Back in the 1990’s this formula, hypothesising that to survive and prosper the rate of learning in an organisation needs to be greater than the rate of change, was accepted wisdom and led to the concept of ‘the Learning organisation’. The pace of change has increased exponentially since then and many household names across the globe no longer exist. We also have so much more resource available to help us learn – yet managers, technicians, sales people et al seem to spend less time updating their learning and undertaking development activities. We pay less attention to what seems like an important, but not seemingly urgent goal. We can always do it next quarter.
We know that
- engagement is important to both morale and organisational performance, as is trust, and that managers are a huge influence on this – yet many organisations and managers don’t help their middle managers develop to do that.
- in the UK the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development states that 75% of organisations have management and leadership skill deficiencies, which remain unaddressed – a similar figure seems relevant in most other parts of the globe if our experiences are anything to go by.
- most roles in which we interacting with others involve understanding human behaviour and adapting yourself to be effective with others – yet many middle managers are left believing ‘I am what I am’ – take it or leave it, with no sense of how they can modify their performance to increase their effectiveness.
- understanding your own drives and actions first helps enable you to work out what people others have in common with you and where they are different. Yet many choose to ignore exploring or understanding this because its ‘too difficult’ – or rather ‘fluffy’as it is described to denigrate it and thereby avoid needing to tackle it.
Writers refer now to us being in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world, which accentuates all of the above. We know more about how the brain works than ever before (albeit that is still a minute fraction of what we will learn) – and yet many organisations do very little to develop their people (not train). One organisation we have been talking to are willing to spend days and days telling their staff how they have to answer customers, and yet with phenomenally bad engagement figures they do nothing to develop the middle managers who hold the key to this. That can wait until later. Really? L<C? Will they survive over time?
We have the pleasure of helping our clients gain insight which makes them more productive, increases their motivation and satisfaction and their overall job performance. We are then able to help people to find ways to develop their skills and abilities, which also provides them with a sense of achievement. By working within organisations we add a huge further benefit which is developing a feeling of community by having people work together across the organisation. It’s a virtuous circle when done well.
Most directors, managers, professionals, salespeople and individual contributors we know want to do not just a good job but an outstanding job. We applaud those organisations that enable their people to do that, those that really enable them. It seldom means doing what they are currently doing – but harder. Some mental shift needs to take place. Ask yourself what small things could you do to help yourself and your colleagues to learn more, make a mental shift and cope with everything you face in a VUCA world – and thereby become more effective – and usually increase your own satisfaction?
Are you, your team, your colleagues and your organisation learning and adapting faster than the rate of change? Are you making mental shifts that help you keep just ahead of the curve? If we can help with either our proven effective programmes or through our coaching work please let us know. Regardless of whether you turn to us or not, do think about increasing your own value by developing your capabilities and assisting those around you.