Working with leaders and managers over many years, using a ‘coach approach’ the most common areas of discussion, thinking, confusion and challenge are shown in the diagram below:
Some might say it’s too simple! OK, I get that, there are so many change models available, most are sound and useful, and yet my experience shouts out that the ‘simple’ questions in the above diagram are always important to have answered.
A huge part of the leader’s role is creating and sustaining alignment in the organisation, so that everyone knows the direction and the outcomes required, AND why this direction is important. Absolute clarity about where we are going and why we are going there (instead of somewhere else), is rare in my experience of working in organisations. This needs to be delivered in a more ‘directive’ style, clear, engaging, thought through, confident.
Using a ‘coach approach’ and good communication are vital. The ability to talk in the language or context of the receiver is crucial, e.g. sales, marketing, engineering, design etc. etc. Everyone needs to receive the message in a way that they can understand, and clearly see their unique role and contribution to achieving the necessary outcomes. Then the different functions or teams should be given major responsibilities to generate the goals, actions etc. which will achieve success, with leaders supporting their efforts using a coaching style, encouraging new ideas and approaches, empowering action.
Communication and the coach approach don’t stop here ….
…… leaders must talk and walk about, ‘touch’ the people, have fire side chats, share food, drink, cook barbeques (!) and share time with the people, ask and answer questions, encourage, praise and collect data about successes and setbacks, create the buzz so that people can see themselves in the future and can generate an emotional attachment to the organisation – a far cry from written sets of objectives or endless powerpoints!