I am often asked what I think is the most important skill or competency that leaders need to develop. The easy answer is that they need to develop themselves from the inside out so that they can be more authentic and collaborative in this emerging and connected global economy.
Wisdom Made Simple
Buy in does not work because it is compliance dressed up as an invitation. When we invite someone to do something, we are saying that either a yes or a no response is equally acceptable. When only a yes response is acceptable it is no longer an invitation.
One never knows where the lesson around collaboration may come from. Since our mobile devices need the ability to talk with each other, it would be helpful if we facilitated “their” need to communicate with each other, by having the humans talk with each other.
Living in the Land of And is more inclusive. It makes room for all of us to be part of the conversation, and not the debate. If you want to engage folks in the process of improving performance, or anything for that matter, then we need to intentionally co-create the space for conversation that is more akin to dialogue than debate.
We do require a substantially new way of thinking. It involves tapping the wisdom of the community and not just the one. Collaborative thinking invites us to a process that is always widening the circle. Who else needs to be involved? Who else is this impacting? Whose voice is not being heard?
“The most challenging part of being in a relationship is coming to realize the other person is not you.” In the process of thinking about our thinking, we may come to realize that others think differently than ourselves.
I think that a default setting for a lot of organizations is to gather people for meetings because that is the way we have always done it. It may not be the best way of doing things, but it is a tradition. These traditions can be seen in: weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual meetings. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that it is invaluable to bring people together. I do have a bias about the “why” though.
You need to get serious about the culture you want to create. You need to activate the bystanders and pay attention to the whole system, not just the individual, but his/her team, supervisors and the wider organizational culture. If you are going to be successful in “defeating” bullying and/or creating the culture you desire, then everybody must play.
The Plexus Institute recently hosted a call with Tom Devane, the well-respected author of The Change Handbook, to discuss his analysis of Positive Deviance and our experience using this method in combating MRSA in hospitals.
“If you want to go quickly – go alone. If you want to go far – go together.” African Proverb