When James Cameron, world famous movie director, was starting the revolutionary AVATAR movie project he had t–shirts made up for his crew, with the words: Hope is not a strategy. James Cameron is known for being particularly meticulous in his leadership style, he has a plan A, a plan B, and a plan C, and “expects to be on Plan C by his second cup of coffee.” It is for this reason that he has been asked to give lectures to NASA and the US Navy about how to manage complex and dangerous projects where devastating changes can happen in an instant.
So much seems to be written about culture, and its importance, and the role leaders play in creating it. And yet in my personal experience CEO’s and CHRO’s don’t spend nearly enough time and energy on the subject. And of course whether you actively manage it or not, every organisation has one or more cultures ( large organisations often have subsets of culture within).
The Picture in this article shows what happens in nature when humans leave cities. Well, business is no different than nature.
Negativity takes over just like nature takes over when humans leave. In the case of businesses, people are disengaged. When staff are unhappy, they are in the office, but their attention is elsewhere. They much rather be somewhere else.
As soon as I arrived at the conference venue, I was welcomed by a lady in charge of VIP and speakers. She seemed happy to see me & asked me enthusiastically if I knew in which seminar room my talk would take place. “Yes. Seminar room 3 & it is tomorrow” I said. “Great! I am now taking you to the VIP/Speakers lounge so that you can eat or drink something,” she added. One part of me longed for breakfast in the lounge. The other half of mine responded: “Thank you. Actually I would like to directly go to the keynote area to listen to the keynote talk.”
Have you actually ever taken some time to think about “What is change”?
Lean Six-Sigma, TQM and Process Improvement will create efficiencies and reduce cycle time, of that there is no doubt.
But these improvement programs are not sustainable, if they are temporary surges in cost reduction and in the absence of a whole systems perspective create downstream costs and hidden costs due to regrettable losses of mission-critical talent and employee engagement issues for those who are not involved directly in the improvement teams.
The change needs to pull together the whole system or it will be a short term illusion.
Are large corporates rotten beyond remedy?
Brexit. Trump. VUCA. Now that we have those buzz words out the way lets discuss what is happening in organisations all around the world.
I recently chaired a panel interviewing inspiring women from different countries and backgrounds who have become recognised technology leaders in their fields. There was a lot of collective wisdom about how these women had navigated their careers and succeeded in becoming technology leaders. Here are three highlights from our conversation with the talented Sabah Carter, CIO of News Corp, Judith van de Pas, CIO of Shell Retail and May Yap, Global CIO of Jabil.
Career paths are not linear