their book “Crucial Conversations – Tools for talking when stakes are high” (2002) Patterson, Grenny, McMillan and Switzler provide the following advice:

 

 1. Focus on What We Really Want

 

Understand our motives:

 

{     Ask “what does my behaviour tell me about what my motives are?

 

{     Clarify what I really want. Ask: “What do I want for myself? For others? For the relationship?”

 

{     Then, ask: “How would I behave if this were what I really wanted?”

  

Leadership involves shaping perceptions of others. This means every conversation is important and impacts on the business. Self awareness is a significant factor in effective leadership.

 

2. Confidence

 

Confidence is important for motivation. Particularly during times of uncertainty. People rely on confident people for reassurance. Confidence is also a key ingredient for inspiring others to achieve.

 

We vary on the confidence dimension from low levels of confidence to overly high levels of confidence. Both extremes cause major problems in organisations. A low level of confidence can result in over reaction to threats, negativity, second guessing of the motives of others and lack of action for fear of making a mistake. It is also common for people with a low level of confidence to be overly detailed minded rather than focusing on the goal.

 

An overly high level of confidence can lead people to ignore critical negative feedback. These people can lead others in directions that are dysfunctional.  Over confident leaders are often impulsive, superficial and narcissistic. These temperaments and behaviours are destructive on organisations and people.

 

A balanced level of confidence is often associated with middling extraversion and introversion – at times the leader is working and communicating with people, at other times the leader is analysing, reflecting, creating and planning.

 

We can see how good self-awareness and a balanced level of confidence provides an effective foundation for good leadership behaviour.

 

3. Stress Level Management

 

How do you manage your energy?

 

Coping with change is energy draining. A considerable amount of research suggests that it is not the management of time but the management of energy that matters.  For example, how often have you said to yourself “I would like to do … but I’m just too tired”. You have the time but not the energy.

 

In their book “The Power of Full Engagement – managing energy, not time, is the key to performance, health and happiness” Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz discuss four categories of energy:

{            Physical Energy – fuelling the fire – eating well, physical exercise

{            Emotional Energy – access pleasant and positive emotions – activities that are enjoyable, fulfilling and affirming

{            Mental Energy – organise our lives and focus attention – realistic optimism

{            Spiritual Energy – deeply held values and purpose  – authenticity – fuels passion, perseverance and commitment

 Recovery and Renewal

Loehr and Schwartz suggest we stretch ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. This is particularly the case when experiencing change. We must take time out regularly to recover and renew.

 

Rituals

They also emphasise the importance of rituals. These are important for coping with change. We are creatures of habit. Much of our functioning is automatic. When we are experiencing change we cannot behave automatically and rely on habit. So change is energy draining because we have to think before we act.

 

It is important to create rituals that help us form new habits as quickly as possible. In this way we can again function automatically and save energy.

  

Life Balance 

 

Re-establishing or maybe establishing (for the first time) a balance in our life is important for helping us cope with stress.

 

Change Survival Tips

 

Here are a few tips for surviving stressful change leadership in organisations:

1.             Obtain information from those who really know what is going on.

2.             Find ways of managing stress and anxiety e.g., relaxation classes, discussing issues with peers, taking time out and ensure you ask the right people to get the information you need to feel more certain about what is happening.

3.             We need to see our reactions to change as normal, and are experienced to varying degrees by all of us.

4.             View change as a learning opportunity rather than as a loss situation.  We will be more relaxed about the changes taking place.

5.             Get involved in planning and implementation exercises associated with the change.

  Summary

 Leadership is hard work. It is constant and unrelenting. Each conversation is critical. We must maintain our confidence and manage our stress levels – all the time.

 

Leadership is particularly stressful when it involves an intense level of Cross Functional, Multi-Discipline Leadership. See our article on Effective Cross Functional, Multi-Discipline Leadership will Power Performance – posted on

11th August 2008 – Category “Leadership”.

 

 

 

 

© PeopleAdvantage Pty Limited 2008  All Rights Reserved

Talent Management: A framework to Attract and Retain Talented People

September 29th, 2008

Many organisations forget the people management fundamentals when struggling to attract and retain talented people.

 

Here is a framework to help organisations build the fundamentals to attract and retain talented people.

 

{     Organisation

 

{     People

 

{     Role design

 

1. Organisation:

 

{     Ensure clear linkages exist between Business/Organisational Strategic  objectives to people strategies (clear line of sight)

{     Ensure competencies are clearly mapped for each organisation level across the organisation

{     Ensure consistency with organisation operational requirements

{     Ensure appropriate organisation structures

{     Identify and eliminate negative cultural factors that adversely impact on the psychological well being of people

{     Ensure leadership and people systems are in place that support your talent and succession management strategy

 

Eliminate Negative Cultural Factors

 

Talented people will not tolerate negative cultures. Common negative culture factors include:

 

{     Blaming

{     Silos

{     Over-control

{     Bullying

{     Lack of recognition

{     Avoidance of responsibility

{     Intra-organisation competitiveness

 

2. People:

 

{     Identify the critical factors that clearly characterise high performance

{     Understand how to identify and assess talented people at the organisation and individual competency levels, and at the personality and temperament levels

{     Understand how to determine the readiness of people to progress to the next career level – and how long and what type of development is needed before people can progress

{     Avoid and/or remove dysfunctional and destructive people

{     Ensure reward and recognition strategies, policies and processes support achievement

 

Leadership and People Systems

 

Talented people demand effective leadership including:

 

{     Trust building

{     Acting with integrity

{     Inspiring others

{     Encouraging innovative thinking

{     Coaching

 

Identify High Performance

 

Talented people seek opportunities for high achievement:

 

{     Communicate what and how they need to achieve outcomes

{     Ensure competencies are meaningful – complexity levels of work

 

How to Identify and Assess Talent

 

Factors and activities include:

 

{     Know how the complexity of work changes at each organisation level.

{     Focus on the complexity of the work rather than the specific function to be performed.

{     Understand the key personality and temperament factors that contribute to high performance;

{     Psychological resources required for success change as roles increase in complexity

 

3. Role Design:

 

{     Design roles that enable people to focus on critical performance factors that enhance their recognition and development

{     Ensure role description documentation provides for an evaluation of people’s Organisation Citizenship Behaviours (OCBs)

 

The Need for Competencies

 

Talented people want to know what is expected of them:

 

{     Core competencies and performance

{     Functional competencies and performance

 

Map competencies across the organisation – paint the picture

 

Summary

 

Management fads come and go. Effective talent management is about establishing tried, tested and proven people frameworks, policies and processes. Forget focusing on yard work. Be strategic.

 

 

© PeopleAdvantage Pty Limited 2008  All Rights Reserved

Leadership: Psychometric Assessment Cuts through the Glass Ceiling.

September 23rd, 2008

Do women make better leaders than men? Do men make better leaders than women? Answer: Top performing women and men have the same executive competencies profile.

 

Some years ago we were engaged to assist a local government authority to select the Head Librarian. A male had been acting in the role for some time. The council advertised the role and short listed candidates. We administered a series of psychometric assessments specifically designed to identify executives with potential for high level performance. A female candidate emerged as the top candidate.

 

Nevertheless council felt a loyalty to the male who had been acting in the role for some time. However we presented the results of the psychometric assessments and strongly recommended that the lady be interviewed. Council did interview her and she was selected for the Head Librarian role.

 

If the results of the psychometric assessment were not available the best candidate, in this case a women, would not have been selected.

 

Our experience demonstrates that top performing female and male executives have the same psychological profiles. Our experience also highlights that one of the best ways of eliminating discrimination is to utilise appropriately designed psychometric assessment tools – particularly for executive level roles.

 

High quality executive talent is in short supply. Ensure your organisation has the best psychometric tools available to both identify potential and develop your people.

 

For more information see the Leadership category Identifying Executive Leadership Potential using Organisation Levels of Executive Work and Psychometric Testing” posted on 19/8/08 (8/19/08).

 

Copyright 2008 PeopleAdvantage Pty Limted

Technological Change: The Critical Role of Organisation and People Values

September 7th, 2008

Technology has the greatest impact on how people do their work. Yet too often the potential benefits of technological change are not realised. Why is this?

  

The Change Silo – (see Organisation Renewal – How to Avoid Change Silos – posted on 16th July 2008)

 

Information Technology Managers often struggle to escape the Change Silo problem. As a result critical technological change is conceived, planned and executed in an organisation personality vacuum. The technological “experts” consult with potential users at the technological level but often fail to explore and understand what, how and why people can directly benefit from the new system. This requires a deep understanding of the strategy and mission of the organisation. It also requires a deep understanding of the values of the people who work in the organisation – why people decided to contribute to this organisation and not a competitor.

 

Impact of Values

 

Technological Change Managers must first examine and understand whether the proposed system will be accepted by people. This requires an analysis of the values fit between the organisation, people and the impact that the new system will have on these values.

 

The first question is: Does the current values set contribute in a positive way to the achievement of mission and strategy?  If the answer is no, then considerable work is required before implementation of the new system is attempted. That work involves organisation wide values development and realignment. To impose a new system on an inappropriate value set will reinforce the anomalous values set, and because of the inherent rigidity of most information technology systems, will result in virtually no chance in the future to realign values without catastrophic intervention.

 

Alternatively, if people’s values are aligned to mission and strategy, then the Technological Change Manager must ensure the system is designed and implemented so that people can continue to work in ways consistent with their values. This seems obvious. However in many cases this factor is ignored – because the emphasis has been on the technological aspects of the change rather than the people aspects of the change.

   

Organisation Personality

 

Understanding the organisation personality is critical to realising the full benefits of new information technology systems. For example, the application of information technology to secondary education. Principals are the education leaders of their local community. They expect, and the local community expects, that Principals will have a major input into the design of information technology systems that impact on their school and children. Yet too often technological change is conceived, planned and attempted to be implemented from the “Expert” centralised perspective – “We know what’s best for you”.

 

In this example, the organisation personality is one of local independence – Principals lead their schools on a day-to-day basis, teachers are focused on the best interests of their students and expect to have control over the available information technology to deliver education outcomes to their students.

 

In this organisation environment, removing a Principal’s opportunity to influence technological change outcomes undermines his/her leadership in the local community, and prevents Information Technology Managers from fully understanding how to optimise information services to schools. The result is poor implementation outcomes, ongoing resistance and conflict with Information Management groups.

 

New Information Technology Roles

 

No longer is it sufficient, if it ever was, to just focus on the technological work of Information technology professionals. Modern organisations are complex with broad cross functional interdependencies (see Leadership - Effective Cross-Functional, Multi-Discipline Leadership Will Power Performance posted on 11th August 2008). This means IT professionals skills need to include:

 

{    Leadership, particularly cross functional leadership

{    Technological Change Management with emphasis on organisation renewal and people (see Page – What is Organisation Renewal)

{    Project Management

{    Problem Solving/Innovation

{    Technology Risk Management

 

Summary

 

The missing link in technological change management is awareness and understanding of the critical impact that values have on how information technology systems need to be conceived, planned and implemented. The failure in the past to acknowledge this factor has resulted in project delays, cost over-runs, less than optimum final implementation and work arounds ie people finding ways to subvert systems.

 

It is time for Information Technology Managers to rethink the skills set of their IT professionals.

 

Dallas Burgess

 

 

© PeopleAdvantage Pty Limited 2008  All Rights Reserved

Organisation Renewal is Better than Organisation Change. Build your organisation on the foundation of rock not sand!

August 24th, 2008

Disruptive markets, competition and technology is now the norm rather than the exception. Consumers are more sensitive to bad service and poor quality products. Web 2.0 technology provides consumers with the power to create or destroy a business within hours.

 

Traditional change practices in organisations are too slow and expensive for organisations to use to adapt to changing business conditions.

 

And too many organisations continue to build their adaptive processes on sand rather than take a more fundamental approach and build adaptive infrastructure foundations on rock.

 

Organisation Change

 

Organisation change typically describes a major, transforming discrete event that impacts across the whole organisation. Transformational change has disadvantages. For example:

 

{    It is resource expensive and intensive

 

{    It exhausts managers and staff

 

{    the change is often just too big and managers give up.

 

{    Outcomes are often patchy

 

{    It can take too long to implement and the organisation continues to experience an alignment gap

 

These problems lead to managers and staff resisting new transformational change initiatives. The result is that organisational change can have the paradoxical effect of freezing the organisation preventing future critical alignment programs.

 

Organisation Renewal

 

Organisation Renewal is the process of achieving growth, agility and sustainability through the continual adjustment and synchronisation of strategy, culture, organisation, management, roles, skills, people, processes and technology.

 

This means developing manageable organic alignment processes and infrastructure so that organisations can continually adjust and synchonise performance factors to adapt to continually changing market conditions.

 

This framework can help organisations avoid the big bang, cage rattling change programs. A greater awareness of organisational renewal processes can help avoid organisation freezing and keep people open, positive and innovative all the time. This means change is sustainable!

 

Key Organisational Renewal Factors

 

Organisation renewal is a scientific, evidenced based approach to understanding the factors that enable organisations to continually adapt to their environment. The key factors are, have always been, and will continue to be;

 

{    Socio-Technical systems

{    Information Management

{    Culture

{    Organisation structure

{    People Capabilities

{    People engagement

{    Business processes

{    Technology

{    Knowledge Value Management – creating value from knowledge held by people in organisations

 

It is not necessary to be expert in these fields. However it is necessary to understand how these factors intersect and how they interrelate with each other across the organisation.  Avoiding Change Silos (see article posted in Organisation Renewal on 24 July 2008) is also critical.

 

Summary

 

Ironically, organisation renewal is not new. However in recent years it has been lost to the mumbo jumbo of change agents, fads and myths. Organisation Renewal means addressing the critical fundamentals in the organisation. Not to address these fundamentals is like trying to put icing on a cake that has not yet been baked!

 

Dallas Burgess

 

 

© PeopleAdvantage Pty Limited 2008.

Identifying Executive Leadership Potential using Organisation Levels of Executive Work and Psychometric Testing

August 19th, 2008

“Capacity to forecast is limited by the expectation that in five years things will be the same as now only different”

 

Identifying executive leadership potential is about building capability for the range of anticipated needs and having the flexibility to respond to the unexpected.

 

There is an extensive literature on leadership capabilities, particularly behaviourally based leadership. This is generally centred around self awareness, listening skills and inspiring others. However there is far less information about how to identify potential executive leaders and what types of roles they will need to perform over a three to five years and longer time spans.

 

The key to identifying executive leadership potential is to apply the concept of organisation levels of executive work. To do this it is necessary to understand how executive work increases in complexity as the context within which the executive must perform increases in complexity. In broad terms it is about understanding the differences between supervision, middle management functioning and general management functioning.

 

How to do this

 

Criteria are developed to evaluate individual managers in terms of their current effectiveness level and their future effectiveness level expressed in estimated time frames eg, within 12 months, one to two years, three to five years.

 

An extract of the Management Levels Development Potential Assessment Criteria is provided below. The extract contains two organisation levels of work for line management. These levels relate to Operations Manager and General Manager Operations roles.

 

The key issue is that the Development Potential Criteria are developed consistent with standard organisation levels of work. If this approach is adopted the results of evaluations can provide a realistic indicator of the manager’s current level of effectiveness and future level of effectiveness eg, current level of effectiveness may be evaluated as middle management however there may be indicators that the manager is capable of effectively functioning at the general management level within five years.

 

Management Levels – Development Potential Assessment Criteria (Extract)

 

Effectiveness Criteria

Level 1 (Operations Manager)

Level 2 (General Manager Operations)

 

Business Knowledge Scope

 

 

Detailed understanding of;  the manufacturing plant’s role and its relationship with other areas in the company. 

 

Is able:  to coordinate with other areas and activities of the company.

National understanding of:  the company ‘s major business sectors;  industry and major competitors.

 

Is able:  to develop national business strategies;  to monitor the operations of competitors.

Management Planning Effectiveness

Is able:  to develop annual plans;  to generate alternative plans;  to review annual planning processes and methodologies;  to Identify alternatives;  to recommend and/or implement changes. 

Is able;  to develop five year national operation plans;  to develop alternative five year plans;  to review and recommend changes to the five year planning process.

Leadership

Is able:  to lead up to 300 people through a number of direct supervisors;  to ensure output meets deadlines and quality requirements;  to guide, motivate, coach and counsel supervisory staff;  to conduct performance appraisals, train and  develop supervisors;  to improve supervisors responsiveness to change.  

Is able:  to lead a group of Operations Managers;  to manage the national integration of the major operations functions;  to ensure the operations function performs consistent with the business strategy;  to ensure the appropriate development of Operations Managers.

Judgement & Decision Making

Is able:  to judge and decide based on learned experience over a number of years;  to generate alternative solutions and related consequences to complex situations;  to exercise judgement to choose the optimal solution;  to develop new approaches and methodologies to typical management issues.

Is able:  to identify major national operations issues and their impact on the business;  to develop alternative solutions and related consequences;  to generate innovative solutions based on an understanding of the interrelationships between issues and solutions;  to identify and recommend alternative national operation plans and understand their consequences on overall business strategy.

 

 

©  PeopleAdvantage Pty Limited 2008  All Rights Reserved

 

 

Psychometric Testing For Executive Leadership Potential

In conjunction with the use of Development Potential Assessment Criteria it is essential to ensure that managers selected for leadership development possess essential general management characteristics. If a manager does not possess these characteristics it is unlikely he/she will effectively perform beyond the middle management level.  Moreover, there may already be managers in middle management roles that actually only function at the specialist level i.e. Technical Professional level.

 

There is an enormous amount of material in the form of books, articles and training programmes espousing the characteristics of good leadership.  Moreover, there are a large number of psychometric tests designed to measure many of these characteristics. 

 

Unfortunately, much of this material, including psychometric testing, is aimed at the team leadership, supervisory, middle management level rather than at the general management, senior executive/Chief Executive Officer level. 

 

General Management Capability

 

Notwithstanding the preceding comments there are psychometric assessment processes that effectively test for general management capability and can assist in identifying executive leadership potential.  The characteristics identified by these assessment processes include:

 

Social Role Skills;

 

{     Strong self-confidence

{     Balanced extroversion, introversion

{     Spontaneous and not overly reserved

 

Reaction to pressure;

 

{     Initiative

{     High level of general drive

{     Positive response to setbacks

{     Balanced enthusiasm for life

 

Intellectual;

 

{     Planning and organising in an integrated manner

{     Intuition and originality

{     Good judgement

{     Conceptual ability

{     Able to think for oneself

 

Some psychological characteristics which lead to failure at the general management level include:

 

{     Narcissism

{     Psychopathy

{     Paranoia

{     Obsessive-compulsive

{     Excessive introversion or extroversion

 

Summary

This brief article outlines a methodology for identifying Executive Leadership Potential. Our experience suggests that this methodology effectively identifies high potential executive leadership people. Is also cost effective.

 

 

Dallas Burgess

Email: dallasb@peopleadvantage.com.au

 

© Organisation Renewal Pty Limited 2008 All Rights Reserved

Effective Cross Functional, Multi-Discipline Leadership will Power Performance

August 11th, 2008

 

 

Effective cross functional, multi-discipline leadership is the ability to effectively influence others across diverse functions in the organisation.

 

Competitive advantages flow from harnessing complex lateral interdependencies particularly in the areas of:

 

·        Executing strategy

 

·        Sharing the meaning of the mission

 

·        Ensuring values are understood and applied.

 

Leading across the organisation is more complex than vertical leadership. As a result managers must be lateral thinkers – unorthodox thinking to solve problems. This is critical for implementing strategy and leading complex change. 

 

 

Case Study – Leadership Development Program for a Non-Government Not-For-Profit Organisation

 

Key Challenge

 

This is a complex people intensive organisation in the disability sector. The key challenge is to cost effectively deliver multiple, diverse services. This requires effective leadership of diverse, interdependent complex functions across the organisation and within key service delivery groups. As a result effective middle management leadership is critical to achieving objectives. Recognition of this resulted in the Leadership Development Program (LDP) for middle managers.

 

The Task

 

The LDP involved 25 middle managers representing the full range of functions and service delivery programs. A key feature was 360º Leadership Feedback. Whilst ensuring confidentiality and ethical practice the program included:

 

Feedback:                  360º leadership assessments to identify strengths and areas for development. Individual feedback provided to the manager and their senior manager. Senior managers provided with an organisation overview of middle management Leadership strengths and areas for development.

 

Training:                    Two day Leadership development workshop including development of Leadership Development Plans

 

Coaching:                  Individual coaching for managers

 

Results

 

Middle managers reported significant insights into their strengths, current leadership styles and areas for development. Their senior managers reported significant improvements in the effectiveness of their middle management team in dealing with the myriad of complex issues that inevitably arise when providing multi-discipline critical care to clients.

 

Middle managers are now alumni and provide leadership support to each other.

 

An effective strategy implementation culture at the middle management level now exists.

 

 

Summary

 

Lateral Leadership is critical for powerful execution of strategy and performance. Chief Executive Officers cannot neglect this factor and must continually review and enhance cross functional, multi-discipline leadership processes.

 

 

Dallas Burgess

Email: dallasb@peopleadvantage.com.au

 

© Copyright Organisation Renewal Pty Limited 2008 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

How to Improve Competitiveness

August 5th, 2008

 

To achieve significant improvements in competitiveness it is essential that:

 

·        Sufficient in-house expertise in role design and remuneration exists

 

·        Effective collaborative mechanisms exist to ensure staff agree to, and adhere to key change outcomes

 

Job Design and Remuneration

 

Conduct an audit to determine the effectiveness of current job design and remuneration practices. Key indicators of poor job design and remuneration practices include:

 

·      People are unclear about their roles and do not understand what is expected

 

·      Pay is perceived to be inequitable; and it cannot be demonstrated that there are no such inequities

 

·      High performing people are not sufficiently rewarded

 

·      People cannot see the possibility of a career path and do not understand what they have to do to progress within the organisation

 

·      Focused, structured learning and development systems do not exist

 

·      Effective internal selection systems and procedures do not exist and the organisation cannot ensure that the right person is selected for the job

 

The existence of any of the above will result in staff resisting significant improvements in their work. 

 

Case Study

 

An organisation was experiencing lack of trust between management and professional staff due to the existence of the above problems. To improve trust the client needed to design new roles, career paths and a remuneration framework for the professional staff.

 

We helped the client to develop clear, transparent, objective role requirements, realistic career paths and a fair market based remuneration framework. As a result the professional staff enthusiastically embraced the new organisation direction.

 

Effective Collaborative Processes

 

Effective collaborative processes are not the same as consultative processes. Too many organisations confuse these concepts. The strength of the consultative committee can also be its weakness. Yes, it is essential that the people who do the work are involved in changing their work (strength), but change is threatening and this can deter many from pursuing major changes to their own jobs (weakness). Consultative committees can also be the platform to continue long standing conflicts rather than the basis for developing and implementing change. 

 

The alternative is to conduct collaborative based workshops. These are structured so that jobs and work practices are redesigned at the same time. Redesigning jobs and changing work practices simultaneously is complex and usually requires the assistance of an expert facilitator – it is the most cost effective method for identifying and implementing significant change.

 

Management can evaluate the proposals generated during the workshops and determine the impact on the business. Healthy facilitated workshops result in trust between management and staff to quickly reach agreement on what, how and when to implement the new jobs and work practices.

 

Organisations often forget, or ignore, that staff are knowledgeable about how to save costs and increase productivity. Structured collaborative processes are an effective means of tapping into the intellectual assets of the organisation. 

 

Alignment of Staff Performance to New Business Objectives

 

Collaborative based workshops cause staff to directly focus on critical business objectives. These objectives become the benchmarks or standards against which all proposed changes are matched. A proposal that does not meet the criteria is quickly eliminated.

 

Healthily structured collaborative workshops facilitate staff commitment to change.  Why is this so?  Because the more anxious staff feel about a change the greater is the resistance to change. However, healthy workshops provide a bridge between the old ways of working and the new. They provide the psychological security that staff need during the transition. This can have the effect of reducing staff anxiety resulting in greater openness, innovation and commitment to change. This is critical when the business is marginal and/or facing dangerous competitive threats.

 

 

Case Study

 

A client needed help to lead a consultative committee through the process of role redesign, development of performance criteria and modernise remuneration practices.  The consultative committee had been meeting for eighteen months with very little progress. By applying tested and proven role design principles and facilitating collaboratively based workshops the company was able to redesign roles and career paths, define performance criteria and develop a modern remuneration framework in less than three months.

 

Summary

 

To achieve significant improvements in competitiveness ensure the business has access to expertise to collaboratively redesign roles.

 

Dallas Burgess

 

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