Taking an Organizational View of Time Management
Have you come to the realization that ineffective time management is not just an outdated concept for individual employees, but instead a very real barrier to achieving your organization’s strategic priorities? Are you ready to hear what the latest research on this age-old problem has to offer?
A recent article from McKinsey, entitled Making Time Management the Organization’s Priority, could be a game changer for your leadership team. They begin with compelling statistics from their recent global study, which boil down to the fact almost 50 percent of executives are saying they are not spending enough time on strategic priorities.
So, what new solutions can be offered? Here are McKinsey’s suggestions:
- Have a time leadership budget – and a proper process for allocating it
- Think about time when you introduce organizational change
- Ensure that individuals routinely measure and manage their time
- Refine the master calendar
- Provide high-quality administrative support
There are some very compelling arguments here for making time management an organizational priority, and some very thoughtful remedies put forward. It is time to get time management back on your side!
To read the full article, you can go to https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/making-time-management-the-organizations-priority
Using Symbolic Actions to Signal Changing Expectations
Are you grappling with the mammoth task of cultural transformation in your organization? Or are you looking at smaller scale changes, but still not feeling you have found just the right approach?
As you capture the last few days of summer, we thought it might be fun to look at tackling this heavy subject with something on the lighter side. In their Leadership & Organization Blog, McKinsey & Company recently had a post entitled Elephant in the room: making a culture transformation stick with symbolic actions. As you might imagine, they describe the successful use of toy elephants by a leadership team to help employees get comfortable with the candid conversations they felt would be necessary to bring about change.
There is a widely held view, and it is reiterated here, that the leaders within an organization should choose a few symbolic actions to signal that cultural expectations are changing. Putting a rubber elephant on the table is that kind of symbolic action – it lets people know that the difficult topic at hand will be tackled, not left unaddressed.
As you consider the use of symbolic actions in your own organization, McKinsey offers three simple steps for you to follow:
- Define the purpose of and audience for potential symbolic actions.
- Brainstorm symbolic actions,
- Review and prioritize ideas.
This article is fun to read, but it also makes some very valuable points. It might be just what you need to get an elephant or two off your boardroom table.
To read the full article, you can go to https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/the-organization-blog/elephant-in-the-room-making-a-culture-transformation-stick-with-symbolic-actions
Taking the Art of Persuasion to a Higher Level
How often would you say you reflect on your effectiveness as a leader or salesperson or boss? When you do, do you find yourself feeling you could achieve much more if you could just reach people at a deeper level?
If you think about it, things that are truly timeless and last through the ages, probably do so for a reason. The art of persuasion is one of those things. Going all the way back to the time of Aristotle, and that’s more than 2,000 years ago, we find that he created a formula for mastering the art of persuasion in his work entitled Rhetoric. Persuasion and influence continue to be studied to this day and, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review entitled The Art of Persuasion Hasn’t Changed in 2,000 Years, some economists believe that persuasion is responsible for generating one-quarter or more of America’s national income.
So, what was Aristotle’s formula for mastering persuasion? It is presented in the following five rhetorical devices:
- Ethos or Character – allow your audience to gain insight into your credibility
- Logos or Reason – make a logical appeal to reason, show why they should care about your idea
- Pathos or Emotion – move people to action through emotions
- Metaphor – clarify your idea by bringing in something familiar
- Brevity – there are limits to what people can absorb, so start with your strongest point!
I highly recommend this article … and don’t think it should take too much persuading to get you to read it.
To read the full article, you can go to https://hbr.org/2019/07/the-art-of-persuasion-hasnt-changed-in-2000-years
Building Blocks of Transformation
Have you noticed the level of uncertainty in the market seems to be increasing? Are you finding more and more reasons to be nervous about the future? Do you question whether or not your organization is ready to meet the challenge?
Over the past six months, we have seen more and more senior leaders begin to seriously question the path their organization is on. It seems as though they have begun to recognize that without major, transformational change, their organization may not be able to seize the emerging opportunities which shifts in the market provide.
Just like you, they have four choices.
- Ignore the need for change
- Hunker down and hope for the best
- Cut back on all costs to conserve cash
- Lean in and drive change deep
The article below from Strategy + Business, entitled The Four Building Blocks of Transformation, speaks to option number four, and the way in which successful transformation can be navigated. Rightfully, they call out just how important driving cultural change is to the success of any change process. In our experience, too many leaders are afraid to address the cultural aspects of change. They try to find a soft, gentle middle path where they don’t have to make the hard calls and difficult choices, and deal head on with the toughest part of the change equation – the people and their mindsets, attitudes and beliefs.
To read the full article, you can go to https://www.strategy-business.com/article/The-Four-Building-Blocks-of-Transformation?gko=5a1aa
Staring Down the Change Monster
Have you noticed how many things are changing all around you? Have you noticed how the pace of change is picking up speed and seems more unpredictable than ever before? Have you ever worried you and your organization are not going to be able to change fast enough to keep up?
Everywhere we look, leaders seem to be struggling with what to do about change (not to mention its bigger, badder, bolder brother called transformation). In many cases, leaders don’t seem to understand there is a progressive playbook they could have been using all along to help them succeed. Instead, far too many are trying to put the brakes on change in a desperate effort to slow it down or even worse, covering their eyes and hoping it all just goes away.
We get it. Change is a challenge but the fact of the matter is, all progress comes from change.
In our view, successful change begins with a change in mindset. It starts between the ears and there are four things we believe are the keys to leading change.
- The ability to think in the future tense
- The capacity to connect the dots and paint a vivid picture of the future
- The courage to confront the cynics, victims and bystanders and not them highjack the organization
- The willingness to identify and harness the change ambassadors and put them to work in the trenches
Frankly – we need leaders fit for the times and so we have created an online Change Leadership Course.
Just click here.
Do you worry about how many people in your organization care enough to tell the truth? Are you worried about people who should be speaking up, and aren’t doing just that when it really matters?
As part of our philosophy and approach to leadership, we have always believed the worst truth is better than the best lie. We also understand not all people have the courage to speak up when they should, especially to their boss and other senior leaders.
When several people are thinking the same thing and no one speaks up, that is what is called an open secret, and open secrets can be toxic and are almost always damaging. The truth is, right now within your company open secrets exist, and not dealing with them could put your entire organization in jeopardy.
This was the topic of an excellent piece in HBR back in January 2019, and it seems to become ever more important as time goes along. In fact, the many valuable points raised in this article should be reviewed by senior leaders on an ongoing basis.
Leaders should understand the reasons people:
- Choose to be bystanders,
- Expect others to stand up, or
- Diffuse responsibility.
You might want to pause and try to figure out exactly why your people, especially those on the front lines, are opting out of the communication, action and accountability loop, and becoming silent co-conspirators in the plot to hide valuable insights from senior leaders.
To read the full article, you can go to https://hbr.org/2019/01/why-open-secrets-exist-in-organizations