Change your destination
Change your destination – just change it. This can happen in more ways than one.
Give your people the freedom to work from a place that plays to their strengths, put your roots as an organisation in a place that inspires and attracts people, set your goals to achieve a destination that you haven’t been to before.
Get off the beaten track, discover the undiscovered location – if it hasn’t got commuter links, make them. Use the enormous savings you make from not paying for over-priced, over-crammed offices to create alternative places of work with alternative models of work. Maybe it’s one place, maybe it’s more than one, maybe it’s by the seaside, maybe it’s in the countryside. The UK, in particular, is tiny compared to many countries, it is not that difficult to get ‘out there’ if you really want to.
Your workspace speaks volumes about your ethos and desire to embrace and care about your people.
Get off the beaten track and create a destination workspace.
If you are a CEO, CIO, CFO, COO, Director, Manager or generally anyone with some power, influence or responsibility and have the desire and guts to see things done differently, then please use your influence to transform your organisation and try giving this a go.
Put your employees names in a hat (ok it may not be practical to do that for all employees depending on your size, geographical layout, etc so take a pragmatic approach to this exercise), pull out 15-20 names at random. Employ an experienced, high-energy and alternative external facilitator. Get yourselves in a room with a view or in a place with a view (weather dependent) for a few hours. Re-think your goals and ‘raison d’etre’ as an organisation. Do not allow constraints or boundaries, they can come later. Just allow yourselves to create with people who may a) not have worked together before b) not have been encouraged to create before and c) not ever have experienced being empowered within the organisation before.
See what comes out of the process. You might just surprise yourselves.
Be a team
“No man is an island” This phrase expresses the idea that human beings do badly when isolated from others and need to be part of a community in order to thrive. Leaders can often be isolated – sometimes by choice, sometimes by circumstances, and sometimes because people just don’t get to know them as they are not always accessible.
For anyone in a position of leadership your challenge today is to take ‘all of you to work’ and share that with your employees. Do they know your passions, your dislikes, anything about your life outside of your professional persona? Do they understand that you have great strengths but also areas you need help with? Get out there, talk to people, eat lunch with them, have a conversation, share stories, work next to them – find your common ground. Bringing people together achieves far more than the individual parts – let your employees know that you are human too, let them in.
You might just be surprised by what you can achieve together.
Share your challenges
Be honest with your employees, share your top 3 current management challenges, with everyone. Ask them to feedback on 3 areas:
- Ideas they may have on how to address the challenges.
- What they think would be required to deliver the solutions.
- If their solution is progressed would they like to play a key role in taking it forward?
Ask everyone in the organisation no matter what their role level. Creativity transcends boundaries. You might just find what you seek.
Answer the questions
Three great questions for an organisation to be able to answer, succinctly, and clearly.
- What product would we be really proud of, that would create real value for people?
- Can we do it?
- If not, why not?
Test your agility
The critical test for how agile and open to change your organisation really is:
- How many conversations do you need to have in order to do something differently?
- How accessible are resources and funding for new ideas?
- How many steps does it take to test and implement a new idea?
- When you present your new ideas, how many negative, positive or constructive questions/ comments do you receive?
- What percentage of your meetings on new ideas are spent on persuading, developing, testing, or implementing?
In all honestly, I see lots of organisations philosophising about new concepts, being agile, and embracing change but it remains EXCEPTIONAL to see those that actually ‘walk the talk’.