You are already living your values whether you’ve ever thought about them or not.
When someone asks your employees, “What’s it like to work here?”
Most major changes in organizations demand a high degree of cooperation between groups. And if there has been antagonism in the past, say decades old management and union mistrust, building cooperation can be extremely challenging.
Washington Post Columnist Shankar Vedantam’s once wrote that 54 percent of wars between nations end in negotiated settlements, but only 24 percent of civil wars end that way. Drawing on the research of Barbara Walters, he wrote, “opponents in a civil war usually have to lay down arms before peace is reached. Once they do so, they both have to trust that the newly formed government will protect them. Since that government is likely to be under the control of the stronger side, however, the weaker side is left with no recourse. . . if the peace breaks down."
We were about to run a feel-good post about New Zealand Air. But, all I can think about today is United Airlines and the head-shaking disdain I have for how they removed a passenger from a plane. And, for their ham-handed approach to the follow-up.
The CEO made three public statements about this mess. Each seemed to try to make up for the weakness of the preceding comment. And, I heard that he sent a separate message to employees telling them that they did nothing wrong because they followed guidelines.
If you’ve ever said, “Our executive team needs to be aligned, engaged, more focused on critical tasks, or just get along better,” you are probably talking about energy. It can be working for you or against you.
Any team needs energy moving in the same direction in order to do its work well. But, this is a special challenge for executive teams. In addition to all the things that can drain energy from a team’s work – competing priorities, lack of direction, personal issues, and so forth – an executive team has one huge additional challenge.
Ron Ashkenas wrote a fine post titled You Can’t Delegate Change for Bloomberg on the importance of senior leaders during organizational change. It’s worth reading. I don’t agree with his title, since I have seen leaders delegate well. But, I certainly agree with the spirit of the article – and the story he uses is clear and concise.