Have you heard the phrase … “the race is often won or lost before it starts”? Starting this weekend, we will witness several weeks of races and contests of many different varieties as the 2016 Olympics finally arrives in Brazil. This phrase might even apply to the entire Olympics with as much controversy, uncertainty and potential drama that could unfold. Whether your competitive landscape is 100 meters swimming or swimming with the corporate sharks on Main Street, there is one thing that is definitely true … MINDSET MATTERS.Read More
Welcome to our forum for quick thoughts, deep concepts, news flashes and everything in between related to agility.
This timeless, succinct definition of leadership is one of the many pearls of wisdom Warren Bennis has shared over the years. No doubt, there are many dimensions, skills and nuances about leadership inspiration, intelligence, skills and insights packed into the phrase and required to “translate vision into reality”. Most great leaders that I have observed have a noticeably superior skill at articulating, in very authentic manner, their vision for the enterprise and what it means for all of us in real, tangible and inclusive ways. The truly extraordinary leaders also have the situational intelligence to help each team recognize their role in the success equation, feel the gravitas of their contribution and create the unity of focused, fast and flexible teams throughout the organization. These are some of the central elements in our notion of Leadership Agility … which FORBES declared as the “defining ingredient in next generation leadership”.
THE BIG QUESTION … is how you can tell if your leaders are having meaningful IMPACT with their organizations and whether there is any correlation between the capabilities of your leaders and the competitive capabilities displayed by your business teams, divisions or the overall enterprise? Many of our clients appreciate being able to draw this correlation when they conduct both the ORGANIZATIONAL AGILITY PROFILE (OAP) and our LEADERSHIP AGILITY PROFILE 360 (LAP). Both of these assessments provide multi-rater summary perspectives to assess critical organizational and leadership behaviors using our research-based agility framework … THE AGILE MODEL®.
Below is a sample AGILITY HEATMAP that is one of the diagnostic tools we use in our Organizational Agility Profile. You can see how the HEATMAP highlights key differences between business units, job levels as well as between functions, company tenure, geographic regions and other organizational dimensions.
The perspective becomes even more insightful as leaders can compare their own Leadership Agility Profile as well as the individual profiles of their leadership teams in comparison to the overall profile of the business unit or function. We tend to find high correlations in areas like decision-making, engagement and with bias for action and innovation.
Importantly, it enables a very potent conversation about the relationship of individual capabilities in agile leadership and the corresponding team or organizational profile. Here is a sample LAP SPYDERGRAM that is one of the illustrations in our LAP 360 report. Whether using our tools or other quality instruments, it is important to bridge the conversation between leadership and organizational impact. It is often very hard because of the revolving door and movement of leaders in and out or across organizations.
Each of the 15 Agile Capabilities leads to real and meaningful business building outcomes. Having just recently gone in for my annual physical, I had many diverse diagnostic and insightful assessments about my overall health … blood pressure, EKG, blood work along with the occasional x-ray as needed. As my doc reviewed all of these findings with me, I got a clear picture of my overall health and indications of the areas where I needed to pay more attention.
In many respects, that is what our OAP and LAP does for our clients when part of a regular “check-up” … annually or bi-annually to check in on the organizational health and agility drivers. With all the health consciousness dominating our personal lives – makes good sense to apply some of the same good thinking to our organizations and leaders. I would love to get your thoughts and perspectives also – what is working for you?
My children love the water. They swim, they splash, they laugh.
My children, like most children, are fast. They dart, they scurry, they hide.
Therefore, when my children encounter water, it can be an exhausting experience for my wife and me. We must be vigilant.
The pool we frequent has lifeguards. But their vigilance will never match mine.
Unless, of course, we’re talking aboutRead More
The Gig Economy is a Digital Disruption Challenge for CHROs
The era of digital disruption for Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) is often referred to as the Gig Economy (AKA -- contingent work, sharing economy, agile talent, non-traditional work relationships, or alternate forms of employment) where Uber and Airbnb have received most of the attention from the press. Other Gig Economy “digital disruptors” include Lyft (ride sharing), UpCounsel (legal experts), Instacart (shopping and delivery), and TaskRabbit (odd jobs).
The rapidly accelerating growth of the Gig Economy represents one of the most significant and all-encompassing challenges faced by human resources professionals. The fundamental question is whether human resources can demonstrate the agility to lead the change in culture, programs, processes, and policies originally designed for work completed by full-time employees to a new era whenRead More
“Undercommunicating the vision by a factor of ten” is one of the reasons why organizational transformation efforts fail according to John Kotter, a prolific writer on various facets of leadership and organizational change and professor emeritus at the Harvard Business School (Kotter, 1995: 63).
And as we all know—and as Kotter acknowledged—“Communication comes in both words and deeds, and the latter are often the most powerful form” (Kotter, 1995: 64).
Namely, actions speak louder than words.
So if you want to communicate change in your organization,Read More
It’s easy to fall into patterns and comfortable routines.
Some of those are great. Take, for example, dental hygiene. Or strength training.
But if our routines too often keep us around the same people, we run the risk of stagnating. It’s even worse if we’re isolated—or insulated, depending on how you look at it—from other ideas.
That’s one reason why I enjoy professional conferences. Even if you’re around people in a similar area of expertise or interest, you’ll learn a great deal from their different perspectives and experiences.
Last week, I spent a few days at the annual conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) in Anaheim, Calif. And in between all of theRead More
In four weeks from today, I’ll be enjoying the company of thousands of organizational psychologists at this year’s annual conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) in Anaheim, Calif. This is a fun-loving crowd. It’s probably also one of the few crowds in which you’ll find passionate debates about topics such as psychometrics, leadership assessments or classical test theory.
At last year’s conference, in fact, a structured debate took place on the topic of performance appraisals. Yes, you read that correctly.Read More
In a recent post and in some of my research, I’ve been exploring the role that human resources (HR) plays in organizational change. This includes both HR as a function and HR professionals themselves as they get involved (either proactively or reactively) in change efforts.
And there’s one key aspect of organizational change that I think is helpful for HR people to consider.Read More
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, unwittingly created a weapon of mass destruction for the U.S. military when his company created PowerPoint. It can be a useful tool for presentations, but within the U.S. military it has become a ubiquitous technology and communication format that structures much of what gets done, particularly for staff officers.
The proliferation of PowerPoint within the U.S. armed forces is nothing new, and its presence is no surprise to those of us who have served within it. But one could argue that its use is so pervasive that it even structures how people think and how they make decisions.
So in some ways, Microsoft PowerPoint is the deadliest weapon in the U.S. military’s arsenal. The question, though,Read More
Here are a few items of new agility-related research that popped up on our radar this week.
Research Report: Assessing Leadership Potential
By: Iris Wong
The assessment of leadership potential is a topic of much interest and relevance in the Singapore Public Service, especially with the increasing recognition that the process of identifying of leadership potential can have an extensive and long-lasting impact on Public Service leadership. Appropriate identification of leadership potential in the Public Service is thus essential towards surviving and thriving in a changing environment. This paper integrates and consolidates existing frameworks of leadership potential, and utilises ILOD’s philosophy of leadership and leadership development to offer a perspective of leadership potential in the Singapore Public Service.Read More
Is human resources (HR) the organizational function that must lead when dealing with organizational change?
Or is managing change a fundamental leadership competency that a wide array of people from every function should have or develop? If that’s the case, should HR professionals themselves try to be change agents?
What works best in organizations that are dealing with a particularly turbulent business environment?
These are a few of the questions that I had the pleasure of discussing last week in a lively conversation in Cincinnati withRead More
Recently, I did something that changed the world. It might have been an encouraging word, a provocative question, a smile.
But honestly, I have no idea what it was.
Recently, you did something that changed the world. It might have been an offer to help, an attentive ear, a cup of coffee.
But you, like me, probably don’t know exactly what you did either.
You see, everything we do can eitherRead More
We are creatures of habit. We continually seek—or create—routines. The structures of our days and our weeks give us predictability, and that makes us comfortable.
None of this is inherently bad. In fact, routines and habits let us free our minds to work on other, more complex problems. If we had to think actively about everything in our day, deliberately evaluating every decision from the time we roll out of bed until we return to the pillow, we’d be overwhelmed.
What does this have to do with agility, human resources, leadership and change?
At a time when many Americans are dissatisfied with government performance and fewer than 40 percent view either of the two major political parties as favorable,[i] the words “agility” and “Washington” don’t seem to fit well together.
But what about a different Washington—George, not D.C.?Read More