Have you been witness to the following situation in your workplace?
Team member speaks of things like: “We just do not have what it takes. It will not work out for us. We are more involved with internal politics and lack initiative. We are always behind and late in responding to competition. Our leaders just do not possess the calibre required. We will only go down and down…….”
Leader responds with thoughts like : “ We have a mediocre set of people working here, they just do have the capability. We keep on training them , we involve them in decision making but they just don’t have any good ideas. We just cannot afford more expensive professionals so need to make do with such mediocrity. We are doing the best we can but our team is not upto the mark………….”
The perception about the problem and what is needed to remedy it is diametrically opposite in the minds of team member and the leader. What remains common for both the sides is the direction in which the organisation is heading, which is only downwards. Opposing perceptions, opposing prescriptions, same outcome!
In the words of Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan in The Three Laws of Performance:
“Everyone experiences a future in front of them, even though few could articulate it. The future lives at the gut level, we know it is what will happen. We call this the default future, and every person has one. And so does every organisation. We live into our default future unaware that by doing so, we are making it come about.
………….the same dynamic exists at the organisational level. Statistical evidence shows that most significant change efforts fail. This is because regardless of the Management interventions tried, the default futures of employees and leaders are still in place. The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
‘The more things change, the more they remain the same’
With the new millennium heralding an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environment, the tenets of Change Management as we know it, might not work.
So what is it that the millennial leader has to do to transform the situation and elevate performance?
Acknowledgement : The Three Laws of Performance by Steve Zaffron & Dave Logan. Published by Jossey – Bass, CA , US.