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            [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_22612" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Jack Welch was CEO of GE for 20 years. In a changing world, is he still the model for leadership? Jack Welch was CEO of GE for 20 years. In a changing world, is he still the model for leadership?[/caption]

 

When discussing the challenges facing business leaders it seems almost de rigeur nowadays to talk about the level of change organisations are facing.

The challenge to equip leaders to build the future in these uncertain times is certainly daunting, with seismic geopolitical shifts (in this context the Trump administration seems to be the gift that keeps on giving), disruptive technological change (how many of us even fully understand the implications of bitcoin, blockchain and whatever new technology will be unleashed on us next) and even severe climate and weather events.

The very ubiquitous nature of these challenges may however inure us to their real potential as both a threat and an opportunity to affect a true paradigm shift in how we view leadership, a classic case of an issue being undervalued through overuse.

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The Concept of Leadership

From the perspective of the 21st century the development of our concept of leadership is a little clearer than it may have been in the past.  From this remove we can see how the largely male, heroic models of leadership have greatly influenced the literature and teaching in this field.

The business leaders who are most often cited, Jack Welch, Steve Jobs etc. are broadly from a similar mould and the models of leadership, with the exception of Servant Leadership (as a servant leader you put the needs of others, particularly team members, before you even consider your own, but how many executives really model themselves on this type of leadership?) extol an assertive, confident, out-going and mainly extroverted style.

In fact, the Myers Briggs type most associated with leadership is the ENTJ (extraversion, intuition, thinking, judgment), which is described as the ‘general’, again exposing the military underpinnings of the leadership canon. We can clearly see this bias in the continuing popularity of books like Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends and influence people”, the pseudoscience of NLP and programmes that teach executives how to create the right ‘impression’.

Given the genesis of the leadership concept it is understandable that people might misconstrue the notion of leadership presence as the ability to impose oneself (and influence people), but there is real hope that we are about to experience a genuine shift in the paradigm.

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Unhappy Influencers

[caption id="attachment_22617" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Richard Boyatzis studied how leaders influence those around them Richard Boyatzis studied how leaders influence those around them and how that effected their lives and careers[/caption]

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Recent research conducted by Richard Boyatzis and colleagues from Case Western Reserve University examined the relationship between the extent to which people adopted an ‘influencing’ leadership style and their later satisfaction with both their careers and their life in general.  Interestingly they found a very strong negative correlation between these factors, i.e. the more people adopted an influence style the less satisfied they were with their careers and lives.

Boyatzis and colleagues did not have an objective measure of career success, so one could still argue that the ‘influencers’ did better in their careers, but Boyatzis’ research does tell us that irrespective on how well an outsider might judge your career progress, the ‘influencers’ are less happy about their situation.  The researchers concluded that those who adopt an influencing style are pushing on their environment and trying to get more from others, e.g. they tend to show a high need to control social situations.

The crux of the problem, especially in the context of a VUCA world, is that pushing on or trying to control an environment that is in a constant state of flux, verging on chaos is unlikely to be very effective and will certainly lead to people being highly dissatisfied and unhappy in their work and indeed their lives.

Now would be the perfect time for the leadership movement to learn the lessons of evolutionary psychology that success in a changing environment falls to the most adaptable, those who can outlearn their competition.

 

The Adaptable Generation

This will require a cadre of new leaders who are less ego-identified with success and winning, who don’t see problems as opportunities to impose themselves and demonstrate mastery of the environment.

Rather we will see the emergence of leaders who can go with the flow, adapt to new realities quickly, work through and with others as either leader or follower and pivot gracefully as cherished paradigms fall away and hard-earned experience proves ineffective as a guide to new problems.

There is no doubt that the idea of women in leadership is in the current zeitgeist and may or may not create a fundamental shift in how we see leadership in the future.  I am however hopeful, that as the new model emerges we will see less emphasis on the old machismo of the ability to impose oneself on others and on the environment and more emphasis on the willingness to adapt, change and ‘flow’ with emerging realities.

Bruce Lee used to tell his students to ‘be like water’, perhaps that is not a bad metaphor for what leaders will need to become.

 

imi-colm-foster-810Dr Colm Foster is Director of Executive Education at the Irish Management Institute. He has acted as a leadership development consultant to organisations in the US, Asia and Ireland, particularly specialising in Emotional Intelligence.

The next IMI Diploma in Leadership starts on 2nd May, 2018.
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            [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_23842" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Becoming a manager is one of the big life steps as a professional (Picture Source) Becoming a manager is one of the big life steps as a professional (Picture Source)[/caption]

 

You’re there. You got the promotion that you wanted. You are now a manager, team leader or supervisor. Congratulations. You enter your new role full of excitement, maybe a bit apprehensive and full of ideas of what you will do.

However, as you settle into the role and your comfort zone is stretched fears and doubts start to creep in. This is normal. You are expected to perform at a different level and to use skills that you have limited experience and comfort of using. You need to work differently. This is a new beginning. Accept the challenge and follow these steps to help you manage the transition. . 1. Clarify your role, responsibilities and priorities You are in a new role and it is important that you have clarity of what is expected of you in this role. Organise a time when you can sit down with your manager and invest in a focused discussion to: • Get a clear understanding of what is expected and not expected of you • Know what success looks like and what you will be measured against • Agree on what you need to do and what you need to let go off • Agree on your priorities, tasks you must do and those to delegate to others • Determine who you need to build relationships with, both inside and outside of the organisation • Develop a clear map of the landscape you will be working in • Create a plan for your next 100 days A common mistake that new managers make is wanting to hold on to what they know, are comfortable with and good at (i.e. their previous job). . 2. Develop your personal development plan Determine the skills, behaviours, knowledge and approach you need to increase your effectiveness in the role. A development plan will give you direction, focus and confidence to navigate this new landscape. • Create a list of skills, behaviours, knowledge that you need • Describe what effective means for each one • Determine where you are on the effectiveness scale, get feedback from your manager and from others who know you; complete a profiling tool that will provide you with information and be honest with yourself • Ask yourself how can I deliver at this required level consistently? • Prioritise areas to develop • Agree on different learning approaches, examples include attending a training programme for new managers, coaching, mentoring, regular feedback • Action it and do All true managers and leaders are committed to a process of self-discovery and continual learning throughout their lives. . 3. Meet with your team and each team member individually This is new and different for your team members too. They have their questions, concerns, fears. Organise a meeting with your team to share and discuss how you will work together as a team: • Listen to them to understand and acknowledge their concerns and needs • Listen to learn what will help support them and create the right conditions to enhance their engagement • Listen to their ideas, thoughts and challenges. Don’t make the mistake of coming in and trying to change the way things have been done immediately. This may lead to resentment. Organise one-to-one meetings with each team member. • Establish boundaries (this is important particularly if you were previously peers/friends and now you are the manager) • Find out what each person likes and dislikes, their strengths, their needs, their challenges • Ask what they need from you as their manager • Be fair and consistent . 4. Communicate and Build Rapport Communicate and build rapport with people at all levels within the organisation. Treat each conversation as a learning opportunity: • What can I learn from them today? • What hadn’t I seen or considered? • What do I know that I can share that will benefit or support them in their role? Build networks at all levels. This will help you build trust and respect. . 5. Be open to learn Mishaps will happen, errors will be made, you will get stuck and not know the answers, you will be outside of your comfort zone. Reframe all of these as learning opportunities. Do not make the mistake of going back into your comfort zone and do the jobs that you know how to do and are comfortable doing. If you do, the learning opportunity will have passed you by. The most effective leader is the one who is able to be vulnerable and swallow their pride: • Acknowledge what you don’t know • Acknowledge your discomfort and that this is a learning opportunity for you • Allow yourself to be vulnerable and ask for help and support • Update your development regularly so that you can see, feel and measure the progress you are making each step along the way As Wayne Gretzky (hockey player) said: “You miss 100% of shots you don’t take”. Have the courage to take the risk and ask yourself what can I learn from this?

dymphna-ormondDymphna Ormond is an IMI associate who teaches on Front Line Management and Essential Skills of Management programmes.  Dymphna has over 14 years of experience designing and delivering training that engages, challenges and stimulates the thinking of participants. Her areas of expertise and interest are in employee engagement, leadership and management skills, presenting and communicating with impact.

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The American economist Robert Shiller is a Nobel laureate for several reasons.

One of them is the cyclically adjusted price earnings (Cape) ratio. Shiller’s device overcomes a serious defect in the more conventionally used price to earnings (PE) ratio which is often used to measure quickly whether a share is relatively expensive or cheap.The problem with the conventional PE ratio is that if earnings or profits are cyclically inflated, then even an inflated share price can be made to look reasonable.  Shiller’s elegant answer to this problem was to discard annual earnings as the “E” or earnings figure and to replace it with a measure of cyclically adjusted earnings. In order to generate a measure of corporate earnings that reflected the whole cycle, rather than risk being deceived by using cyclical peak earnings, Shiller opted to use average earnings from the previous decade instead. By comparing today’s share price to average earnings over the previous decade — rather than just the earnings of the past 12 months — the risk that one may be misled by a temporarily elevated level of earnings is significantly reduced. The advantage of using Cape as a measure of value is that it provides a useful predictor of future equity returns, at least when one uses it to measure value across an entire national stock market. The best returns from investing in the US stock market were made in the past after its Cape had sunk to levels of 10 or lower. This happened, for example, in the 15 years after 1932, when the Cape hit 6, and 1982, when it hit 8. Conversely, the worst returns have been made after the Cape has peaked above 25. That happened after 1929, when the Cape reached 30, and 2000, when it hit 44. Today the US Cape is 25.5 and falling. That’s a medium-term equity market warning. So is Ireland’s elevated Cape of 27.4. Those looking for long-term equity bargains might look at the markets in Brazil (Cape of 7.4), Poland (9.1) or the Czech Republic (9.4). And, if you want a bargain and have a stomach for risk, you can try Russia, where the Cape is a measly 4.6.
IMI . Picture Conor McCabe Photography.
Cormac Lucey is the Programme Director of the IMI Diploma in Business Finance. Cormac is a Financial Services Consultant and Contractor who has previously worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Rabobank Frankfurt and the Department of Justice. 
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Touching back on my last blog I mentioned that culture needs to become a strategic business priority (like sales, profit, etc.) and not just a HR priority.

boat with leader Source: www.clubsolutionsmagazine.com

Leadership teams can start the creation of high performance cultures by implementing the following 6 steps:

1. Establish a sense of urgency

They need to make it clear that the current culture needs to change, articulate the vision and business case, and describe the opportunity (as John P. Kotter states in his book The 8-Step Process for Leading Change) in a way that appeals to the hearts and minds of people.

2. Develop a set of strategic beliefs

These are the beliefs senior executives have about their organisation’s environment that enables shaping business strategy e.g. Dell believed that customers would, if the price was right, buy computers from a catalogue rather than go to computer stores as the conventional wisdom dictated they would. They created a $7 billion business.

3. Develop a set of values

Values enable the organisation to act on its strategic beliefs and implement their strategy the right way. Values shape the culture of an organisation, define its character and serve as a foundation in how people act and make decisions. Dell’s values supporting its strategy and strategic beliefs include: Delivering results that make a positive difference; leading with openness and optimism and winning with integrity.

4. Capitalise on quick wins

Capitalize on and honour your cultural strengths and act quickly on any critical behaviour changes required.

5. Challenge those norms that get on the way of high performance

Norms are informal guidelines about what is considered normal (what is correct or incorrect) behaviour in a particular situation. Peer pressure to conform to team norms is a powerful influencer on people’s behaviour, and it is often a major barrier affecting change. It is always easier to go along with the norm than trying to change it…. Common samples of negative norms in some organisations: Perception that it is ok to yell at people, ignore people’s opinions, etc.

6. Role model and recognise the desired behaviours

As Gandhi wonderfully put it “Be the change you want to see in the world”. This empowers action and helps embed the desired culture you are trying to create. Behaviour is a function of its consequences. Behaviour that results in pleasant consequences is more likely to be repeated, and behaviour that results in unpleasant consequences is less likely to be repeated. According to B. F. Skinner and reinforcement theory “future behavioural choices are affected by the consequences of earlier behaviours”. The argument is clear; if you want people to be brave and challenge the status quo, you shouldn’t make them feel awkward or like difficult employees when they do. Furthermore, if want people to contribute at meetings make sure you actively listen to them and act on their suggestions and ideas.

Caution:

On his famous article “On the folly of rewarding A while hoping for B” Steven Kerr argues that the way in which we reward and recognise people doesn’t always deliver the desired results. We all have being in situations where we are told to plan for long-term growth yet we are rewarded purely on quarterly earnings; we are asked to be a team player and are rewarded solely on our individual efforts; we are told that the way in which results are achieved is important and yet we promote people who achieve results the wrong / in a Machiavellian way. A friend of mine was recently at a hospital and he complained to the ward manager about the doctor’s bad manners and rudeness. The answer he got was “do you want to be treated by the best heart doctor in the country or a not so good doctor but with a really nice bed manner?”.

My argument is why can’t we have both?

 
Pedro3-SHRM.jpg
Pedro Angulo is the Programme Director of the IMI Diploma in Strategic HR Management starting on 16th November 2016. Pedro is an Organisational Effectiveness Business Partner in AIB and Chairperson of the Irish EMCC (European Mentoring and Coaching Council). He is a motivational speaker and regular presenter at HR, coaching, change and business conferences / events. _____________________________________ [post_title] => 6 Steps to start the creation of high performance cultures [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 6-strategies-start-creation-high-performance-cultures [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-08 09:57:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-08 09:57:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=12562 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) )
IMI Insights

IMI Insights

15th Oct 2019

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6 Steps to start the creation of high performance cultures

The Customer Journey in the Age of Distraction

What is the CEO’s role when it comes to the customer journey?

Customers are distracted. Too much noise and too much information, it’s getting harder for organisation’s to provide a smooth customer experience in this age of distraction. For CEOs, this requires a whole re-imagining of their own role that brings them away from spreadsheets and back into the customer’s world.

In these IMI Insights, we explore the changing role of the CEO within the customer journey, and how the customer journey itself is evolving. We find out why individual touch-points are no longer a good measurement for looking at the customer journey as a whole, and explore advice on how to begin re-orientating your company towards its most important stakeholder – the customer.


Download IMI Insight ‘The Customer Journey in the Age of Distraction