Surely you know of more than one organisation who is greatly disappointed with themselves for not being able to turn in the kind of results despite their efforts and investments they put into their restructuring or reengineering exercises.
Many of them seem to have no answers to this except resigned to the hard truth that nothing can be changed or things can only go from bad to worse after a change exercise like a deteriorating bottom-line, lower production, higher expenditure or even a sharpening dip in staff morale.
Many CEOs are more bewildered and angry especially when not only money and efforts have been put in but top brains of highly qualified financial and strategic experts have been hired for this job and nothing seems to happen!
So what is missing? On the surface, everything to them was put in place. However, when they get to the bottom of it, the biggest contributing factor is usually not about a lack of the “hardware” aspects of procedures, policies and programmes, etc. What is usually missing is the lack of emphasis on the “software” aspects or “people” in the organisation, pertaining to their feelings, emotions, personality types, relationship with others and so forth. Sadly, this “software” aspect is often not a priority in many organisations when undertaking a change exercise. If ever there was, it is usually a “touch and go” of skimming through the surface of the “people landscape” to know what needs to be done there as well. Either it is a case of pure ignorance of its importance or is simply a case of denial that things are okay with them.
One key reason for refusing to attach more importance on this “software” aspect has to do with their power base where leaders there still want to cling on to the traditional “command and control” leadership model, which seems to serve them well. “So why rock the boat” is often their argument for keeping to the status quo lest they break their “rice bowl”, which could cause them to lose control of their powers and authority! But the truth is without a corresponding change in the corporate culture where leaders play a huge part in, it is difficult to institute change in the organisation.
Such leaders are still living in their past where they want to remain unchanged in a world that has changed so much. Keeping to this paradigm can only spell more disappointments.
Organisations should now engage coaches to work alongside with consultants for a good balance in dealing with the hard and soft sides of the change exercise. Why so? Because coaches can go down to the “heart” level of the change process to understand and work with feelings, emotions and deeper issues, etc, more than any strategic planners and management experts who are required more for the “head” aspects of intellect, logic and information only.
Coaches put their best skills at play: listening, questioning, observing and feeling the environment while consultants and strategic planners will be good for the thinking and analysing aspects of the job. Coaches can therefore feel the pulse and heartbeat of the organisation to advise them on the finer details of the change exercise.
Add on to this, coaches will be most competent to up skill leaders with new age leadership qualities and competencies so that they can become more engaging, accepting and be more innovative to lead the new generation of workers. Gradually, a new corporate culture driven by new age leaders that is in sync with the new direction and expectations of the organisation will arise.
This is where organisational change will meet with far more success when the missing equation of leaders and people are put properly in place.
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