We are intelligent, rationale beings – well most of the time. Yet wherever we look these days we see organisations ‘stuck’ in a recurring death spiral based on business philosophies and decision-making processes no longer relevant to today’s world – a veritable status quo paralysis.
Everyone is familiar with the popular Einstein quote, ‘to continue to do the same thing over and over and expect different results is the definition of insanity.’ This is precisely what most organisations seem to be bound and determined to continue, again and again!
The most common and repeated initiatives implemented to keep up with or overcome the ever changing business environment and down turned economy are generally along the lines of restructure, downsize the workforce, outsource, change / revise systems, procedures, improve processes, adopt new technology …… repeat.
These are all valid under certain circumstances and likely a part of the solution but NOT the whole or long-term solution. They may improve the numbers for a quarter or so but usually not sustainable since in today’s world the next curve ball is already on it’s way toward you. They are also ‘paper’ solutions – they do not address the real causality of any situation.
Countless studies tell us between 50-70% of planned change management initiatives fail! Yes that’s the ‘F’ word!
Blind Devotion to Outdated Methods – Status Quo
These tried and true methods have worked better in a different era, have worked well in fact. They make up the majority of academic direction and MBA study for the last couple of decades. Perhaps that’s why they are so blindly adhered to and all our heads of organisations appear to know or want to implement. Aside from denial, these heads of organisations (word leader omitted intentionally) are in a state of Status Quo Paralysis! They can’t seem to shake off the body cast of the old methods and solutions even though the level of frustration and pressure is increasing proportionately with the amount of change.
There is a glaringly obvious – at least to some but obviously not all – common denominator. If you look at the list of initiatives above, they’re all within the realm of management not leadership. Until we acknowledge, adapt and adopt the other side of the change process equation, the leadership side, we’re doomed to repeat the same results and continue to fail. That’s insane!
With the pace, complexity and diversity of an ever changing, globally competitive, market economy there is only one solution; not systems, not processes and not even technology alone but people in the form of leaders. All the systemic solutions in the world will never work without this critical part of the equation. Only well led people have the creativity, passion, innovation, analytics, collaboration and sheer will power to adapt to the current pace and variety of change.
Our MSB Max Professional Journey Step advice for this edition is:
Don’t throw out the management solutions with the bathwater just add in the critical missing element, leadership and unrestrained people. Throw off that yoke, break out of that full body cast that status quo mentality that binds you to old thinking and methodology and start investing in your people and creating leaders, you’ll be amazed at what will get accomplished – even in this frenetic new world by supporting and advocating leadership the ‘S’ word (success) is a probability.
If you can use some guidance and assistance with developing your people just reach out. We’re here to help, its what we’re good at and why we exist.
Enjoy the journey