It's always good to see wide ranging and deep reaching commissioned reports into the field in which you specialise, to provide the statistics and data required to set the scene in the markets you serve. So it was with enthusiasm we received this link and related 60 page document (attached below) from the CMI today, providing an outlook from 2014 to 2020 in respect to the practical development of Leaders and Managers. http://bit.ly/1nBWKrf
There are a tonne of great sound-bytes, graphs, measurements, analysis structures and quotes from some significant players from the largest of organisations scattered throughout this report, using popular language in the markets of 'leadership, performance and change'. This document also offers a small glimpse into the language of the future, with the 3 key terms promoted being 'Purpose, People & Potential'.
The gravity and complexity of these words will of course be apparent to anyone who already understands the depth which comes with them. To consider their depth a little, for anyone interested in breaking them down a bit further, we might ask a question or three ...
Q. What does it mean to 'Share a common purpose across an organisation' such that the singular focus of all involved over-comes personal [hidden] agenda's and self-serving programming [defence mechanisms] from life? Breaking habituated behavioural patterns which detract from organisational speed and progress, particularly in leaders, particularly at the highest levels, where those in post exercise the most influence over the culture and performance of their organisations by the example they set.
Q. What does a common 'purpose' look like at a neural and psychological level? What is required neurologically if people are to hold a similar philosophy, a common belief about 'Purpose'?
Q. What does it require to ensure a common purpose is clearly communicated with meaning and comprehension, from a board, to a management team and down to each and every worker whose every action becomes the performance of the organisation? What is required to ensure daily and hourly actions remain aligned to the organisations strategic and tactical outcome requirements and time-frames?
Q. What does it mean to develop 'People', not only in respect to measurable skills, but in respect to confidence & a freedom to act, to be 'innovative', bold and ethical, what does it take at a psychological and neurological level for people to move beyond defensive world views and become reflective, to become 'comfortable with change' (personally), to overcome scotoma's (Blind Spots) and other psychological traits they are pre-disposed to display when stressed and under pressure from targets they have no-hand in setting. What is required if people are to act (behave) differently ... what change in neural construct, what change in chemical release patterns are required to overcome those responses and reactions they typically default to due to the neural wiring constructed throughout their life experience to date? What does it take in the 'prevailing conditions' in which our people find themselves to stop triggering non-conducive reactions and repeating habits which add no value? What are the 'Wastes' in the 'People process'?
Q. What does it mean, as a leader, to 'create the prevailing conditions in which people can realise their innate potential and/or grow that level of potential? What is required to 'free' the potential typically locked away by judgement and fear, delivered through organisational control systems and social conditions, often created unwittingly by leaders just like those contributing to reports such as this one? What does it take to get people to think beyond the normal approach to assessment (omitting any awareness of psychology and neuroscience in it's design) and consider the culture created by the openly accepted Keynesian economic model; such that they consider all logical measures, and our reliance upon them, might be part of the problem, leading to measurement and judgement communicated and imposed on people such that they never realise their full potential?
*By default, measures fail to report on the effect of what isn't measured. Outside of 'Qty of new managers trained' for example, we might consider the Cortisol levels of people being 'trained as managers and leaders', i.e. the impact of the training, depending on how it's introduced (pushed or pulled). We might consider how much initiative people take in getting things done in relation to their confidence levels, which sit behind a persons perceptions and their own locus of control, we might measure and consider the chemical balance of the brain and brainwave patterns of people when coming up with their best innovations. None of this is included in our current scope of consideration in business, sports or parenting approaches. It maybe a little controversial? I was recently told it was, following a talk I gave to the Deming Alliance, but controversial or not, can we afford to carry on measuring and assuming we're measuring the right things in light of new science and knowledge? I think not!
Q. SO! Are any of these issues addressed in this report ... well, the answer, not in so many words, but to an extent, is Yes! Kind of.
Page 30, Section 4. 'High Performing Individuals - Top Ten Traits', This section starts to use 'Common language' to point loosely at some of these issues, using words you're probably used to, but never considered at a neurological, imprinted, brain format and psychological level.
Words like, Values, Integrity, Self-Awareness, Communication, Reflection, Collaborative, Resilience, Grit, Agility and Innovation. (All character traits we can now consider from a deeper perspective (neurologically) and consciously develop).
Which is a breath of fresh air, because the world has, for far too long, been focused on the 'Outcomes' of such character traits in the form of measures and metrics on a balance sheet, forecast or P&L statement, without focusing on the 'Root-Cause' issues which reside inside peoples heads (before they combine to become behaviours). This has seen much of the world of change and development over the last 4 or 5 decades, in business, politics, education, the NHS, pretty much everywhere, focus on the setting and definition of 'outputs' and 'methods' and particularly 'tools' to achieve those outputs, without overtly addressing the 'root cause' Input issues. i.e. The formation of People and all of their depths and complexities!
So, as refreshing as it is to see the 'People-Performance-Profit' connection being made at long last, it seems this report STILL only precedes 'People' with 'Behaviour', which in itself is still just another 'emergent property' of a deeper issue ... Belief (at a neurological and psychological imprinted level). Belief in what is 'Good' for others, what is 'Good' for the organisation and what is 'Good' for self .... and, of course, what is 'Good' in keeping these often conflicting definitions of 'Good' in balance across a complex organisation of parts and people.
It is my opinion that developing 'Mind-Set' in carefully considered, detailed and yet holistic ways, i.e. understanding how neurons and chemicals in the brain effect strategic outcomes at organisational, social and cultural levels, is essential for leaders gloabally. Such a paradigm shift in knowledge will ensure the pursuit and development of 'Top Ten Traits' can be specifically understood and developed wherever the best leadership is required. I see this as critical if the 2020 goals of 'Improved Management and Leadership' are to be realised in practice.
We at Duxinaroe, of course, look forward to helping progress the leaders of tomorrow, in-line with the intentions of this report and others which ultimately draw similar conclusions, such that the world integrates psychological and neuroscientific vocabulary into everyday parlance in all walks of life. We strongly believe the introduction of this new language and the increased depth of comprehension it leads to will benefit not only business, but the Human race at large.
With the latest scientific findings available to all, It's going to be an interesting decade or two, threatening (or promising) to take us to a new level of self-awareness.
So, my final questions to provoke a few thoughts;
1. How are you preparing your leaders for the journey this report suggests is required?
2. How will you meet the challenge the future is bringing? Because, if you don't and others do .... ?
If you're answer to either of those questions is ?????? - why not give us a call, we'd be only too happy to help.