Can You Relate to This? A frustrated senior executive recently shared about how business disruptions over the last few years hit the business like a series of waves. Just when they stabilized their operations, the business had to respond to rapidly increasing costs and shrinking margins. While addressing this, they were also trying to ensure that they keep and engage their best talent who have plenty of opportunities elsewhere. Also, what to do about rampant burnout?
Maybe you can relate to feeling like this leader who needs to keep their head on a swivel to make sure the dike is holding up.
It seems that just when one variable gets under control another seems to be getting out of control. Fixing one area at a time is a logical solution if the problems are not related. But we see that many business issues are interconnected. The temptation to oversimplify the problem is high because it helps us feel in control of the issues.
However, this leads to a waste of time and money because solutions tend to either focus on business issues or people issues, not both.
What is clear is that tactical, siloed solutions to change are not going to work in our current environment. There are two key reasons:
- Tactical approaches only work well if there is a lot of stability in the organization, however, many are dealing with massive business and human change all at once.
- Problems are most often a lot more complex than they appear and integrated business and human solutions are required.
Address Business and People Issues at the Same Time
Consider a large financial institution that has been dealing with productivity issues. The solution viewed through a business lens is to drive greater adoption of Agile methodologies for greater adaptability and speed. The solution viewed through a people lens is about strengthening trust relationships across the organization so that the teams can work together without the static personalities and politics that slow things down. Traditional approaches would isolate Agile implementation as a methodology from the trust issues and also separate leadership development from deep application to the business context. The magic is in both and that is needed to drive productivity.
We were asked to design a leadership initiative that allowed key leaders on cross-functional teams to build familiarity and trust while identifying ways to increase the effectiveness of Agile methodologies. With just 10 hours of time investment as a group leader, cross-functioning effectiveness increased up to 30%. This trust-building will have a long tail for future projects and partnerships too.
Where Might You Need to Think Both-And?
We see many other areas when production and purpose need to be brought together in the types of business and people issues that are arising. For example, as you manage your talent pipeline, what kind of workplace culture are you building to help them fulfill their talent potential? As you build your strategy how are you considering execution and engagement in a remote environment? And as we shared in the example above, how can your leaders and teams increase their capabilities and build trust, while in the context of doing the work together
Where to go from here?
If you would like some help, Renaissance Partners are here to partner with you. Check out our workshops that help you to meaningfully address the big issues outlined above. We also offer long-term programs to accelerate your organization’s journey from surviving to thriving.