The only effective response to fear and hate is love

Following the mainstream media it is easy to get a frighteningly dystopian picture, not only of our situation, but also of humanity in general.  The fear and hate driven turn that our politics appear to have taken in Europe, the US and beyond could presage a truly frightening future of fragmentation of Europe and autocratic, narcissistic, demagogues in charge of both the White House and the Kremlin.

Demagogues are popular by definition.  They identify with problems that are commonly felt and propose simple solutions generally designed to enhance their position rather than to actually solve the problem.  For a more authentic leader to make the case for more subtle and complex solutions to complex problems against a demagogic alternative is hard.

Immigration and refugees are a current example of a complex and popular “problem” that is easily exploited by demagogues to further their own ends.

However, the mainstream only tells a fraction of the whole story and I would like to devote the rest of this post to examples of inspiring authentic leaders who are currently offering solutions to some of our most vexing problems.

My list are a mixture of people who have built up or use a high profile for their work and people I happen to know and am honoured to call friends.  Beyond these few, there are of course hundreds of thousands of great authentic leaders that I am unaware of and hundreds of millions who do wonders through love and compassion in their every day lives.

Here are a few – please add to the list in the comments.

Altamar  Founded by Line Hadsbjerg and Pep Bonet makes documentary films that ask some of the hardest possible, and therefore most necessary, questions of our society – such as: Why are we complicit in the creation of urban underclasses?  Why are we complicit in the exploitation of children?

Seed Founded by Christina Vesty – Seed is essentially an “accelerator” for individual girls in Africa helping them to get mentoring and a better education.

Afriversity Founded by Thorgier Einarsson – is a training ground and resource provider for prospective entrepreneurs in Africa.  The surest way to political and economic stability is through the creation of a broad “middle class” of professionals and business people.

Jeremy Leggett Since I interviewed Jeremy for my first book in 2003 he has been a ceaseless and powerful leader of the great energy transition.  Both through his business Solar Century and through his lobbying and writing he is helping us overcome our oil addiction.

Malala Malala’s response to those who sought to prevent her from completing her education, because she is a girl, is to enable and assist thousands of other girls to complete an education.  What love.

Emma Watson Feminism and standing up for women is not just for women.  Emma is putting her status to a powerful and profound purpose.

Melati and Isabel Wijsen This goes to the heart of authentic leadership.  Pick an issue whose solution matters to many and inspire others to participate in solving it.  Start from wherever you are, don’t give up, turn it into a way of life.

Paul Stammets  and Allan Savory These two demonstrate the importance of creative and non linear thinking.  There are so many solutions out there, we do not need to be limited to the obvious ones.

Tesla Tesla is here to show that solving global problems can be commercial and successful as well as charitable and campaigning.

Holos exists to make authentic leadership ubiquitous in our society.  We believe that the world will be a better place when authentic leadership is the norm in business, politics, the  public sector, education and everywhere.

At Holos we have been studying authentic leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great authentic leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it.

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.neilcrofts.com

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

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

 

Posted in Leadership, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Decarbonisation – Megatrends update

Since I wrote my original Megatrends blog post back in June much has changed (and I have delivered it many times as a session for clients).  The biggest changes have been in the Decarbonisation Megatrend.

I wanted to update this with a few really significant points:

1 – The price of oil has continued to fall

2- Tesla and electric cars have continued to prosper inspite of 1

3 – The Paris Climate Summit and the coming Green Tech boom.

The price of oil is currently hovering at around $30 per barrel.  Only the most easily accessible oil wells are profitable at this level and most of them are in Saudi Arabia.  With sanctions lifted on Iran, their oil is now flowing onto an already over supplied market,  Iraq announced record production figures and Russia’s economy has contracted by over 3%.

What typically happens in the long oil cycle is that money gets invested in exploration and then production.  As the investments mature production rises, supply levels rise, eventually outstripping demand at which point prices fall.  Falling prices push more expensive production out of the market, which stabilises the market before the cycle begins again.

Oil consumption is still rising slightly, but production particularly from the US, but also from West Africa and Brazil have massively boosted production in the current cycle.  Historically Saudi Arabia and OPEC have taken the role of market stabiliser by cutting their own production to boost prices.  This time, however, they have not.

An ex-oil industry friend of mine uses the following analogy to describe the situation – “if you have a warehouse full of a product that you know will go out of fashion – what is your strategy?”  The answer is that you do every thing you can to sell before the fashion changes, including cutting prices.

The Saudi’s and others recognise that demand will dry up before supply does and therefore it is worth suffering the loss of margin to maximise the overall revenue.  Right now no one can afford to stop pumping and be the one left with the largest stranded assets – it is a race to the end.

In this race the strongest will last longer and it is easy to see that the small independents will be the first to go, followed by the large internationals – assuming they fail to find another strategy in time (which they show little sign of doing).

There is a lot of speculation at the moment that Saudi Aramco – the national oil company of Saudi Arabia – will float, at least partially, suggesting that the Saudi’s want to sell the warehouse as well as the stock.  If Saudi Aramco does float, it is not impossible that they will then also buy other oil companies.  Whether they do or not, it is almost inevitable that there will be another turn of the cycle and the current stalling of investment will lead to production failing to meet supply and prices will rise again.

However there is another race between the turning of this oil cycle and the decarbonisation of our economy.  If we can decarbonise faster, then oil prices will only rise modestly and oil producers will remain politically weak.  If we decarbonise too slowly, oil prices will rise significantly and producers will be politically strong once again.

2 – Conventional logic and even history might have suggested that with falling oil, interest in alternatives would also fall.  This has not really happened, renewable energy enjoyed it’s greatest ever year of investment in 2015 and the Tesla Model S outsold all other cars in it’s class in the US and Telsa was narrowly the second largest selling luxury car maker in the US, just behind Mercedes.  What has changed?

Three things probably; electricity prices are only loosely connected to the price of oil meaning that the cost of generation has not really dropped.  Concerns about pollution, particularly in China have massively increased investment in both solar and wind generation.  Unlike oil (a finite commodity) when demand for solar and wind technology increases the prices will go down, with economies of scale and product innovation.

For Tesla the real reasons are not completely clear, but most reviewers regard the Tesla specifically (and well engineered electric cars in general) as just better – a lot better – than the competition, in terms of the overall user experience.  Unsurprisingly the competitors – Porsche, Mercedes, BMW and Audi are all racing to build their own long range electric cars.  This year is also likely to see the launch of both the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevrolet Bolt, both aimed at the much higher volume mid size car market.

Like renewable energy generation higher volumes will push prices down, further expanding the market.  With increased demand will come increased charging infrastructure bringing the exponential growth of the electric market closer.   Once you also factor in the urgent need for virtually all cities globally to drastically improve air quality, under current regulations, it is easy to see that what is a tail wind for green tech generally is a headwind for fossil fuels.

3 – Which brings us to Paris and COP21, it is fair to say that our political leaders are seldom “leaders” in the sense of actual taking the lead, but the zeitgeist has clearly moved since the calamitous Copenhagen summit.  The biggest differences being in the Chinese and US stance, as well as the clever facilitation of the event itself.  Regardless, the outcome is likely to encourage further investment and invention in the green tech space.

The places we are going to see real change will be in electricity generation and energy storage and efficiency, transport,  pollution mitigation and agriculture and food production.

We are entering a massive energy transition from a fuel that has dominated not just our energy supplies, but our economies and geopolitics for over 100 years.  Side effects of our oil addiction included significantly increased global wealth and serious environmental damage.  The transition will be seriously disruptive for most businesses as global markets adjust to the new norm and each of us in our own ways have to change how we operate.

Is your business ready for the changes implied by the three Megatrends of Digitisation, Decarbonisation and Ageing?  All of us will be affected by them.   If you want to explore the effects on your own business and sector Holos offers a standalone Megatrends session to help you to explore and begin the adaptation process.

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.

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.neilcrofts.com

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

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

 

Posted in Business, Leadership, society | Leave a comment

If customers really want a company to succeed, it will succeed – Elon Musk

This idea, articulated by Elon Musk, one of the founders of PayPal, Tesla, Space-X and SolarCity in a BBC interview, may seem like common sense, but it is disappointingly rare in business.

I would go further unless employees really want a company to succeed it will fail.

It may be true that in the very early stages of a business shareholder support is critical, but by the time a business has customers and employees, the interests of the shareholder are best served by the leadership engaging, inspiring, empowering, incentivising, motivating and rewarding employees to deliver value to customers.

Within all of this the key emotion is loyalty.  Why should anyone want a business to succeed, beyond it satisfying their own immediate requirements?

Fear is used, either obliquely (you might loose your job) or directly (you will loose your job) and certainly can create a form of loyalty – but not the kind that actually wants success for the organisation.  Fear seldom enables creativity or innovation on behalf of the organisation.  Fear is a motivator, but mostly to avoid the cause of the fear, it is not a long term or sustainable path for organisations.

Love, the opposite of fear, is far, far more potent in the generation of loyalty, but takes a good deal more skill to spread across an organisation and it’s stakeholders than fear.

The key ingredients of Love in an organisational context are “Cause” and “Code”.

In the case of Tesla the cause is to “accelerate the advent of sustainable transport” – there are many people current and potential: customers, shareholders, suppliers and employees who strongly support this cause.

The cause alone is not enough however, it is differentiating, but not unique.  Nissan, BMW, GM, Renault and potentially Apple and Google are all contributors to Tesla’s cause.

What makes Tesla unique is their Code.  Their code says that they are so committed to the Cause that they want to help and encourage other electric car makers and have proven their commitment to this by freely, open sourcing their designs.  The Tesla code will also define other areas of how they work, how employees and customers are treated and the culture of the organisation.

Where organisations succeed in creating powerful loyalty, employees and customers will contribute to it’s success through endorsement and be prepared to stand up for it’s survival, in hard times.  Contrast this with organisations who fail to create loyalty, where customers and employees leave as soon as a better option appears or when times are tough.

Cause and Code do not happen by accident, they are a product of leadership and it is leadership that propagates them through and beyond an organisation.  In the process they create and curate the culture that delivers the results.  Done well the results can include loyalty and sustained success.

In our society there is nothing inevitable about this path.  Leadership education is scant and many of the role models we see are poor or negative.  I meet so many individuals with fantastic, positive leadership potential, who do not see themselves as leaders at all because all of the leadership role models they have experience of have been so negative.  It takes great skill and persistence to overcome the negatives and the challenges, which is why the support of those who have studied and understand great leadership is so important.

At Holos we have been studying 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.

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.

To help make using Holos easy we offer inspiring standalone sessions on Megatrends, Leadership, Culture and Change that give organisations a chance to see us in action and helps to get a wider process started.

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.neilcrofts.com

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

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

 

 

 

Posted in Business, coaching and training, Leadership | Leave a comment

Sustained Success

Most businesses want to get to a place of sustained success.  Where the whole organisation aligns behind a common purpose and delivers on it.  Where people and processes are efficient and productive.  Where customers are delighted and loyal.  Where excellence is not just a steady state but also adaptive and agile enough to be continually on or ahead of the curve in terms of innovation.
Few businesses every really achieve this because it is extremely challenging to do. Some businesses lurch from crisis to crisis, some find it difficult to get the basics reliably right and otherwise good businesses get struck by unpredicted crisis.   With the transparency of the digital world pouring ever more scrutiny on already stretched executives every leader and every team in every business needs all of the help they can get to gain the escape velocity from the gravitational pull of mediocrity.
Sustained success is possible and there are plenty of examples of such businesses at all scales.  What these businesses have in common is leadership who curate a culture that delivers with minimal intervention, which in turn frees that leadership up to be at their best in strategic thinking and supporting their people to be the best they possibly can be.
The path to such organisational nirvana is clear and achievable for most businesses, as long as the building blocks are in place.  This approach applies at team, department, divisional as well as whole organisation levels, the only thing that changes is the relationship with the stakeholders.
The first step is always to accurately diagnose the current state.
Then take the appropriate next step depending on which building blocks are already in place.
 The diagnosis identifies the organisation or team at one of four levels of organisational evolution:
1 – Fix  Create stability and predictability
2 – Reliability  Deliver goals and promises
3 – Ensurance  Purpose-driven, safe, and compliant
4 – Adaptability  Vision-led, flexible, and adaptive
These levels also define stages on the way to sustained success – the path is linear and there is no short cut between “Fix” and “Adaptability”.  If the diagnosis is that an organisation is in need of “Reliability” the reliability will have to be achieved and then Ensurance before Adaptability.
Fix
Fix is for organisations in some sort of crisis.  The crisis may be as a result of internal or external factors. An organisation is in crisis when some of the foundations of the system change unpredictably – this could be some from some accident or event specific to the business, it could be market driven or it could be the loss or departure of a key individual.
Crisis is a good thing as it generates motivation and permission to change.  As the saying goes “never waste a good crisis”, however we have to also be careful to avoid the “pyromaniac fireman” syndrome where we create crises in order to motivate change (or feel fulfilled.)  The skill is to make sure that the solution to crisis is sufficiently strategic and not overly reactive.  Fix is about developing stability in the organisational culture and reducing the overall level of stress in the business.
Reliability
When an organisation is not in crisis the next diagnostic level is “Reliability”.  Reliability is about understanding the promises that an organisation makes to it’s stakeholders (customers, employees, shareholders and others) and how good they are at keeping them.  This runs from the macro promises around making decisions that actually align to a purpose and holding to overall values, or the ability to deliver on major projects, down to the micro promises like how people are treated on a day to day basis.
Reliability is the critical building block of sustained success, so it is worth looking at the components in a little more detail.  In terms of diagnosing where your organisation is right now first think about the “promises” it makes – think about this in terms of both specific statements made to stakeholders and also implied promises in terms of market expectations.
1 – Promises made to staff in terms of values, development, leadership, autonomy, recognition etc
2 – Promises made to customers in terms of reliability, safety, quality, durability and so on.
3 – Promises made to shareholders in terms of performance and results.
4 – Promises made to society in terms of impact, risk, social value etc.
The order of this list is intentional:
– organisations that put shareholders first end up being short term and reactive in their thinking.
– organisations that put customers first end up being excessively demanding of their staff risking burn out and churn.
– organisations that put staff first end up having a people who are motivated to do the best for customers and customers who are loyal and not excessively price sensitive.
Having considered the promises that the organisations makes consider your own immediate experience how good it is at delivering on them – for example:
1 – What proportion of projects get delivered on time and on budget?
2 – What proportion of internal meetings start and end on time, follow the agenda and deliver expected outcomes?
3 – What proportion of customer complaints relate to reliability, safety, quality, durability and so on?
4 – To what extent do staff feel that the values are lived by senior management?
5 – To what extent do staff believe that decisions are taken in the wider long term interests of the organisation.
Truly successful organisations achieve promise adherence rates of over 90% both internally and externally.
Interestingly Apple’s fortunes started to take a serious turn for the positive when they got serious about their operations and delivering on their promises – the man in charge of that transformation was one Tim Cook, perhaps their post Steve Jobs success is not so surprising.
The key to promise adherence is the prioritisation of promises and leadership’s attention to it, including developing the systems and incentives that make promise adherence easy and rewarding for all employees.
Ensurance
 
Even with high levels of promise adherence and corporate reliability there is still the risk of crisis, organisations like BP or VW were not bad organisations at the time of their crises, but risk existed within their culture.  Ensurance is about understanding what risks exist within a culture and an industry and taking steps to mitigate them as the cost of such a crisis can run into billions of dollars and risks the survival of the business.
When the news of such a crisis breaks the vast majority of employees are truly shocked. Typically the companies  have strong recruitment practices and hire those who were successful at school and university. They have codes of conduct and disciplinary processes designed to keep them safe. Senior managers are usually decent, clever people with great integrity. So how are businesses so apparently vulnerable to these situations?
If we look at a very high level we can see some well known commonalities:
1 – Short term focus
2 – Detached Senior leadership
3 – Difficult for less senior people to escalate concerns
4 – Focus on transactional rather than relational conversations
5 – Prioritisation of results over other considerations
6 – Poor internal communication
7 – Mistrust
If you notice these cultural traits in your organisation it could be vulnerable.
Ensurance is not a matter of additional controls or policies, it is not a matter for lawyers or compliance officers, it is a cultural challenge that falls disproportionately on the leadership. Ensurance is about creating a culture which has the opposite cultural habits to those listed above;
1 – Effective balance between long and short term
2 – Connected leadership
3 – Excellent communication channels for concerns.
4 – Honest and trusting relationships
5 – Incentives and recognition around qualitative and behavioural areas as well as performance
6 – Excellent internal communication
7 – Valuing of robust conversation.
For organisations to be safe they need to have cultures where colleagues really look out for each other. Where if they see things that concern them it is easy to escalate them. Where everyone is very clear what the values and the behavioural boundaries are and that these are reinforced daily, by the behaviour of leaders and by the policies and practices of the business.
Adaptability
Which brings us to the objective, Adaptability is possible only when organisation stress is under control, when there is a high degree of reliability and low levels of systemic risk.  It is only under these circumstances that the leadership have the bandwidth and the employee base have the trust (in leadership and each other) and commitment to create truly sustainable success.
Just because an organisation is profitable does not mean it is sustainably successful.  It is relatively easy to be profitable by stealing from the future or riding the wave of a trend, for example.  What is much harder is to have a culture that is forward looking enough and agile enough to continually redefine the trends and ride them successfully every time, while also investing in the future in terms of people development and innovation.
Adaptability is just that – the ability to continually define the future and adapt reliably to it.  It is the place where businesses grow and profit year in year out.  The key to achieving adaptability is leadership and the key leaderships skills required are culture curation and change leadership.
Conclusion
The results achieved by any business or team, positive or negative, are realised through the agency of the culture and the culture is defined by the leadership.  Investing in the development of  high quality leadership at all levels of the organisation has a disproportionate and long term benefit to the business in terms of increased returns, increased reputation and reduced risk.
Holos works with with leaders at all levels to help them understand their challenges and develop their skills so that they can change and curate the kind of culture that leads 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.

To help make using Holos easy we offer inspiring standalone sessions on Megatrends, Leadership, Culture and Change that give organisations a chance to see us in action and helps to get a wider process started.

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.neilcrofts.com

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

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

Posted in Business, Leadership | Leave a comment

3 Fundamental Truths

We have been doing this work for about 15 years now.  One of the great privileges of travelling around the world discussing leadership, culture and change with so many people is what we get to learn ourselves.

Three of the most striking truths that come across over and over again and that we do not really see articulated elsewhere are these:

1 – A challenge gets precisely as deep as it needs to get for us to learn what we need to learn.

Whether we are talking about climate change and terrorism, organisational challenges or personal challenges they all have a tendency to persist or get worse until those involved learn what they/we need to learn to resolve the issue.

These challenges raise our awareness to a situation, behaviour or belief system that is unhelpful in our lives.  With our awareness raised we have the choice to study the challenge and find ways to resolve it.  If we fail to resolve it, generally speaking it will persist or get deeper until we face up to it.

Learning means a critical mass of the relevant population understand the solutions and activate that learning in the form of changed behaviours. Choosing the wrong approach will make the problem persist or get worse.

At all scales once a critical mass of the relevant population are able to activate the right new behaviours the challenge can go away remarkably quickly.

Truth 1 – is always subject to truth 2.

2 – When facing a challenge we have the choice to transcend or succumb.

The most common way to succumb to a challenge is to remain in denial of it until it is overwhelming.  We see this in global corporations where there can be a cultural preference to avoid the uncomfortable conversations.  If we are unwilling to have the uncomfortable conversations we will avoid the learning that could overcome the challenge.

Another version of denial is to face up to the challenge, but with insufficient commitment.  Under these circumstances, we may get a second chance to learn and change, but we may not.

Truth 1 and truth 2 are subject to truth 3.

3 – There is no objective world view, only opinions and the majority of opinions will be influenced by someone.

There are very few people indeed who have the capacity to absorb all of the relevant data around a particular issue to come to an objective conclusion. There are even fewer who combine this ability with the leadership and communication skills to rally a critical mass of people around the right solution.

This does not stop us from believing that these people exist.  For millennia we have believed in gods or superheroes who will come and save us from our folly.

The reality is there are multiple opinions and most people’s opinion will be shaped by someone else.  Typically that someone will be a dominant personality and may be a leader, who seeks the greater good or an opportunist manipulator who seeks some form of gain.  Most of us will not form an opinion on a given situation on our own.

Following manipulators often looks more attractive, because they make themselves look like superheroes, who will save the day for us, without us having to make the difficult choices.  Leaders seeking the greater good take more courage to follow, because the right path nearly always requires us to change too.

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 engage with challenges, learn from them and change behaviours to deliver sustainable success..

Holos believes that change is easy and this is true when the right process is followed. We all know from our own experience that some changes have been easy and others have been hard. What Holos has done is to distil the essence of what makes change easy into a process and it is that process that we bring to our clients.

For any organisation that needs to engage it’s culture with change, whether it is because of innovation, competition or regulation, Holos can help to make that change easy.

To help make using Holos easy we offer inspiring standalone sessions on Megatrends, Leadership, Culture and Change that give organisations a chance to see us in action and helps to get a wider process started.

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.neilcrofts.com

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Megatrends Live and the great leadership upgrade

Last week I did a Megatrends session for a group of about 22 mid level, high potential leaders in a household name, global PLC.

We covered the introduction to and discussion about Megatrends and then went into personal purpose and vision.  The group then aligned their individual purpose and vision to future organisational roles and formed teams based on common purposes.  These teams then created projects that they would work up into a pitch over two months for a “Dragons Den” type presentation to senior execs.

The beauty of these sessions with relatively younger leaders – in their mid to late 30s – is that they are more concerned about the future than the past.  Whereas senior executives, typically ten to 15 years older and more concerned with the past than the future.

Many of the organisations we work with have enjoyed relatively stable, high margin businesses for decades, centuries in some cases.  In stable, high margin situations the requirements for “leadership” are low, and “management” is a far more important skill, to keep the whole process ticking along without too much drama.

The implication of the Megatrends is new competition requiring new approaches and serious margin compression.  Quite suddenly leadership is required and the people at the top, who have been successfully managing the business for years, have limited experience of it.

Kodak or Blockbuster are good examples, ten years ago, of the effect of a marketplace revolution when digitisation was impacting the entertainment sector.  After years of profitability their management was ill equipped to deal with a  revolution.  Except that ten years ago they only had one revolution to deal with.

This time we have three (see Megatrends).

Part of the adjustment for senior management is to rapidly pass responsibility for defining the vision and future to those who will be running the company when it happens.

Precisely as in last weeks Megatrends session, the younger leaders are the ones defining the future.  It is now up to the senior managers to have the courage to enable those visions to progress, even if it means cannibalising some of their own legacy products, services and systems.

Beyond this letting go of control and legacy there is also a need to shift to a far more responsive way of working that mimics the new competitors and accelerates product development and deployment, while also taking advantage, where relevant, of the legacy assets that the business has that the new competitors don’t.

Holos offers three main approaches for clients:  Ensurance, Fix and Megatrends.

Ensurance includes a cultural audit that can identify where the organisation is most at risk from a crisis of culture and the leadership and cultural development to ensure against the kind of incidents we see so many corporations getting embroiled in.

Fix is the the leadership and cultural response to crisis if it happens, how does the organisation rehabilitate itself with staff, suppliers, customers and regulators to rebuild trust and reputation.

Megatrends is the adjustment outlined above to prepare leadership and culture for a future which is different from the past.

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.

Holos believes that change is easy and this is true when the right process is followed. We all know from our own experience that some changes have been easy and others have been hard. What Holos has done is to distil the essence of what makes change easy into a process and it is that process that we bring to our clients.

For any organisation that needs to engage it’s culture with change, whether it is because of innovation, competition or regulation, Holos can help to make that change easy.

To help make using Holos easy we offer inspiring standalone sessions on Megatrends, Leadership, Culture and Change that give organisations a chance to see us in action and helps to get a wider process started.

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.neilcrofts.com

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

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

Posted in Leadership, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Leadership and the art of influence

One of the frequent challenges I hear in leadership development sessions is that even after they have  agreed something as a team, people want to renegotiate or that a leader struggles to gain alignment with their team or with stakeholders.

This is about influence and influence is at the very heart of leadership.

Let us start with what influence is not.  Influence is not getting people to do things that serve your personal priorities, prejudices or ego needs, that is manipulation.  There is no doubt that manipulative characters can get people (even strong people) to do things that are against their moral code or even interests.

By contrast influence is about listening, explaining, connecting, building trust and negotiating such people change the way they think or act.  For a leader influence is used to align people to the course of action that delivers the greatest sustainable value to the organisation.

Here we are talking about influence not manipulation.

The most influential leaders have a strong sense of purpose, which they communicate clearly.  A purpose that others identify with and in turn enrol more people to.  Vision for how the purpose is realised is much more open to debate and interpretation by the followers – but the purpose is non-negotiable and is fully owned and embodied by the leader – even if the leader is not it’s author.

The most influential leaders also have a strong code.  They have clear boundaries of behaviour and process that clarify how things are done and not done.  The influential leader will both embody and enforce the code consistently and repeatedly.  This will mean enrolling the team in the code so that everyone is committed to the same boundaries and then reminding people quickly if the code is broken, including themselves.

The most influential leaders are excellent in communication and integrity.  Their words, their decisions and their actions are all completely aligned with their purpose and their code – even when it is uncomfortable or it puts them in a minority.  Influential leaders use words and language with great skill and intentionality.  They are also highly self aware realising the impact of every mood, word or action on those around them and the effect that people and events have on them.

The most influential leaders are humble it is much easier to follow people we identify with than people who set themselves apart as an elite.   Their humility helps them to be excellent listeners who are able to understand the inner reality maps of others to better understand how to communicate with them.

The most influential leaders nurture their most influential followers.  Without followers leaders are just disconnected voices.  The best leaders have excellent followers because they are excellent themselves.  They deliberately recruit and nurture a diverse set  of followers some of whom they disagree with quite profoundly – they do this because they recognise the value of diversity of thought in formulating the best solutions and strategies.

Leadership is a choice and not an appointment.  Just because someone has the title of “leader” does not mean they are one.  Equally, there are many leaders who have not yet been given the title.  Leadership is non hierarchical.

The first person a leader needs to be able to lead is themselves.  To do this they need to have the self awareness to be able to notice, interpret and regulate their own emotions.  Leadership is first and continuously a journey of self discovery.

Leadership is challenging.  The rewards are seeing individuals that you have nurtured achieve far more than they thought they were capable of.  The rewards are seeing teams align and pull together to achieve something amazing.  The rewards are seeing an organisation creating value for itself by creating value for it’s stakeholders.

Leadership is a team sport.  Leaders do not achieve greatness on their own.  They must have some excellent support and followership.  I don’t believe there are any world class players in any field who manage it without some coaching or mentoring.  Learning only by trial and error or experience is just too slow.  Most leaders have to be specialists in their filed and don’t have the bandwidth to also be specialists in leadership.  Great leaders need the help of specialists who study leadership to guide and support them through it’s challenges.

Holos has a wealth of such specialist  leadership coaches 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.

Holos believes that change is easy and this is true when the right process is followed. We all know from our own experience that some changes have been easy and others have been hard. What Holos has done is to distil the essence of what makes change easy into a process and it is that process that we bring to our clients.

For any organisation that needs to engage it’s culture with change, whether it is because of innovation, competition or regulation, Holos can help to make that change easy.

To help make using Holos easy we offer inspiring standalone sessions on Megatrends, Leadership, Culture and Change that give organisations a chance to see us in action and helps to get a wider process started.

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

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neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

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

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