As we approach the New Year, I have been contributing to a new group established to promote better ways to lead, manage and operate businesses.
Just before Christmas, I received an invitation from Steve Denning to help him achieve his New Year’s resolution. Steve is the author of two of the best business books of the last decade, The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling and The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management. I was struck by part of his invitation which said:
… some organisations have discovered how to manage in a radically different way that leads simultaneously to high productivity, continuous innovation, deep job satisfaction and client delight.
He pointed to recent research that indicates that 84% of employees want to quit their current jobs, a figure that is routinely over 50% across the years. How do you feel knowing the more than half your people want to leave your organisation? Is this showing up in your internal research or feedback?
Michelle and I established Corporate Growing Pains to assist organisations that have wandered off their original path as a result of their success, lost the focus on productivity, innovation, job satisfaction and client delight.
Michelle and I have seen many companies that had a strong focus on customer and employee delight when they were established. As they have grown they have lost their passion and energy; through the focus on day to day activity; through failing to align their values, vision, strategies and operations; through the need to fill specific roles; through regulation and legal requirements; through the demands of insurers, lawyers and risk managers; or through trying to copy other companies and managers. Maybe they still struggle through to achieve some limited financial success, but at the expense of the delight of their customers and people.
We want to help these companies identify these influences, which we call passion bleeders and success barriers, and help them refocus on high productivity, continuous innovation, deep job satisfaction and customer delight. We know from our experiences that one of the biggest problems with achieving this is the will to change focus to allow your organisation to flourish more broadly rather than being predominantly driven by the bottom line.
In his invitation, Steve also wrote:
In organisations today, we find a set of attitudes, practices and values that cripple the human spirit and hamstring creativity and innovation.
I believe that the time is therefore ripe to take on the broader challenge of reinventing those attitudes, practices and values so that our organisations become curators of the human spirit rather than its destroyer.
Michelle and I are constantly looking to new ideas that may help organisations reach their true goals, not just their financial results. We know you want more, including a great lifestyle for you and your people, and customers who find it a pleasure to experience your products and services. We aim to reinvigorate and enrich our clients, as we say in our values.
We already participate in the Management Innovation Exchange and follow a number of blogs that challenge us. This allows us to tailor individual solutions to suit organisations rather than apply formulaic solutions that result in long term stagnation, low job satisfaction and minimised financial success.
Now Steve has established a group currently called (as a temporary holding title) Revolutionising the World of Work. If you are interested in the group or considering joining, you can find more information here or search Google Groups for Revolutionizing the World of Work.
In the meantime, we wish you a happy and successful New Year and look forward to helping you recreate your organisations as places that delight you, your customers and your people alike.