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 second, and arguably most important half, lies in building and maintaining a highly-effective team.
In her pioneering work in 1999, Amy Edmondson identified the concept of Psychological Safety - a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking. She discovered that the best-functioning teams are the ones where people feel safe to speak up - to make mistakes, to own up, to share ideas and offer opinions. Since then, organisations such as Google have done their own studies whose findings support this, showing that this one factor could make the biggest difference in how a team and an organisation performs.
I was talking to a friend the other day and, as usual, asked how it was all going. She said it'd been busy at work, very busy in fact and for all the right reasons, but it had meant that she’d had to put an out of office on her Email to say that she may be a while responding and for people to phone if it was important. One such person, who had been waiting and chasing for a response, cheekily found a slot in her diary and chanced their arm for a chat. She accepted.
Social media is littered with beautiful photos of happy people doing wonderful things. The pursuit of happiness has become a catchcry. Success is measured by popularity, beauty and material wealth. Thank goodness for the creation of selfie filters to tweak the imperfections!
The temptation in coaching follows a similar rhythm. Work out who you need to influence most, ensure you have the right corporate look, the outfit, the grooming, the physique. Create inspirational goals. Go on a values-driven journey to enable a happier, more successful life.…
We have never stopped evolving and we must never!
In my last few pieces, I have written about the slave trade, conscious capitalism and how we have to do better in the world today. A review of history shows us so clearly how we as a race/species have evolved over the past thousands of years. Not all of our progress has been good, wars, genocide, extinction of species, pollution etc. But we have also made progress by reducing infant mortality, expanding human rights, education, life expectancy, technology etc.