Is your leadership team in fire-fighting or future-proofing mode?

Is your leadership team in fire-fighting or future-proofing mode?

I was reviewing the top 5 issues for Directors in 2019 (with reference Institute Of Directors – 22 Jan 2019 ) and wonder how many of these will still be listed in January 2020.

Here’s the snapshot of the top 5.

1. Culture and Conduct – acceptance of poor conduct – inappropriate behaviour causing “harm” to employees, customers and investors and a deeper focus on corporate governance…

2. Climate Change – no surprises here…

3. Future of work – attracting and retaining employees. The future of work includes consideration of the impact of technology, demographics and other factors like workers and the workplace. There has to be focus on looking ahead and maximising changes while bringing employees on the journey with them. I believe having a generational strategy is key to attracting new employees and retaining those who want to make impactful contribution to the organisation.

4. Mental Health and Well-being in the workplace – poor mental health causes significant human and economic costs versus improved workplace wellbeing leads to improvements in productivity and employee retention. This is a topic that I focus a lot on in my leadership work and individual coaching. I am invested in seeing individuals able to own their greatness – their own individual success story and understand how to manage their fear based story when it comes up with practical coping strategies to give them the confidence to deliver consistently.

5. Compliance that matters – the challenge is managing time and effort on compliance to ensure it adds value as opposed to continually adding complexity that has employees do more and more or get to the point of being hamstrung in an ability to make any decision at all individually or collectively.

In my opinion, it basically comes back to how leadership teams embrace these issues. Each issue deserves its own plan including how to manage risks which can be interconnected however they all roll into one outcome. If leadership teams provide less weighting to one of these by paying lip service or tick boxing, the organisation will move into “working in the weeds” and focus on fixing and not future-proofing.

Leadership teams have a core role and investment in overseeing the organisation’s culture, its organisational climate and health as well as conducting appropriate risk mitigation and setting high standards of ethical behaviour. It still amazes me that with all the knowledge around mental health and well-being and huge media coverage across vertical industries for inappropriate behaviours leading to dysfunctional cultures, there is still acceptance that leadership teams can have expectations that employees must conduct themselves in an appropriate way but allows its own leadership team to work around the same parameters creating tolerance and acceptance of inappropriate behaviours that can impact on its employees.

So how does your organisation rate when it comes to managing these five issues? What has your leadership team addressed and acted on for each of these issues and how is it continuing to be measured on to ensure current success and future development?

Is your leadership team future proofing or fire- fighting in the weeds? Long term fire-fighting and tick boxing will create more growth focusing on the wrong things and the organisation will have a declining culture, limited knowledge of what a future of work means for it, increased numbers of employees exhibiting stress, anxiety, overwhelm and significant behaviour change with a focus on compliance that doesn’t matter.

Future proofing is ensuring that leadership teams are strategic, self-aware, have the right information to make the right decisions, managing and measuring workplace priorities against mental health and wellbeing, taking on Mirror leadership -what you do is what you say is what you get – consistently being your brand and understanding how to develop teams and individuals. Communicating in the way the person needs to hear the message, guiding and teaching – not fixing and enabling, delivering on what you say you are going to deliver on, continually investing in yourself as leaders to understand how you tick and mange consistently of your own behaviours, having an aligned focus as one team and producing real results. Leadership meetings are focused on safe- keeping the organisations health not a focus on what each individual leader needs. Value based leadership – spending time adding value in the right places are just a few traits.

I am all about Leadership – working from Board level through to Emerging leaders and ensuring leaders are strong, secure, self aware – aligned with their own leadership team and able to competently manage their own teams’ development to ensure the top issues are being addressed. If this has raised some questions for you, contact me and we can tackle them.

The leadership coaching with my Regional heads, Sales managers and Branch managers across the country has been the best investment I have ever spent – it’s been transformational – there is total engagement and a commitment to improve as leaders and develop their own teams. Even the individuals on the ground are asking if their leaders have had some coaching. Thank you Rebecca. Looking forward to seeing what we do next. Pat Hanrahan – CEO Southern Hospitality – October 2019


Rebecca Morris

Rebecca set up Paradigm Shift in 2011 because in her corporate career she repeatedly observed leaders choosing to let chaos reign rather than work out strategies for effective change. Or put simply – poor leadership.

With a background in educational psychology, roles as CEO, sales executive, business coach, business owner and teacher, Rebecca uses her proven experience and insights along with her practical tool box to get results.

Rebecca observes human behaviour and associated patterns and enables leaders to become present to their patterns through her IP, Observational Intelligence (OI). Rebecca uses her 'cycle of interruption' approach to interrupt, innovate and lead from new paradigms creating collectively powerful leaders and culture-safe organisations.

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