What do we know about high performance?
We know it requires high people engagement. Aon’s Research shows that a 5% increase in people engagement is linked to a 3% increase in revenue growth in the following year and can lead to a 29% increase in operating income. Imagine what a difference a 30% increase in people engagement in a single year would do for your business performance?!
To achieve this is eminently possible! If your organization is largely based on a hierarchical matrix structure then you too have the opportunity to lift business performance significantly by investing in people engagement. Highly engaged employees deliver exponentially more value than even moderately engaged people.
What do we know about people engagement?
Engaging leaders who engage others is THE KEY INGREDIENT to creating a culture of engagement. Organizations that invest in Leadership, their Employment Brand and have a transparent focus on Performance enable their leaders to engage others in a meaningful and fulfilling way that leads to extraordinary outcomes.
However according to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2015 Report, Culture & Engagement and Leadership are the two top issues, and the Leadership Capability Gap is widening! A bold new approach to leadership development is required to genuinely raise the leadership capacity in organizations to create an engaging culture.
What do we know about leadership development?
“The fastest growing trend in leadership development today is Stage Leadership”, says Nick Petrie at the Centre for Creative Leadership.
Stage Leadership is all about expanding capacity rather than extending capabilities. It takes a leader from being an Achiever focused on results, to a Catalyst focused on engagement and a Strategist who is able to lead and sustain business transformation while feeling comfortable collaborating widely on the wicked problems we face in the world today.
According to PwC the problem is that we have far too few Strategists leading organizations. It explains the “aspiration-action” gap identified in their 2015 CEO Survey and also why most business transformations fail. There are currently just 8% of executives (of all executives invested in Stage Leadership Development with Harthill Consultants) who calibrate as Strategists.
Can we accelerate stage leadership development?
While shifting one’s action logic, mindset, way of thinking or perceiving the world is a significant developmental shift, it can be accomplished in a single year. In my Ph D Research Study of 9 Senior Executive coaching clients, every single Senior Executive moved a full stage in a single year. Most went from Achiever to Catalyst, and one directly to Strategist with another knocking on its door.
Further running a leadership development program for the top 75 leaders in a 1000+ person organization led to an increase of 20% in Leadership Effectiveness from the 60th to the 80th percentile in a single year, as measured by the Leadership Circle Team Culture Profile. Moreover, a Strategic Holistic Culture Transformation Program in a similar sized organization led to an increase in People Engagement of 30% in just 6 months!
We need to create more transformational leaders and generate higher people engagement to lead to a high performance culture and enable you to produce extraordinary transformational results!
So we know why and we know it’s possible …
The next big question is How?
First, it’s critical to take an integrated concerted channel approach. With my 25+ years’ experience leading People and Culture, generating Leadership and Culture Transformation and coaching Senior Executives, I’ve realized that it takes a full spectrum approach to engagement channels to build momentum and realize rapid results.
- One-on-one coaching for the Senior Executive Team so that they accelerate their development as Strategists and model the way for others
- Group coaching for the top 50-100 Senior Leaders so that they also lift their leadership capacity to Catalysts and genuinely engage and empower their people
- Online training resources and webinars for Everyone in the organization so that everyone has the opportunity to learn and grow
- Annual measurement of the Leadership Effectiveness of the Senior Executive Team and Senior Leaders, and of People Engagement
Secondly, it’s important to place transformational content into the channels. In terms of Leadership and Culture Transformation, I’ve developed a methodology that works! It’s a Strategic Holistic approach that offers a unique blend of “outside-in” and “inside-out”.
Step One Set up a Strategic Operating System
The first step is the creation of a Strategic Operating System that takes the lid off the inhibiting pressure cooker environment in most organizations today. This “outside-in” approach provides the vehicle to create the space for growth as a Catalyst/Strategist, and the opportunity to rise above the noise and take charge as a strategic leader. There is no point planting a young tree in a smaller steel-walled container. Yet that is what we’re doing in organizations. So the first part of the methodology is to ensure that the space is available for growth!
There are seven steps to creating a Strategic Operating System. They are:
- Run the Schedule with a Dynamic Diary Rhythm to Master TIME
- Define the Scope with a Transformational Strategic Agenda to Master VISION
- Set the Scene with a Major Milestones Roadmap to Master FOCUS
- Create the Style with a Values-based Leadership Culture to Master VALUES
- Know the Score with Cascading Team Charters to Master ALIGNMENT
- Step up on Stage with a Compelling Signature Presentation to Master VOICE
- Leverage Scale with Orchestrated Stakeholder Engagement to Master COLLABORATION
Step Two Develop Holistic Leadership Capacity
The second step is to realize that we are the masters of our lives or the star, director, producer, casting director, special effects expert – playing all the roles that lead to the movie that is our life. We either have the dream or the drama depending on whether our conscious mind or subconscious mind is in charge. By taking a mind-body-spirit approach to aspiring to the highest versions of ourselves and healing our reactive patterns that hurt ourselves and others, we can speed up the process of Stage Leadership Development.
Again there are seven key dimensions that lead to Holistic Leadership Capacity.
- Appreciate Identity to deepen Self-Awareness and understand our EGO
- Exercise Influence by navigating the orange light zone and opening our WILL
- Mutual Inquiry to recognise and eliminate emotional triggers with our HEART
- Clear Intention using mindfulness and purpose to follow our INTUITION
- Courageous Integrity setting standards, boundaries and priorities with MIND
- Deepen Insight by learning to trust, listen within and embody GUIDANCE
- Lead to Inspire by creating a caring world and peaceful planet with SPIRIT
Step Three Integrate Innovative Networked Talent Management
The third step is to transform HR strategies, policies and practices with respect to the way work is carried out. It is essential to create a default culture of trust where rules are set for the many interested in the greater good rather than the few who act only out of self-interest. This requires a revolution in thinking relative to traditional HR! Read about the The Rise of HR here, a compilation of short articles put together by Dave Ulrich.
These 7 Steps have yet to be codified. They incorporate creating a lattice organizational structure where we proactively diversify amongst gender, generation, location and culture in networked communities across and beyond the organisation to collaborate and innovate. People now wish to decide the time of work, place of work, weight of work and type of work they undertake. We need to adopt more voluntary practices that give people more freedom and power to shape their lives as a whole and enjoy a greater sense of wellbeing and community while continuing to contribute and grow.
We need to create more Transformational Leaders to generate higher People Engagement which will lead to a high performance Culture and enable you to generate extraordinary business results!
Leadership is at the Heart of Transformation.
By adopting this proven methodology and stimulating wide engagement, you will reap an amazing return on your investment!
The time has come to invest in Leadership and People Engagement in order to release the vast reservoir of talent you have turning up each day for work.
As you develop Transformational Leaders, you will be able to collaborate widely to create innovative solutions to our most wicked problems!!
Don’t bother with another restructure or change effort, take the quantum leap to TRANSFORM instead!!!
If you’re inspired, please contact me. I’m looking for a few Senior Executive Leaders who would like to invest their energy in the TRANSFORMATION of their People and Culture. I’ll help you and your Executive Team become Transformational Leaders at Strategist, and your Senior Leaders become Inspiring Leaders at Catalyst, so that together you can make a quantum leap in people engagement and transform your world!!
I hope you enjoyed this post. My purpose is to enable people to realize their potential and organizations, their aspirations.
It’s my specific intent to enable Senior Executives to make the quantum shift from effective business operations management to inspiring strategic transforming leadership so they can bring their Vision, Values and Voice to life, create an amazing workplace, tackle the world’s most wicked problems and generate an amazing new world. Click here to find out more or watch a video to get a quick rundown.
If you would like a more detailed outline of this post, click here.
Please join the Strategic Holistic Leadership Group to continue the conversation.
Wishing you all the very best,
Antoinette Braks is an Executive Coach in Strategic and Holistic Leadership and a Designer and Strategic Facilitator of Culture Transformation with 25+ years international executive experience. She has led People and Culture with Shell in Latin America and Africa, and Leadership Capital Solutions with Korn Ferry Asia Pacific. She has an MBA from London Business School and is currently completing a PhD in the Psychology of Leadership Transformation at the MGSM.
Antoinette is also the Author of Executive SOS.