Managing and leading badly.
Why? We are ‘accidental managers.’ Ann Francke, Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Management Institute [CMI], coined this term to describe generalised ineffectiveness.
Her view is we learn by general modelling of others, often not the best examples. And we are not future fit. The core skills needed for emerging challenges – partnering, networking, agility, managing performance and teams, and smart use of technology – are not strong enough within the wider workforce.
The consequence, inevitably, is a negative organisational impact. Costs rise, stress levels are heightened, productivity falls, innovation disappears and organisations fail. Not surprising then that poor management and leadership are the top reasons why people leave organisations.
So what are organisations to do? Ann and her colleagues at the CMI offer five main proposals:
#1 Stop excluding, start including. Focus on diversity, especially issues around gender differences; align individual and organisational principles and values; develop an ethical framework for decision-making, and remember that happy staff are 12% more productive.
#2 Stop controlling, start coaching. Develop an empowering and trusting management style; focus on quality, and offer opportunities for coaching and mentoring.
#3 Stop confusing, start clarifying. Lack of clarity and confusing objectives equals bad management. Keep communication simple and be clear who makes which decisions. Link your SMART objectives to your strategy and be alert for ‘mission creep’.
#4 Stop resisting change, start embracing it. Develop your organisational agility and flex with the changes and challenges the future brings. Managing change means clarity in communication and effectively using your people skills.
#5 Stop competing, start collaborating. Learn better partnering skills and invest in collaborative practice. Keep your commitments dynamic, not static and experiment with agile techniques. Build teams based on competencies not structure and celebrate failures. Share your learning with those approaches.
Tweet[Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be. - John Wooden]
Any organisation adopting these approaches will see positive change. From an individual, even team perspective I advocate this:
- Embrace diversity, lead ethically, be authentic and happy;
- Learn to coach and practice this;
- Be clearer and make things simpler;
- Embrace and advocate change; and,
- Start collaborating.
However this change is addressed, what is needed for the future is a major transformation of leading and managing in organisations. To achieve better growth and productivity, recruitment and retention of talent, and staff engagement and well-being nothing less will do.
I support this agenda for change and hope you are up for this challenge. I welcome your thoughts and experiences. Please let me know how you progress. If I can be of any assistance, just ask.