What is going well in your organization?
Have you ever stopped to ponder about what is going well in your organization? We get what we focus on, yet in business we tend to focus on what is not going well. By focusing on what is going well and amplifying it, you can shift your organization more readily than if you were to focus on what is not going well.
For instance, let’s say that you want to increase employee engagement in your organization. Gallup (2018) research has shown that 34% of the workforce is engaged. Do you look at the opposite, that 66% are not engaged and/or are disengaged? Or do you look for people who are engaged and learn from them?
What would be possible if you could amplify what is going well for the 34%? Ask them what is engaging for them. Have them share with the team what is going well for them, how they are creating engagement and feeling fulfilled at work, and what results they are getting therefrom. Others then have an example of what they can aspire towards and understand how they may create more fulfillment and success. When they can understand this, they are at a point of choice and can decide if they want to do this for themselves. Importantly also, as a leader in the organization, you can learn about what is important and, therefrom, put elements in place in the organization that foster engagement (Barrett, 2017; Heath & Heath, 2010; Schein, 2017).
For the example of increasing engagement, engagement typically comes from supporting alignment between what is important to the organization and what is important to the individual team members. If team members can find fulfillment through doing what is important to them – that is, practicing their values – at work, they will more likely bring more of themselves to work and align with the organization. This requires the organization to be clear on its vision and values so that people know what they can align with.
Be careful however. If you state the organization’s values, be prepared to walk the talk. People need to know the values, the organization’s definition of those values, and what behaviours are related to practicing these values. They also need to see leaders modeling these behaviours (Brown, 2018; Kouzes &Posner, 2012). They need to see that leaders are serious about the use of these values as they navigate towards their vision and related goals. They also need support – programs, processes, procedures, feed forward (Goldsmith, 2015) and rewards – that support the use of the desired behaviours.
What is going well in your organization? What would be possible if you could amplify that within the organization? Who is doing this well and would be willing to champion it? What are your organizational vision and values? How are these modelled? How will amplifying what is going well be supported, measured, and rewarded so that you can progress towards your vision?
I welcome a dialogue with you about this. I have 3 complimentary, 30-minute telephone times available for the month of August. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a time for us to explore how this may benefit your leadership and organization?
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Barrett, R. (2017). The Values-Driven Organization
Brown, B. (2018). Dare to Lead
Gallup. (August 2018). https://news.gallup.com/poll/241649/employee-engagement-rise.aspx
Goldsmith, M. (October 2015) https://www.marshallgoldsmith.com/articles/try-feedforward-instead-feedback/
Heath, C., and Heath, D. (2010). Switch
Kouzes, J., and Posner, B. (2012). The Leadership Challenge
Schein, E. (2017). Organizational Culture and Leadership (5th edition)