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Recently I was involved in a strategy process with a major government Department that wanted to become product leaders.
This Department wanted to become world leaders and known throughout the world as the Department at the leading edge of change in their area. They identified several characteristics they would need to be better at. These included: becoming faster, more flexible, more open, more connected and less risk adverse.
This is a real case study, only the names of people have been changed to protect their privacy.
The Department had previously been part of my Irresistible Leadership Program where we had examined each manager to help them discover their Genius factor.
A workshop was held with the staff to explore new ways of working to make more use of the Department's Genius.
The questions examined were: What constitutes a good day at work? and What constitutes a bad day at work?
Mary started off by saying: "I hate it when I have to do hours of detailed analysis!"
Then John chipped in: "That's exactly what I like! What I hate is talking to staff about their personal reviews."
"Seriously?" said Mary. "That's my definition of a great day!"
As this process continued, it became clear to all people involved, that what for one person was a bad day was for another person a really great day.
One group of people liked the detailed analysis and logic of a really tough problem to solve. A second group hated this but liked talking with and interacting with clients and staff so they became closer to them as human beings. The logical group, on the other hand, hated this.
A third group of people liked the detailed processing of work that they could follow through from start to finish in a logical detailed way. A fourth group hated this but they loved to be involved in long-term conceptual strategic planning type issues. The processing group, on the other hand, hated this.
"When you think about it", said the Chief Executive, "there's no way we can become product leaders unless everybody is doing work they love doing. At the moment we are pulling against our natural abilities. We need to find ways to get in the flow. Wouldn't it be great if we could reorganise work so everyone has a great day."
"Let's see if we can put our creative hats on and come up with ways to work in a fundamentally better way so that we all benefit", I said. "It's crazy that Mary hates doing detailed analytical work when John loves it. It's mad that John spends a lot of time talking to the staff about their personal reviews when Mary is in her element doing this."
What happened next was a fundamental rethink of how work was carried out within the Department. Work became based on Genius rather than jobs. In the process they made significant improvements in speed, flexibility, openness, connectedness and acceptance of risk.
But that's the subject of the next Strategic Snippet. Suffice to say, they are well on their way to becoming product leaders by utilising their Genius.
My Irresistible Leadership Program helps people understand their genius, helps them see the genius in their people and shows them how to restructure to maximise genius.
Give me a call. Warmest wishes
Bruce helps large mature organisations be more focused, fast and flexible. Places where people have more depth, connection and meaning. "Liberating the Human spirit at work"
Bruce helps large mature organisations be more focused, fast and flexible. Places where people have more depth, connection and meaning. He is one of New Zealand's most experienced change agents and is the founder of Virtual Group Business Consultants Limited.
"Liberating the Human spirit at work."
Key words: Leadership, leadership development, leadership management, leadership training, leadership program, leadership skills