By Peter Thirlby
Let’s be honest. Is your organisation truly connected?
Reflecting upon my career, I don’t think that any organisation I have worked for, created or supported as a client could, hand on heart, say that they were 100% joined up. It is actually impossible, an exponential curve, the more you push for perfection, the more money, time and effort you will waste because you will never reach 100%, but organisations can get close...
The disconnect will always be there to some degree, because we are wonderful human beings with energy, innovation, great ideas and imagination. Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead, into the breach, glorious success or heroic failure.
So, let's start from the premise that your organisation, any organisation, has an element of disconnected-ness, phrases such as ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’, ‘joined up thinking’, ‘information sharing’ in common usage.. Tech has been employed to provide the magic glue to achieve ‘joined-up-ness’ but, under-used CRM systems, seldom visited intranets and other off-target ‘silver’ bullets litter the tech landscape in testament to valiant attempts.
Some organisations, however, are better than others. They have high(er) utilisation of their CRM, clock up decent engagement numbers for their intranets and have successfully implemented apps to run business processes, engage with clients and visualise information. Conversations between the tech and business teams work well, are open and creative. Yes, there are failures, ghosts of failed initiatives may lurk in the shadows, or they may have been humanely removed. Didn’t work, move on.
So why are some organisations better?
Of course, it’s all down to culture, of which a major element is communication.
The most successful organisations that we have seen display common purpose, encourage innovation and have leaders who both listen and understand and encourage others to listen and understand. Indeed, the most successful leaders adopt a coaching style with their teams, whether they are leading a plc or a tech startup in Shoreditch. Coaching is part of their culture.
As a leader taking on the coaching mantel the goal is to enable your key people and teams to realise their fullest potential, allowing them to remove blockers of fear, uncertainty, low esteem, lack of clarity and confidence. It sounds easy, some people are natural coaches, others can achieve that status, generally through being coached to meet this level themselves.
The outcome is to culture shift the organisation to one that supports interdependence, a balanced position where different business functions work together in a synergistic fashion for mutual success.
A key question we often ask in coaching assignments is: “think of a person you have worked for who you really admire, why was that person such an effective leader?”, a common response is that this boss listened to his colleagues, understood their challenges and could effectively work with them to uncover a way forward.
The outcome of adopting a coaching culture is to engage or re-engage different parts of the business.
What is the message/topic: Best organisations have a listening culture
Key takeaways: Organisation and team Leaders use a coaching approach to transition the culture
Audience: Managers of teams, Leaders of people, Individuals who have been promoted into a man management job and or leadership role whereby by position they have many people working for them
Length: 500 words, approx