The company wants change. And fast. So strategies and objectives and plans and numbers and incentives are thrown at employees – while resources are taken away.
‘Doing more with less,’ however, is not the biggest game played. The grand pretend, the most significant miss in most organizations, is the idea that changing human behaviors can be accomplished by appealing solely to the intellect. This is the lie being acted out: “Let’s throw more numbers at ‘em to persuade them to change.”
Doing something different, acting in ways we haven’t acted before, is an emotional matter. This is where you separate the talented leaders from those pretending, because emotions make some people nervous. The scared boss plays the trite card of “ooh, let’s not get touchy feely.” Which translates into: Let’s not get too serious about changing behaviors.
Effective change agents know that transforming a behavior begins with the most fundamental of emotions: Saying “I care.” It’s likely your competitor has a culture where caring is considered weak or out of bounds. (Keep it on the surface. Don’t get personal. Don’t be human while you do your work.)
Some organizations are figuring this out. They’re creating a competitive advantage with a work force that happily gives every effort in their bones to succeed. If you work for such an organization, one that wants you to think and feel, count yourself as fortunate.
And if you don’t, consider this a call to create the organization that doesn’t play the grand pretend. Inspire us.