Are you happy with how your team, department or organisation is currently performing?
If not, what gets in the way of your organisational performance delivery and what can you do about it?
I know from my own experience as a business owner and organisational consultant for others, that with all the potential blockages and issues which can get in the way of good performance delivery, it really is a wonder that anything gets done sometimes!
How can we just cut through all of these blockages and problems and make a real difference?
As leaders, it is certainly our responsibility to identify and clarify the problems and it is not always our responsibility to solve them. To discharge our responsibilities as leaders then, there are some simple questions that we will need to ask ourselves, and others; a kind of coaching approach.
This way we can all face up to the real reasons why things aren’t always as good as they might or could be. Graham Lee, in his CIPD publication Leadership Coaching: From personal insights to organisational performance, highlights the concept of authentic leadership.
It’s a simple enough concept which asks us to consider if our leadership style and approach balances our personal needs with the needs of the individuals working for us in our teams; with the needs of the wider organisation:
He explains that sometimes leaders can sometimes be found to be either self-serving, toxic or defiant whilst others, at the other end of this scale are switched off and totally compliant, abdicating any of their personal responsibilities to avoid conflict and using the organisation as the reason for behaving like this.
So how do any of us know if we are acting authentically, defiantly or passively?
What do people really think about you and your motives for leadership? Ask around!
Let’s break it down even further. Poor delegation is often another dysfunctionality in organisations.
Do you delegate appropriately?
Is delegation used or abused where you work? Is there a good balance? Do people take responsibility? Is there a blame culture? Ask around!
A lack of clarity of role and responsibilities and lack of ownership with fair and objective accountability structures can cause many performance problems. Do you have the right balance? Ask around!
Poorly defined KPI’s, in terms of being too high, too low, or not even relevant can skew performance thinking and results. There is also often too much pressure for KPI achievement without the proper support given to staff and managers.
Are people clear where you work as to what is expected of them? Are you? Ask around!
Low motivation and staff engagement are often issues of concern and this can be fuelled by a lack of challenge for poor performance and performers. Unhealthy competitive cultures are often present in organisations which doesn’t help. A lack of creativity compounds this and can sometime be reflected in silo working with little or no appetite for collaboration and alliance building.
Does this sound like your organisation? Still unsure? Ask around!
A lack of organisational synergy and cooperation will often result in low satisfaction and engagement levels. A lack of clear goals will generate poor attitudes to work and in a culture of blame where unfair, subjective and unnecessary criticisms are the norm, people just will not feel valued or able to make a constructive contribution.
This often generates a lack of transparency, trust and confidence and overall reduction in team spirit, where the diversity of team members is not valued, monitored and encouraged.
There is no room for complacency where low self confidence and self-esteem are found and Leaders must do everything they can do to limit and confront any suggestion of self-limiting belief and have a strategy of rewards which meets the needs and expectations of the people who work there.
Do an organisational health check. Ask around!
If there is one skill that a leader must refine, it is that of asking questions. Simple!
Ask around and you will see (if you dare!)
Associate tutor of In Professional Development