With all the changes required to enable a disruptive organization, leaders can sometime get overwhelmed or confused on their role. Recently I had a discussion with a senior executive about how to lead such a disruptive transformation in an organization without creating resistance, ensuring that the whole organization from board members to executives are pulling on the same rope. Not an easy task but here is why I believe a simple 3 step focus – ICE – can help you.
As discussed in earlier blog, imperatives to build a disruptive organization is the MINT Framework. Mindset, Innovation Power, Network of capabilities and Transformational excellence.
But how do you create the right mindset and spark innovation in an organization built on legacy? You inspire. Inspire with a vision, inspire a can-do attitude, you inspire by leading with example, you inspire by celebrating new successes, you inspire with your personal energy.
If your challenge is even bigger that you need to find other sources to inspire the crew because the concrete in the brain already has reached a level that no seed lands on fruitful soil, then take a creative approach to inspire the change. How? Here is an example.
“Take a creative approach to inspire change”
In an earlier role I faced the challenge that my organization was pushing back on operational excellence vs. creativity. We had to become more innovative, more creative but the basics had to be taken care of. I had to find a way to create excellence as foundation for creativity and not as a blocker for creativity. The approach was that I took the whole team to a show from Cirque du Soleil and asked them to look at the show not from entertainment perspective, but from leadership perspective and read between the lines of the show. The artists were showing a level of perfection and pushed the boundaries to a new level. Everyone was fascinated by the show, the perfection and the innovation. I had to ask only one more question at the end of the show. What is different between their approaches to ensure excellence as foundation for innovation than ours? The bridge between emotional and rational was created and the team was inspired about the potential but also humble about the steps to take to enable innovation.
“Excellence in the foundation for creativity”
Now you’ve created the right mindset, how do you leverage the team to spark new innovations, work as a network? You coach them. Let me be very clear. Personally I believe that cascading down a direction through hierarchy and expecting innovation to spark or expecting people to work like a charm like a network is foolish. I also believe that consulting the way we know it is dead. You can only drive sustainable change, igniting a spark, become disruptive if people are 100% attached to the idea, the approach, the vision. You can’t just communicate this in fantastic slides or in documents, you have to get people on the journey. The only way to get them fully aboard is by helping them to feel the path, igniting the energy and passion within your people. Active Coaching is thus a skill, a capability everyone in your organization, especially leaders, must master. Start with yourself and lead by example.
“Only 57% of employee performance is related to on the job information”
You’ve created a fantastic and inspiring vision, you’re coaching your people to get on the journey how do you drive transformational excellence? You engage your people. Employee engagement is thus an absolute critical foundation to drive any change. If your employee engagement is low, if they mistrust the leadership team, if you have constant negative results on employee satisfaction, your transformational excellence, speed of transformation is at risk. In fact the corporate Leadership council demonstrated in a research that only 57% of employee performance is related to on the job information. 43% are related to identification, motivation and inspiration. So if you’re not able to engage your teams, the organization, you are basically missing 43% of the potential.
“Create your master plan to inspire, coach and engage”
Create your master plan to Inspire, Coach and engage your teams, your talents. Your role as leader with ICE is a critical element of disruption. You could have the best innovations, best people, and best business plan. If you’re not inspiring, coaching and engaging your people it will be all (nearly) worthless.