It was one of those defining moments that occasionally punctuate our working lives. The realisation that what had been previously taken as an article of faith was, in fact, the cause of the problem. As this inconvenient truth dawned on the faces of the assembled transformation leaders, there was a perceptible shift of energy. Feelings of release, as well as fear pervaded the hotel conference room in which we were gathered.
In the world of elite professional sport athletes and teams look for every opportunity to improve physical and psychological performance. Not just for the athletes themselves but for management and operations support as well. Top Formula One teams and Pro Cycling teams expect back office staff and management to pay attention to: Sleep rest and recovery, nutrition, hydration, exercise and mindfulness. These teams provide psychological and physiological coaching and training to team members so that everyone can be at their most effective most of the time.
Over the last year or so we have been working with a group of actors (the same ones you see at places like Hampton Court and the Tower of London). They have been helping us with a number of clients where we want participants to practice difficult conversations with heightened emotions.
I’ve had the privilege of watching and working with many senior leadership teams over the years. One of the things that I find most interesting is watching to see what happens when there are disagreements in the team. In the worst scenarios decisions are overly personalised, arguments are one sided, and relationships are strained as a result. The best of these teams understand how to handle disagreements whilst strengthening relationships through the process of robust and respectful discussion.
Here at People Perform we understand that developing a clear people strategy for any business comes with its own unique complexity.
Understanding business requirements, gaining buy-in from the board and senior leaders whilst delivering clear results through rigorous project management; all of this whilst balancing short-term delivery and results to keep the business owners and shareholders happy!
One of the things that makes leadership such a tricky subject is that it is all about behaviour. It is about what you do every single day.
What you say matters but if it is undermined by your behaviour it becomes irrelevant.
This is why I am a strong believer in the concept of leadership by example.
It is the behaviour that is demonstrated by the leadership and the behaviour that they tolerate amongst their people that creates the organisation’s culture.
Over the past 15 years of working in the cybersecurity industry I have been privileged to have worked with highly intelligent, experienced and articulate colleagues. My experiences in large scale transformation programmes, workshops, interviews, managing both project and operational teams encompass consulting and internal business roles. These experiences led to interactions with hundreds of individuals where I have become aware of some consistent and humorous behaviour types displayed. These include eight positive and negative types including:
The existence of contrasting ways of managing people - agile and traditional top-down leadership - creates divergent experiences for employees, also sending mixed messages about what the organisation values. The case for all leaders becoming more agile in their thinking and actions ahead of changing structure in any part of an organisation, when introducing agile ways of working.
The two biggest issues faced by organisations today are the changing business context and the changing people context.
The changing business context