Tuesday, June 30, 2009

NEED FOR NEW ORGANIZING PRINCIPLES

Recently I attended the VINT symposium. Among the great speakers were Umair Haque and Don Tapscott.
It was interesting that all speakers agreed on the fact that we now experience different sort of crises at the same time. They refer to many failing institutions, like the financial system, energy platform, global governance, education system, government & democracy, industrial age corporation, media, science, health care, cities and food.

Most surprising was that both the speakers and the (engaged) audience thought that there is no way back to the ‘old situation’, the way it was before the crisis. This crisis is so fundamental that a radical redesign of our institutions is needed in order to move forward again.

This change has to be guided by a set of NEW principles. Both Haque and Tapscott came up with their own suggestions.

Haque calls them the new ideals/organizing principles: for ‘constructive capitalism’:
1. from exploitation to renewal
2. from tyranny to democracy
3. from war to peace
4. from domination to equity
5. from profit to meaning

Tapscott calls them principles for redesigning our institutions:
1. innovation
2. collaboration
3. openness
4. self-organization
5. integrity
6. interdependence
7. sustainability

As part of The Services Growth Ecosystem (see www.theproperway.com) I have developed this set of leadership principles:

LEADERSHIP

• TRUST IS A VERB
• HAVE COMMITABLE CORE VALUES
• COACH INSTEAD OF MANAGE
• LISTEN OPEN MINDED
• PROVIDE MEANING


CHANGE

• EXPLAIN THE WHY AND WIFM OF CHANGE
• EVERYONE HAS TO CHANGE
• INNOVATION IS THE NORM
• HAVE CROSS FUNCTIONAL TEAMS
• INVOLVE CUSTOMERS


TALENT

• FOCUS ON STRENGHTS
• HAVE FUN, PROVIDE THE POSSILBILITY TO PLAY
• LEARN CONTINUOUSLY
• METRICS DRIVE BEHAVIOR

FRONTLINE

• THE FRONTLINE IS YOUR REAL BUSINESS CARD
• STIMULATE BOTTOM-UP COMMUNICATION
• MAKE A DIFFERENCE
• ENTHUSIASM DRIVES EXCELLENCE


SUSTAINABILITY

• RESPECT DIFFERENCES AMONG INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS, HAVE EMPATHY
• BE ETHICAL IN THE FULFILLMENT OF ONE’S ROLE
• PROVIDE ‘CLEAN AND GREEN’ SOLUTIONS



When you compare these sets of principles they articulate the need for a major shift in our thinking, in the way we organize corporations and institutions and in the way we interact with each other in this global society.

They all share the focus on:
* Sustainability
* Openness, transparency, democracy
* Meaning, make a difference
* Interdependence, collaboration
* Innovation


So, this is a very exciting challenge to combine all our efforts to create these new environments.

What would you like to contribute?
----------------------------------------------------------
RADICAL SERVICE INNOVATION

www.theproperway.com


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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

RADICAL INNOVATION NEEDS ICONOCLASTS

I just finished reading Iconoclast from Gegory Burns. It is about how the brain sabotages creative thinking for most ordinary people.

An iconoclast is a person who does something that others say can’t be done. It is clear that the current crises (financial, environmental, energy, government, industrial age corporations) is in urgent need of a new approach. It was Einstein who said that you cannot solve a problem at the level at which it originated. So, you need iconoclasts/pioneers/change agents in your organization, who think differently. They should be nurtured and supported.

The iconoclastic brain differs in these three functions and the circuits that implement them:

  • Perception
  • Fear response
  • Social intelligence

PERCEPTION

Perception is heavily influenced by past experience and what other people say. To see things differently the most effective solution is to bombard the brain with things it has never encountered before. Well that is happening today, the financial crisis has proportions, which we have never seen before. The climate change is now widely accepted to be very urgent. Twitter plays a role in supporting the uprising in Iran, Obama got his job by cleverly creating a grassroots movement with the help of the internet.

Perception can be changed through experience. Bombard the brain with new experiences. Leaders in organizations need to leave their boardrooms and visit companies where they work radically different (e.g. Semco, Best Buy), visit Asian countries and Africa. This to see that the world is changing at a rapid speed and that they have to move as well.

FEAR

Novelty however triggers the fear system of the brain. Fear of uncertainty/the unknown, fear of failure and fear of public ridicule inhibit iconoclastic thinking within organizations.

It is crucial to deal with this fear. It is also generally understood that we will not go back to the old situation (from before the credit crunch) again. The successful companies will deal efficiently with this uncertainty.

If organizations reappraise all sources of stress as an opportunity to discover something new or find a market niche that other people are afraid of, stress may itself decrease.

For most people the fear of pain or loss is enough to deter them from action. That is making the situation worse. What you can do is to fully support the iconoclasts in your organization, so that they can spark new approaches and solutions.

SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE

The individual must sell his ideas to other people. The modern iconoclast navigates a dynamic social network and elicits change that begins with altered perception and ends with effecting change in other people (or dying a failure).

It is crucial for success in any field to understand how the iconoclast mind works.

Leaders need to develop an iconoclastic mind or to support the iconoclasts in their organizations.

Grow Your People, Grow Your Business!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RADICAL SERVICE INNOVATION

www.theproperway.com



Please click here to follow me on Twitter

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

10 most common leadership shortcomings and how to resolve them

After scrutinizing 360-degree feedback data on over 11,000 leaders and evaluating the 10% considered the least effective, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman found the 10 most common leadership shortcomings. These are ranked according to the size of the difference between successful and unsuccessful leaders' scores; successful and failed leaders differed most significantly in their energy and enthusiasm.

 Please find the listing below as well my suggestions on how to change them.

 

1.    Lack of energy and enthusiasm

If you do your job just because you have to, if it feels like it is something you should do (rather than would like to do), then it drains your energy. If you are a leader mainly because you are attracted to the status, the power and the money, then you will lack the necessary enthusiasm. Your heart is not connected, so it just is an economic and rational activity. This activity is not fuelled by your enthusiasm. If you do work, which you love to do, if you follow your passion, it will give you energy and enthusiasm. And of course all the people will clearly notice the difference. So, have a serious look in the mirror and see whether you really love what you are doing.

 

2.    Accept their own mediocre performance

Again if your heart is not really connected in what you do than the work becomes a drag. You are just doing your job, nothing more, nothing less. You have no time and energy left to check the quality of your performance. Mostly time is more important than quality. It would be good to take a different perspective, to stand back and see what you really are doing. Is this really the results that you are proud of? Would you really like to be associated with these these outcomes? Maybe you want to put in extra time to increase the quality?

 

3.    Lack clear vision and direction

It is my favorite part of Alice in Wonderland, she comes to this junction and asks the people which direction to take. They answer: that depends on where you want to go? She says that she doesn’t know and they reply that than any direction will be the right direction. This proves that a clear vision and direction is absolutely needed for an organization. This vision is not something the leader has to develop on his/her own. On the contrary, it is a very motivating exercise to involve employees from all levels. They will make sure that many different perspectives are taken into consideration. At the same time, they will really support this vision, because they contributed themselves. So, open yourself to the input from others.

 

4.    Have poor judgment

In order to have good judgment, you need a clear and clean intellect. If your intellect is troubled by past experiences, your judgment will be confused as well. To lighten up your intellect, you have to pay attention to getting enough rest and relaxation. Also you might consider to meditate, as this will significantly improve the clarity of your intellect.

 

5.    Don’t collaborate

It might be an old habit that as a leader you have to do all things by yourself. Maybe you don’t trust the contribution of others. Or you don’t have enough self-confidence to admit that you don’t have all the answers yourself. It takes courage to show your own vulnerability. Well, the times have changed. People expect you to be open, vulnerable and a real team player as well. You will be amazed how positively people will react when you open up.

 

6.    Don’t follow the standards they set for others.

In a leadership position people will look up to you. You are the example, the personification of the organization. They will follow your behavior. So, it is crucial to practice what you preach. Give the right example.

 

7. Resist new ideas

Most people are not willing to leave their comfort zones. They are used to working in a certain way, and that way brought them to the leadership position. The fear of the unknown and the fear of failure will prevent change. However, in today’s business climate change is inevitable. Internal as well as external forces indicate the need for change. New ideas need to be stimulated and caressed. If you feel uncomfortable you might consider to hire a coach who can help you on your own growth path as well.

 

8.    Don’t learn from mistakes

The saying is ‘if you do what you did, you get what you got’. So, you have to learn from failures and change your approach. Failures are not a bad thing, they happen and will happen even more. Today’s society has become so complex, that it is impossible not to make mistakes. What is needed however is to fail fast. Learn from your mistakes and change your actions.

 

9.    Lack interpersonal skills

Any business is a people business. So you have to be very good in working, communication and collaborating with other people. Many years ago, Daniel Coleman introduced the essential emotional intelligence in interpersonal connections. These interpersonal skills can be learned through training. Also a coach can add a lot of value in this learning process.

 

10.                  Fail to develop others

In this competitive world the main differentiator are the people. They have to be given the opportunity to learn and to grow. The best leaders are surrounded with people who are better than them. The loyalty and the output will increase significantly if you pay serious attention to their ProPer (Professional as well as Personal) development.

 

 

 

 

Every leader has some shortcomings. That is no problem at all. You just have to have the guts to face them, accept them and be open to learning and changing yourself .

  

-------------------------------------------------------------

HEARTCORE SERVICE INNOVATION

 www.theproperway.com


Please click here to follow me on Twitter



 

 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

TEAM: TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MIRACLES

This is the acronym, which is used in the book One Minute Millionaire from Hansen/Allen. It stipulates the important role that every individual plays in the team.

 

This weekend I saw some excellent examples of team work (or the lack of it) in the world of sports.

First there was Denis Menchov cycling in the last time trial of the Giro d’ Italia. He was clearly in the lead when one kilometer before the finish he fell due to the rain and the slippery road. This was an incredible event, after cycling for three weeks and so close to the finish. Would he now miss  his victory? Well, I froze at watching this on the tv and the commentators were astounded as well. But, there was one guy who did not freeze, actually he took immediate action. It was the mechanic from the Rabobank team. When the car in which he was following Menchov stopped, he jumped out of it, took a new bike from the roof and offered it to Menchov. Then he put Menchov on the bike and pushed him as hard as he could to catch some speed again. Menchov had no time to worry and proceeded to the finish and… He won the entire tour! I would say that he won thanks to the clearness of the mechanic. He took immediate action and was crucial in his role. Without his clarity and action, Menchov would not have won. The mechanic was an indispensable part of the team.

 

Another example of team play was during the ceremony for Bloemendaal, the winners of the European Hockey League. The captain of that team is Teun de Nooijer, one of the best hockey players in the world. He waited when his whole team took the stage to receive the cup and the medals. He looked at the back of the stage and at the front to make sure that everyone (players, trainers, medical staff etc) was on the stage. When that was okay, he stepped up the stage as well and was handed the cup. As a leader he clearly took care of the complete team and ensured that everyone was involved and nobody was forgotten.

 

A third example was an interview that I read with Andy van der Meyde, once a famous football player from Ajax and now playing for Everton. In the interview he talked about a very difficult period in his life during which his newborn daughter was seriously ill. She was so ill that she frequently could not sleep and she completely had to been taken care of 24 hours per day. Of course this had a negative impact on his physical and mental condition. His performance was not at the highest level and sometimes he even went to the training without getting any sleep during the night. But his manager was not interested in his personal situation and criticized him a lot. He took him out of the team and he barely played any matches. Apparently the manager was not open to understanding Andy’s personal challenges.

 

So, what can we learn from these events? What is crucial for teams to perform at the highest levels?

 

  1. All roles are equally important in the team. All team players have to perfectly play their own part. Everyone’s role should be equally appreciated.
  2. The leader has a caring role. He/She makes sure that everyone is enabled to play his/her role in tune with his or her goals and strengths.
  3. The personal and professional lives of all team players cannot be separated. Managers and leaders should also understand the personal motivations as well as the challenges of the players in the team.

 

Only then Together Everyone Achieves Miracles!

 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SERVICE INNOVATION

Grow Your People, Grow Your Business! 

www.theproperway.com

 

Please click here to follow me on Twitter

 

 

TEAM: TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MIRACLES

This is the acronym, which is used in the book One Minute Millionaire from Hansen/Allen. It stipulates the important role that every individual plays in the team.

 

This weekend I saw some excellent examples of team work (or the lack of it) in the world of sports.

First there was Denis Menchov cycling in the last time trial of the Giro d’ Italia. He was clearly in the lead when one kilometer before the finish he fell due to the rain and the slippery road. This was an incredible event, after cycling for three weeks and so close to the finish. Would he now miss  his victory? Well, I froze at watching this on the tv and the commentators were astounded as well. But, there was one guy who did not freeze, actually he took immediate action. It was the mechanic from the Rabobank team. When the car in which he was following Menchov stopped, he jumped out of it, took a new bike from the roof and offered it to Menchov. Then he put Menchov on the bike and pushed him as hard as he could to catch some speed again. Menchov had no time to worry and proceeded to the finish and… He won the entire tour! I would say that he won thanks to the clearness of the mechanic. He took immediate action and was crucial in his role. Without his clarity and action, Menchov would not have won. The mechanic was an indispensable part of the team.

 

Another example of team play was during the ceremony for Bloemendaal, the winners of the European Hockey League. The captain of that team is Teun de Nooijer, one of the best hockey players in the world. He waited when his whole team took the stage to receive the cup and the medals. He looked at the back of the stage and at the front to make sure that everyone (players, trainers, medical staff etc) was on the stage. When that was okay, he stepped up the stage as well and was handed the cup. As a leader he clearly took care of the complete team and ensured that everyone was involved and nobody was forgotten.

 

A third example was an interview that I read with Andy van der Meyde, once a famous football player from Ajax and now playing for Everton. In the interview he talked about a very difficult period in his life during which his newborn daughter was seriously ill. She was so ill that she frequently could not sleep and she completely had to been taken care of 24 hours per day. Of course this had a negative impact on his physical and mental condition. His performance was not at the highest level and sometimes he even went to the training without getting any sleep during the night. But his manager was not interested in his personal situation and criticized him a lot. He took him out of the team and he barely played any matches. Apparently the manager was not open to understanding Andy’s personal challenges.

 

So, what can we learn from these events? What is crucial for teams to perform at the highest levels?

 

  1. All roles are equally important in the team. All team players have to perfectly play their own part. Everyone’s role should be equally appreciated.
  2. The leader has a caring role. He/She makes sure that everyone is enabled to play his/her role in tune with his or her goals and strengths.
  3. The personal and professional lives of all team players cannot be separated. Managers and leaders should also understand the personal motivations as well as the challenges of the players in the team.

 

Only then Together Everyone Achieves Miracles!

 

 

 

 

SERVICE INNOVATION

Grow Your People, Grow Your Business!

 

www.theproperway.com

 

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ArnoldBeekes