Posts Tagged change

Learning, leading and cultural change… the synergies.

This post definitely falls into the arena of “things that make you go hmmm”. 

Story telling has long been used to pass down wisdom, as a tool for learning and to entertain. A good story leads us down a path, it allows us to discover, at predetermined moments, little nuggets of wonder that make us want to follow the path to the end. At the end of the story we are left with a message that the author/or teller wants us to have but the experience we had in getting there was very much our own for we saw it through our eyes, our realities, our emotions…

Recently I had the distinct pleasure of preparing a story as part of an interview process.  The story, at its heart, is about people, it’s about massive change and it’s about learning to do things differently. It’s a story about human frailty and incredible human strength. It’s about the excitement of the possibilities.

In “business speak”  it is a story about selling myself as being the right person to help an organization implement and embed a new leadership framework, of supporting the creation and sustainment of a learning organization and of leading a diverse team to do great things.

The organization that I interviewed with has a clear vision and the change required to support that vision, on the surface, was massive. However as I built my story, as I reflected on what I had done in the past and researched what others had done in similar situations I had an “aha” moment that made my story a very easy one to tell.

A few facts first

  1.  the organization was in the process of moving from a heirachical leadership model to a distributed one.
  2. achieving the vision and the strategic imperatives was going to require a strong cultural change  – the way in which the work got done would have to change
  3. the organization was committed to creating a learning environment (this was not shared up front but it was an assumption I made given that I was applying for a role with “Learning” in the title

I developed my story by asking myself “what does effective/successful” <insert topic> look like. As I asked this question for leading, cultural change and learning it became very apparent that there in fact four key success drivers that are common to all.

Distributed Leadership Model
Cultural Change
Effective Learning
Clear roles and responsibilities. Vision.
Clear definition of end state.
Vision
Clear definition of end state
Clear performance measures
Clear performance measures
Clear performance measures
Resources and support to meet goals
Resources to support the change
Resources to support the application of learning
Feedback and adjustment
Cultural audits and adjustment
Feedback and adjustment

 

First and foremost we need to know where we are heading.  We need a vision or end state that we are driving towards. As leaders, as employees or as human beings we are then able to self manage our alignment to that end state.

Secondly we need to be able to measure our success. Are we moving in the right direction? Are we seeing the changes in the way that we expect? Are we driving the right things?

Thirdly, do we have the right resources and tools in place for people to be successful?

And lastly we need to ensure that we are collecting the feedback we need to ensure that we can make course corrections as we go. This is a critical step for all leaders. Things change, people are unpredictable,  stuff happens – we can not always plan for every possible outcome but we can certainly build in an agile feedback and correction methodology that will allow us to keep steering to the vision.

As I was writing my story it became apparent to me that if these four success drivers were effectively cared for the individual stories of leadership, cultural change and learning would naturally merge to create a rich tale that could drive towards the strategic changes that this, and any other, organization was driving towards.

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