Conventional companies will not survive at scale in a post conventional world

Last week I met with people from a very successful 70 year old company that operates in 190 countries and has 32 million customers.  It is a market leader and consistently ranks as one of the best places to work.  They are very good at what they do and yet the existence of the company is at risk in the next 5 years.

Like most other organisations founded more than 20 years ago they are a “conventional” organisation.  As a conventional organisation their business model has remained effectively the same since they started.  They prioritise reliability over adaptability and consequently, management over leadership.  The summit of their ambition is to be able to do what they say they are going to do reliably.

However the “post-conventional’ storm clouds are growing around their sector.  One or more of the big “post-conventional” tech companies (Apple, Google and Amazon in this case) are starting to get involved in their sector and at the same time a number of highly agile post conventional start ups are nibbling away at the high margin end of their business.

Post conventional organisations are the ones that disrupt their own business model – as well as others, they prioritise adaptability and reliability, leadership and management.  The path to sustained success for conventional businesses facing this challenge is the path not taken by previous conventional market leaders – Kodak, Nokia, Blockbuster etc.

The first step on this path is for the executive team to admit that there is a risk.  This can be a very challenging admission.  Things still look good after all, and if senior people are five years from retirement, they may have little understanding of the risk and even less appetite for both the personal and cultural transformation that it implies.  Failure to accept the risk in time will lead the organisation to irrelevance.

Once the executive team accept the risk the next step is to articulate a vision for the future that is a clear destination and is inspiring to all stakeholders – rather than one which is relative to competitors.  Our client Q8 has a vision that: “every customer journey is sustainable”   Everyone in the company finds this inspiring and customers and partners are increasingly getting behind it.

The transformation required to pursue the vision is very specifically a matter of leadership and culture.  So the next question for the executive team is how do we need to be and how do we need to lead in order to achieve the vision.  Above all, what habits do we need to change in the way we work, the way we interact, the way we communicate and so on.

In our experience it takes an executive team about 6 to 9 months, with close coaching support, to reliably adapt to a new set of habits, skills and behaviours.  There is no need to announce these changes to the organisation, just for the executive team to role model them reliably.  At the same time as this process is happening it is also important to bring the HR team onto the journey, both as role models for the new culture and also so that they can get to work redesigning hiring, reward and other systems and processes to support the new culture.

Once the executive team and the HR team are reliably role modelling the new culture and the new HR systems are in place it is time for the executive team to enrol the next level in the organisation in the new culture and support them in changing their habits and behaviours and developing new skills.  Depending on the size of the organisation this process can be repeated over the next six months to enrol the next level in the organisation.

Close coaching support for leaders and for teams is invaluable in helping those leaders and teams develop the new skills and change the habits to enable them to live the new culture and successfully pursue the vision.

This culture change approach can enable a conventional organisation that has never had to question its business model to become a fully adaptable post conventional organisation able to reinvent itself to deliver sustained success in a disrupted environment.  The change is very specifically a change of leadership style and culture, although it will also lead to changes of business model, processes and in other areas as well.

If you are interested in this area as a coach or consultant or as a change agent within a company you may well be interested in #holocon2020 Post conventional and beyond.  At #holocon2020 will be discussing and exploring how organisations can adapt to the post conventional world and how coaches and consultants can support them.  Please book your tickets here.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

You can subscribe for free at http://www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

 

 

Posted in Business, Leadership, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Understanding Brexit

On the whole I avoid directly discussing politics in my blog, however, as the EU offer another extension to the agony of Brexit I am going to attempt to look at it from an evolutionary psychology perspective.  For more details on the colour coding see this explanation of Spiral Dynamics.

It is no great stretch to see Brexit as tribal.   There are three main tribes involved.

The Red tribe are the smaller.  They believe in “Strongman” leaders, who represent a sort of uber father figure to them, and to whom they are fiercely loyal.  They want their leader to take responsibility for all of the big questions so that they don’t have to and to simply things for them.  They like messages from the leader to be unambiguous and to clarify things as good and bad.  Although rules are very important they also believe that the ends justify the means.

The Red tribe like Brexit because they have been told to by their leader and because the EU is complicated.

The Blue tribe are more than twice the size of the Red tribe.  They like to see the country in competition with other countries.  They strongly believe that their country is better than other countries and don’t want to get to close to them.   They don’t trust other countries and they want a leader who is strong on their behalf and does not compromise or show vulnerability or weakness.  They see negotiations through a win/lose lens.  Because of their belief in exceptionalism, rules do not apply equally to them in relation to other countries.

The Blue tribe like Brexit because they never liked the idea of having to collaborate with others.

The Blue and Red tribes make up nearly 57% of the population.

The Orange and Green tribe are about the same size as the Blue tribe.  They like to collaborate with other countries and are excited to get close to them and learn about differences.  They don’t have a big need for a leader at all, but want their representatives to be collaborative and compromising.  The Orange and Green  tribe is collaborative and inclusive to a fault and will condemn their own tribe members if they show signs of excluding others.

The Orange and Green tribe regard international cooperation as a self evident good, so obvious they don’t really know how to explain the benefits of it.  They hate Brexit.

The Orange and Green tribe are baffled by the Blue and the Red tribes.  They have forgotten that they used to be in them.  They often regard their views as stupid or primitive.

The Blue tribe do not understand that the Orange and Green tribe exists, all they can see of it is people being weak and failing in their patriotic duty.  They see the Red tribe as useful idiots who are also dangerous.

The Red tribe do not understand that either of the other tribes exist and only see varying levels of weakness.

There is also a catch – the Blue tribe and the Orange and Green tribe (and the tiny Yellow and Turquoise tribes) are vulnerable to being triggered  to behaving like the Blue or Red tribe under stress – particularly the kind of stress caused by something like Brexit.

The reason that Brexit is so intractable is that for all three tribes it operates on a values level.

For Red is satisfies their need for simplicity.

For Blue it delivers their need for independence.

For Orange and Green it removes interdependence which they need.

Values are deep within our psyche and once established will rarely change in a lifetime.  The experience of transgressing one of our values is traumatic, we feel ashamed and embarrassed about ourselves.   Having someone else transgress one of our values is horrifying, insulting and demeaning.

The Brexit referendum opened this Pandora’s box which assured that whatever happened a large part of the population would end up traumatised by a massive values transgression.

What is the answer?

At some point there will have to be process of reconciliation and forgiveness led by those from the Yellow and Turquoise tribes who are tiny in number and therefore not a democratic force.  However whether this can or will happen before the UK breaks apart from the EU and then in all probability the UK breaks apart itself seems improbable.

These tribal tensions have existed for at least 50 years in the UK (and other countries).  What unleashed them in 2016, in the UK and the US was, to some extent, a combination of the Megatrends of Ageing and Digitisation.

The ageing of the Baby Boomer generation means that for the first time ever the median age of the UK is over 40, with the largest 5 year bands of the population being between 45 and 50 and 50 and 55.  People generally become more conservative as they age and the pace of social transformation caused by digitisation means that more and more people are left struggling to understand their world.

The Red and Blue tribes are the most likely to be disadvantaged by both digitisation and demographics and the least likely to understand them.  Red more than Blue.

The Orange and Green tribes (and Yellow and Turquoise) are the most likely to be able to benefit from and enjoy the changes created by digitisation and demographics.

The growing Green part of the Orange and Green tribe is the most concerned and active about the climate crisis, for them Brexit is antithetical to the need to collaborate on a global scale to solve this crisis.  The Blue and Red tribes would prefer to deny or ignore the climate crisis since it requires collective initiative and action to resolve.

As with any crisis, the crisis will get precisely as deep as it needs to get for us to learn the lessons.  And, as with any crisis the choice is to transcend or succumb.  Survival is not mandatory.

We will be discussing what to do about these and many other issues related to the Post Conventional world at Holocon2020.  If you like discussing and solving the big issues of our future, it would be great to see you there.  The early booking discount runs out on 1 November.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

You can subscribe for free at http://www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

Posted in Leadership, society, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#HoloCon2020

Early Bird Booking Reminder

#HoloCon2020 is filling up – we want to remind you of the Early Bird discount of 20%.  Like Brexit, everything gets more expensive after October 31!

Holocon 2020 is for coaches, facilitators and change agents within companies wanting to explore and learn how we can shape the future to enable sustained success.

To tempt you, here is a summary of the speakers and agenda:

22 Jan 2020
Day 1 – What is Post-conventional?  A structured  day of networking and speaking sessions discussing the post-conventional business context and meaning.
Speaker – Adrian Webb – Business Transformation
Speaker – Joanne Lockwood – Radical Inclusion
Speakers – Neil crofts and Mark Thompson – a facilitated session on the emotional response to post-conventional business conditions and shared insight on coping strategies

23 Jan 2020
Day 2 – open Space peer-supported learning.  20 opportunities for Faculty to showcase their work, models or tools, share learning, have fun, laugh, learn and grow.
Jane Mitchell, Lindsay Uittenbogaard, Hanne Klintoe, and Jesse Kraij have already put their hands up for this… who else is out there with something to share?

Conference days run from 0900-1700, with refreshments and lunch provided.

Here is the link for more information on speakers and booking:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/holos-faculty-conference-post-conventional-and-beyond-22-to-23-january-2020-tickets-64778265536?ref=estw

We are very excited about the event and what it can do for Faculty, friends, clients and business leaders.  Come yourself and bring friends – all are welcome.

If you have any questions get in touch with us direct at info@holoschange.com.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

You can subscribe for free at http://www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Change is easy – really?

This week I have a tale of two client transformation projects.  Both are very conventional businesses that have been around for over 30 years.  Both manufacture a product that is then retailed to consumers.  One is the retail end of a vertically integrated business, the other retails through third party outlets.  Both have an inspiring vision for their future.  One has a visionary CEO, the other has a caring CEO.

Only one of them is finding change easy – which one?

The distinction I am going to make is that the one with the caring CEO is leading change with authentic leadership.  The one with the visionary CEO is managing change.

Before their  transformations started both organisations were operating as conventional businesses.  The skill that they employed was management and their objective was to be reliable at doing what they do.  Leadership, with its desire to create change was regarded as annoying and was discouraged at all levels of the business.   In order to be reliable both businesses had developed cultures that were obedient and conformist, risk averse and with low levels of psychological safety.  There was a strong belief that failure would result in blame and embarrassment or actual consequences.  In the conventional world both businesses were successful.

At some point both businesses realised that their conventional business model was not sustainable, due to disruption caused by Megatrends and to their huge credit they both embarked on a transformation before it became a crisis.  This was an act of great leadership in both cases, they had understood that their context was changing, they articulated a new cause for the organisation to pursue, the challenge was to change the culture in the organisation to adapt to the new conditions.

With the managing change model a centrally created strategy was distributed to senior people along with a set of cultural requirements and a role out of specific training and coaching to move people from being obedient and conforming to the old culture to being obedient and conforming to the new culture.  Change is happening, but it is slow.

With the leading change model we have worked with them to transform the culture of the top 70 people over the last year, starting with the top 6.  They have gone from being heavy on management and reliability to embracing authenticity, vulnerability and experimentation.  They have created an environment of psychological safety where people are excited about the transformation.  If anything the challenge is not to go too fast.

The crucial difference is in the understanding of authentic leadership.  The need for senior people to be the best version of themselves as much of the time as possible and their ability to enable their colleagues to do the same.  The willingness to be vulnerable, to do things that they have never done before and where they don’t really know what the outcome will be.  When things don’t work out, to have the emotional regulation to stay calm and share the benefit of the learning.  To have the ability to effectively lead and inspire everyone, including those they find a bit annoying and those who are harder to lead. The ability to build a culture of psychological safety where it is safe to ask stupid questions, to raise concerns and to try stuff out.  Above all to be motivated by purpose rather than status and inspire high quality followership in the organisation.

It is our view that conventional organisations, those that focus on reliability of an established business model, will not survive at scale in the post conventional world that is arriving at speed all around us.  The only organisations that will achieve sustained success will be those that are able to be reliable AND transform their business models at the same time.  The most successful companies in the world are already post conventional – Apple, Google and Amazon for example.

It is also our view that Post Conventional businesses require Authentic Leadership to remain successful.  Management which prioritises reliability is not sufficient and Boss Style leadership which prioritises status over purpose and loyalty over competence will also fail because although Boss Style leadership can deliver results, it only delivers results by stealing from the future.

If you are intrigued by this topic and would like to participate in a big conversation about it why not come to our conference and join in.

If you are a facilitator and would like to increase your skills in post conventional facilitation take a look at our course –  Post Conventional Facilitation for the Disrupted Age

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

You can subscribe for free at http://www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

Posted in authenticity, Business | Leave a comment

Can humans transform when faced with existential threats?

Humans have faced dark times before: Black Death, war, the 1918 flu pandemic, nuclear destruction and probably more.  So far the threats have been small enough and we have survived and learned enough for us to continue to thrive.

This time we have decided to really ramp up the pressure and test ourselves.  We are damaging our climate, destroying plants and animals at an alarming rate and clogging up natural systems with plastics and radiation reducing their ability to self regulate.  At the same time as these combined threats reach a critical point, in many parts of the world we are distracting ourselves from this existential threat with political psychodrama.

Is the political psychodrama a coincidence or is it some sort of coping mechanism to help some of us deal with the existential angst?  There is no doubt that there can be relative comfort in creating a drama to avoid making meaningful changes to our lives.  Maybe the psychodrama is a sort of mass displacement activity?  A sort of mass deck chair rearrangement.

However, there is also a great deal of evidence of our ability to transform ourselves in the face of crisis, both individually and collectively.  Many of our favourite stories and myths revolve around personal or group transformation.  We love the good triumphing over evil narrative.  The Black Death lead to the end of serfdom, the forces of liberalism eventually won over totalitarianism, at least in the west, after WW2 and humans eventually showed the wisdom to de-escalate the Cold War.  None of these recoveries were inevitable.

What seems to make the difference, very often is our choice of leadership.  In times of abundance we can afford to indulge a casual attitude to choosing leadership, such as heredity.  In a crisis we tend to be more intentional, but we can go one of two ways, we can choose leaders who are wise and honest about the challenge or we can choose leaders who let us off the hook by indulging in conspiracy theories and allowing blame to drive the agenda.  It is this choice that very often determines the outcome.

Populism is very specifically about avoiding the reality of the situation and creating a narrative that distracts from the real issues by blaming some other group.

Whenever we indulge the impulse to blame others we lose our ability to solve the problem.

Whenever we ignore the real problem the situation gets worse.

The real problems we are facing today are:

1 – The climate crisis

2 – The ways technology is changing society

3 – The ageing population in the global North

All of these problems require collective effort, where people, organisations and countries come together to agree real solutions and take combined action.

However, much of our airtime now is swamped with narratives about migrants, nationalism and our apparently very poor choice of leaders.

It is vital that we start electing, selecting, promoting and above all listening to leaders who avoid blaming others, appreciate the value of experts, seek to work collaboratively with others and (interestingly) are capable of having healthy relationships.

At Holos, we see our role in this being to use our skills to coach, train and develop leaders and teams to work towards sustained success for everybody.  Our vision is Universal Authentic Leadership – where every leader in politics, business, education and healthcare prioritises purpose over status and seeks to be the very best version of themselves as much of the time as possible, whilst at the same time supporting those around them to be the best version of themselves.

We believe that authentic leadership is a crucial response to the Post-Conventional world, to dealing with the challenges and the existential crisis we have created for ourselves.  It is the only form of leadership that will enable conventional businesses to flourish in the post conventional world and is equally applicable in all other forms of organisation.

We are looking for coaches and facilitators to collaborate with us in this project and we are convening two events to explore and discuss the tools, techniques and approaches we can use.

The first is called Post Conventional Facilitation for the Disrupted Age, it is a course for experienced coaches and facilitators to learn the techniques that we have found to be essential in working with teams and organisations facing the Post Conventional Disruption.  Find out more by following the link above.

The second is the Holos Faculty Conference which is for coaches, facilitators and other change agents and will explore the theme of Post Conventional and Beyond.  Find out more here.

We very much look forward to working with you.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

You can subscribe for free at http://www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Post Conventional and beyond

Conventional businesses will not survive at scale.

In this case Conventional means businesses that pursue a fundamentally unchanging business model and rely in incremental improvements over time.

The future belongs to Post Conventional businesses.

Post Conventional businesses being those that are able to be both reliable in pursuing a business model and transform to new business models at the same time.

Medium and large Conventional businesses that want to survive must become Post Conventional.

The dizzying rate of change created by the three Megatrends of Digitisation (everything that can be digital, will be), Decarbonisation (everything that can be electric will be) and Ageing (the global north and south are already old. The only young places are around the middle), mean that if all you are doing is managing reliability, you are managing decline.

Two of our clients, for example:

A fuel retailer with hundreds of petrol stations in a part of the world that has committed to banning the sale of combustion vehicles in 10 years time.

A global FMCG manufacturer, who have sold the same product for well over 150 years  whose category sales are declining at 19% per year to a game changing product.

Any organisation that has enjoyed success for a generation with the same business model will have developed a culture, philosophy and capability focussed on reliability and cranking the handle.  Management will be the key skill and leadership will be discouraged.  Because, leadership is fundamentally about change and if you are focussed on reliably cranking the handle, people who insist on change are annoying.

These organisations have extremely limited capability for change, let alone transformation, and have tremendous cultural and structural resistance to it.

So, what can be done?  How can a Conventional organisation become Post Conventional?

The first thing is to be honest around the context.  What are the threats to our business model?  What are our capabilities around change?

The second is to explore the cause (vision, mission and purpose) that can create opportunity for the organisation. (Conventional organisations don’t need a vision, because they are not going anywhere).

The third is to define, create and curate the conditions (culture,  habits and systems) that will enable the cause to be achieved.

The precondition for any of this to actually happen is leadership.  Someone or a number of individuals who have the combination of skill, courage and vulnerability to engage a wider group of people with the idea that things have to change.

In the two cases above it was an individual, relatively new to the business and relatively senior who had the courage to say the unthinkable.  To articulate that the current game is over and it is time for a new one.  In both cases this leader worked with their senior team and with specialists to articulate a vision and a case for change.

In both cases the leadership team chose to transform the existing organisation culture and systems rather than create a new organisation to pursue the vision and run down the old.

The transformation involves the changing of many systems – both in an HR sense, the systems of reward and recognition, reporting lines, structures, recruitment etc and the operational systems, because what the company does is fundamentally changing.

And the culture, typically the culture has to shift from obedience, competition, conformity and deference to creativity, collaboration, autonomy and experimentation.

And yet, at the same time, the existing business model is not done yet.  First it has to be optimised still further in order to continue to generate the cash that can pay for the transformation.

There is a truth about such transformations, which is that, on the whole those who are less than 10 years from retirement are rarely the best suited to leading it.  They have more invested in the old and less incentive to change personally than younger colleagues.  Therefore it is often wise for the longest serving team members to focus on optimising the old and delegate the task of transformation to the next generation.

There is a further truth that such transformations are best led by visionary and authentic style leadership, which is primarily motivated by purpose and is committed to delivering sustained success by supporting a diversity of colleagues to be the very best version of themselves most of the time.

Boss and Ruler style leadership, primarily motivated by their own status finds articulating a cause that is inspiring to all stakeholders very difficult.  The inability to deliver results without stealing from the future and the preference for loyalty over competence makes long term success unlikely.

If you are in a medium to large conventional organisation and facing existential threat, the first step is to find the authentic and visionary leaders who are already there and get to work.

Holos specialises in the enabling the cultural shift from Conventional to Post Conventional.  If you are interested in this area you may also be interested in two events we have coming up.

Post Conventional Facilitation – is a course for those already working as coaches and facilitators to take their practice to the next level and enhance their ability deal with the complex and ambiguous requirements involved in helping clients on their transformation journey.  Contact us for details at info@holoschange.com

Holos Faculty Conference – Post Conventional and Beyond – 22 and 23 January, London.  A gathering of coaches, facilitators and change agents exploring the challenges and opportunities presented by the shift to Post Conventional.  More information here

At Holos our vision is Universal Authentic Leadership.  We specialise in enabling authentic leadership in organisations and even in organisations in crisis.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

You can subscribe for free at http://www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

Posted in authenticity, Business, innovation, Leadership | Leave a comment

From Boss to Authentic – it’s official

In 1997 the influential US Business Round Table groups of corporate CEOs issued a statement of purpose for corporations:  “The paramount duty of management and of boards of directors is to the corporation’s stockholders. The interests of other stakeholders are relevant as a derivative of the duty to stockholders.”

The perhaps unintended consequences of this statement and the influence of Milton Friedman include many of the socially negative outcomes of capitalism – such as short termism, the externalising of costs onto the environment and communities and the pursuit of narrow self interest.  The style of leadership best suited to this form of capitalism is what we would call “Boss Style” leadership.

Boss style leaders succeed in delivering short term success by stealing from the future and prioritising loyalty over competence in their teams.

The consequences include many corporate disasters, a great deal of environmental damage, health problems and social inequality. (It is worth saying also that corporations have also contributed to huge benefits including technical advances, reductions in global poverty and high living standards for many.)

As a result of these negatives social attitudes to corporations have shifted with increasing numbers of people seeing corporations and capitalism as a bad thing and corporations becoming increasingly sensitive to their social “licence to operate” – especially in relation to the hiring of young and increasingly ethically minded talent.

In August 2019 the Business Round Table, after a years work by the CEOs of IBM, JP Morgan, Johnson & Johnson and others, issued an updated statement of purpose for corporations.  This new statement puts the interests of shareholders into a much wider social and environmental context and reads:

“Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation

Published by the Business Roundtable, Aug. 19, 2019

Americans deserve an economy that allows each person to succeed through hard work and creativity and to lead a life of meaning and dignity. We believe the free-market system is the best means of generating good jobs, a strong and sustainable economy, innovation, a healthy environment, and economic opportunity for all.

Businesses play a vital role in the economy by creating jobs, fostering innovation, and providing essential goods and services. Businesses make and sell consumer products; manufacture equipment and vehicles; support the national defense; grow and produce food; provide health care; generate and deliver energy; and offer financial, communications, and other services that underpin economic growth.

While each of our individual companies serves its own corporate purpose, we share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders. We commit to:

Delivering value to our customers. We will further the tradition of American companies leading the way in meeting or ­exceeding customer expectations.

Investing in our employees. This starts with compensating them fairly and providing important benefits. It also includes supporting them through training and education that help develop new skills for a rapidly changing world. We foster diversity and inclusion, dignity, and respect.

Dealing fairly and ethically with our suppliers. We are dedicated to serving as good partners to the other companies, large and small, that help us meet our missions.

Supporting the communities in which we work. We respect the people in our communities and protect the environment by embracing sustainable practices across our businesses.

Generating long-term value for shareholders. [They] provide the capital that allows companies to invest, grow, and innovate. We are ­committed to trans­parency and effective engagement with shareholders.

Each of our stake­holders is essential. W­e commit to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities, and our country.

If this is anything like as influential as the Milton Friedman and the previous purpose statement, this is highly significant.  It shifts the corporate mantra from “independent” to “interdependent” and it shifts the leadership philosophy from “Boss” to “Authentic”.

When we operate as Boss style leaders we are primarily motivated by status and the needs of customers, employees, suppliers, communities, shareholders and the environment are only relevant insofar as they can contribute to enhancing that status.

When we operate as Authentic leaders we are primarily motivated by purpose and we are far better placed to successfully balance the needs of a variety of stakeholders and deliver sustained success.

So, in order for corporations to deliver on their new purpose they will have to make specific efforts to enable authentic leadership in their organisations.

There are two important catches in the relationships between authentic and boss style:

1 – Boss style leaders don’t recognise authentic leaders as leaders at all.  So if there is a lot of boss style leadership in your organisation authentic style leaders will struggle for traction.

2 – Very few boss style leaders are authentically boss style leaders.  Most are uncomfortable with it and only operate that way because they don’t know anything else and/or they are triggered by the culture and the stress to operating at that level.

At Holos our vision is Universal Authentic Leadership.  We specialise in enabling authentic leadership in organisations and even in organisations in crisis.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

You can subscribe for free at http://www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

 

 

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