When Line Managers lack the hard skills of process design and implementation, the capacity to initiate changes in procedure, or the ability to write sound policy, and instead try to *lead* their team to success by hiring or co-opting other managers in the business to solve their problems, an engine of chaos is created.
Structural and qualitative criteria can be applied in analysing employee interactions to answer: Are the people in my team effective informal leaders or merely highly social people building their brand?
Strengthened organisational hierarchies can be a path out of the mire of evermore specialised roles and excessively collaborative work environments. However, even with an effective and open hierarchy in place, informal leadership is critical to organisational efficiency and success.
Going against the grain may make people feel unsafe, yet it is through this process that true psychological safety is ultimately achieved — because people feel safe to feel unsafe and to challenge the status quo.
By employing leaders capable of creating an AI framework — because they are awake and aware to the unintended effects of AI on social well-being, data integrity and privacy, diversity, and governance — organisations seeking to transform into being AI-first are well positioned to engage in trustworthy and responsible AI use.
As our adaptability mindset strengthens, resilience will also improve because individuals and teams are better equipped to absorb shocks today and use the energy to bounce forward into sustainable growth tomorrow.
When leadership is exerted in this form, organisations become increasingly accountable, agile, and autonomous — all the while operating at scale. At this point, an organisation can truly be described as 'purpose-driven' — a genuinely awesome competitive advantage.
Once the capability gap is closed, instead of feeling fear and frustration about not knowing how to perform a role or achieve an outcome, staff are empowered to deliver value and be rewarded for their achievement.
By tackling some of the common problems, teams and organisations will be well placed to achieve aspirational efficiency objectives. When this happens, we can get one of those virtuous circles in which the approach sticks and compounds over the years.
By adopting this approach, we will not only end up writing good, albeit not perfect, OKRs, but also take that vital step in the practice of management; taking individuals or teams outside their zone of comfort to learn, improve, and explore — ultimately achieving meaningful transformation that unlocks value for the organisation.
No fixed set of actions can define, measure, or achieve success. Thus, trying to make transformation a tick box affair is to setup an organisation for failure. This is because successful transformation is as much about the process as it is about the outcome.
Providing more structure, not less, in both the daily tasks of employees and their perceptions about career pathways, offers the strongest viable path to improved staff retention and higher team performance.
Given the obvious dichotomy in this approach to work generations, the practical implications for management are that the leadership theories many have encountered will struggle to provide solutions when it comes to developing coherent teams.
Sit with ambiguity, but be aware of when a seemingly circular conversation is enhancing a definitional understanding and when it is just a group of individuals unable to comprehend ambiguity hoping that a drawn out conversation will nail down the problem.
Those who rise to the top jobs, do so not because they are better leaders or have fewer blots on their copybook — it is because they are better able to shrug off criticism and weather the blistering attacks that are directed at all holders of public office.
The notion that the 'significant symbols,' found in the harmony between the projected and received understanding of the gesture which transports meaning between employee and manager, are not fixed, but are subject to continual recreation allowing infinite flexibility when assessing project planning.