Changing organizations is hard. Research shows that organization transformation efforts fail more than 70% of the time. That is a lot of wasted time and effort that ultimately yields very little value for the organization and a huge amount of frustration for its people.
Organizations cannot change unless their people change. Research shows that people do not resist change, they resist being changed. Most transformation efforts fail because leadership over-emphasizes the tangible side of change and under-emphasizes the emotional one. Successful organization transformation requires an empathic, people-centered approach to change that nurtures a culture of aspiration, alignment, autonomy and accountability.
During this webinar, we will explore the ten key elements of People-Centered Transformation (PCT) and identify the three key leadership shifts required to activate each element.
Leave this session with a clear understanding of the priority PCT element requiring activation within your own organization and a focused plan to make the leadership shifts required to activate it.
Dr. Tony O’Driscoll is a professor, speaker, author, and advisor whose engaging message emphasizes that the key digital-age differentiator is not technology, but people.
Dr. O’Driscoll’s current appointments as Adjunct Professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the Pratt School of Engineering, coupled with his role as Research Fellow at Duke Corporate Education, afford him the unique opportunity to apply cutting-edge academic research to address increasingly complex business challenges.
Dr. O’Driscoll is a frequently invited speaker at both corporate and academic conferences. He has been a keynote speaker, workshop leader, moderator, speaker, and panelist at over 130 national and international conferences. He has also provided expert analysis and interviews to media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Wired Magazine, The Financial Times, India Today, Chief Learning Officer Magazine, Training Magazine, and for industry analysts such as Gartner and Forrester.
Tony has authored and co-authored articles for business periodicals such as Harvard Business Review, The Financial Times, Strategy and Business, and Dialogue and he writes the “Learning Matters” column for Training Magazine. His new book, Everyday Superheroes, proposes a revolutionary People-Centered Transformation (PCT) approach to enable sustained and sustainable organization agility.
Training Tools for Developing Great People Skills
This event is sponsored by HRDQ. For 45 years HRDQ has provided research-based, off-the-shelf soft-skills training resources for classroom, virtual, and online training. From assessments and workshops to experiential hands-on games, HRDQ helps organizations improve performance, increase job satisfaction, and more.
Learn more at HRDQstore.com
Hi everyone and welcome to today’s webinar, people centered transformation overcoming the tyranny of the tangible to create lasting organization change, hosted by HRDQ-U and presented by Dr. Tony Driscoll. My name is Sarah and I will moderate today’s webinar. The webinar will last around one hour. If you have any questions or comments, type them into that questions box in your GoToWebinar control panel and we’ll be using that of it today throughout our webinar as well. And today’s webinar is sponsored by HR DQ store for more than 40 years HR DQ has been a provider of research based training resources for classroom resource. For classroom resources virtual and online soft skills training, HR DQ offers learning resources to help retain employees and clients make better decisions, improve performance and much more. Learn more at HR DQ store.com. Today’s webinars presented by Dr. Tony Driscoll Dr. Driscoll is a professor, speaker, author and advisor whose engaging message emphasizes that the key digital age differentiator is not technology. But people. Dr. Driscoll is current appointments as adjunct professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the Pratt School of Engineering, coupled with his role as research fellow at Duke corporate education affords him the unique opportunity to apply cutting edge academic research to address increasingly complex business challenges. Dr. Driscoll is frequently invited speaker at both corporate and academic conferences. He has been a keynote speaker, workshop leader, moderator, speaker and panelist at over 30 130 national and international conferences. He has also provided expert analysts and interviews to media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal BusinessWeek, Wired Magazine, the Financial Times, India today chief learning officer magazine training magazine, and for industry analysts such as Gartner and Forrester, Tony has authored and co authored articles for business periodicals such as Harvard Business Review, the Financial Times strategy and business and dialogue and he writes the Learning Matters column for training magazine. His new book everyday superheroes proposes a revolutionary people centered transformation approach to enable sustained and sustainable organization agility. Thank you for joining us today, Dr. Driscoll.
Thanks so much, Sarah. Great to be here. It’s always interesting to listen to your bio. I’m like, Who is that person, but for all of you here today, it’s great to see you. Today, I’m going to talk about everyday superhero, which is the new book that I’ve just put out. And I’m going to talk about it in three particular phases, right, a three part narrative. The first question we’re going to ask is, what’s the problem? What Why did I even write the book? The second is, what’s the solution? What did the research say about how to solve the problem? And third is what’s the story? Why if you if you look at the book, the book is actually a visual narrative. It’s more of a comic book. Why did we do it that way? So let me just make sure my audio is good. And you can hear everything before I begin.
Yes, your audio is clear. Good. Okay.
So let’s get started. What’s the problem? Ah, pop quiz. Number one, Sarah’s going to help me out with this. This is where you all engage to see all 87 of you what percentage of strategies fail to be successfully executed? What do you think what percentage of strategies fail to be successfully executed? Zero to 20%, failure rate 20 To 2141 to 6061 to 80, or 81 to 100. So go ahead and choose what you think. And Sarah will then share with us your thoughts. 70 70% voted so far. 75%
Okay, we have a nice vote in here. So, we’ll get those results up on the screen now. Here we go. Can you see those Dr. Driscoll?
Yep. 61 to 80? Excellent. Excellent. So so that is that’s correct. Let me give you a little bit more context around that. If you go back to 2002. This is research from Robin speculum who’s been looking at strategy implementation strategy execution for years. It was only an it was a 90% failure rate, which was really, really bad one intends exceeded over the subsequent 14 years, we got down to about 67%. So we’re getting better. However, with the advent of COVID and digital transformation, we’re now back at 84%. So what does that mean? I’m from Ireland. I know I sound American. I’m from Ireland, but you know, a baseball player. If they’ve got a batting average average of 300. That’s good. They hit the ball three times out of 10. But for a company, that’s not great odds. It’s not that what that means is the company’s Xpress strategy, what they’re trying to do isn’t getting implemented. So one of the questions was Why? Why is it that we have such a big failure rate? I mean, that’s that’s pretty high failure rate. And as I’ll show you, it’s pretty costly. Well, the first reason is because we’re entering what Antonio DHL Rodriguez, a good friend of mine calls the project revolution, it used to be an organization’s operations runs the business and projects are to change the business. So you’d have a quality project or a software implementation project, they weren’t part of operations, because they were something used to change the business. And his observation is that over time, as we moved into 2020, there are more projects in the business to change the business. And there is the operations of running the business. And that’s because the environment inside which organizations are operating is changing, right, and it’s the rate of change is increasing. And the complexity that they’re dealing with is is is going up. So the old world of just running the business through operations is seeding to more and more projects. Now, not only that, if you go back to the Project Management Institute, where I sponsored my research and my work, they said, you’re gonna see a 68% increase in project oriented work activity, executives classified 50% of their organization’s projects as strategic. So projects used to be a little bit more operational, but now they’re becoming strategic. And they’re becoming complex. 41% of the projects are complex. If you put those three things together, project based activities, increasing strategic projects are increasing, and they’re more complex that comes together to say, the poor strategy implementation means that the intended change for the organization to realize the strategy fails more often than not. So 44% of strategic initiatives, these are just the strategic projects are failing. And 28% of them are outright failures, they don’t achieve any outcomes whatsoever. So the increase in projects, the strategic nature of the projects, and the complexity is creating this kind of perfect storm, if you will, where it’s very hard for the organization to catch up. So what do we do now, we’ve got a strategy implementation challenge, we used to call this strategy execution. But unfortunately, execution can mean two things it can mean to do or to kill. And unfortunately, 70% of the time, strategies are getting killed rather than getting executed given them getting done. So we change the word to implementation. 88%, of CSA successfully implementing projects is key 59% of the myth that they struggle to bridge the gap between strategy formulation and execution. 81% say it really comes down to leadership, because if we don’t have the right kind of leadership to navigate complex projects were in trouble. And cultural attitudes are identified as the number one barrier. So at the core to this and why I wrote this book is it’s about leadership and culture. If you don’t get the right leadership and culture in place to deal with this increasingly complex environment, project based, complex type of organization structure, you’re in trouble. And by the way, all the time that we’re waiting, it costs money. So PMI did a big study to try to understand the cost of poor strategy implementation, and they pegged it around $2 trillion every year. To put that in context, from a macro perspective, that’s like the GDP of Brazil. To put it in the context of a micro perspective, it’s $1 a minute. So maybe you will spend $180 million or so basically, during this call today, because that’s how much would have been spent in poor strategy execution. So what is the problem? Why do organizations fail to make the changes required to implement their strategies? 78% time? Why is this this is unacceptable. You know, organizations work really hard, they hire the McKinsey’s of the world, the BCGs of the world to come and do a strategy, they develop the strategy with the executive committee. And then it’s dead on arrival, it doesn’t deliver most of the time, it doesn’t even deliver half of what’s intended. So that was the problem that PMI came to me with and said, We really need to understand more about why we have such a high failure rate. And so then I embarked on the journey, the solution is essentially the framework that’s shared in the book. But I’m going to go through this framework with you now. And for those of you who didn’t get the handout, they’re they’re available online here under sharing, because I do have a little set of worksheets, one of the things I promise you is you’d figure out which component you need to work on what choices to make. So I’ll alert you to that. So you can download that as as I start to set up this next section. So as I started to look at this, I started to look at the power positive example and where have we seen good transformations that worked and one area is in software development with Agile, and if you go into the history of agile, and you talk to the people who are involved in this from the get go, one of the things they said that was really, really important was their Agile Manifesto, where they said we’ve come to value X over Y and those are highlighted there. We’ve come to value individuals and interactions over processing tool, we’ve come to value working software over comprehensive documentation, we’ve come to value customer collaboration over contract negotiation, and we’ve come to value responding change over following a plan, it does not mean that the things on the right don’t matter. They are absolutely critical to developing software. However, as the leaders of this particular change initiative, they value they acknowledge that, but on top of that, they look to the left side individuals working software, customer collaboration, and responding to change. So there’s something about a value set above and beyond your status quo. That was the big takeaway I got from that. Secondly, in working with bright line, they stated something that’s very obvious, but it really was impactful to me. They say that people form the link between strategy design and delivery, people turn ideas into reality, people are the strategy in motion. So they came up with something called the people manifesto, bright line did. I was very fortunate when I worked at IBM to work with Larry Prusak, who was kind of one of the fathers of knowledge management, he puts it more simply, people make organizations stop or go. Organizations are nothing but people and people make organizations stop or go. So that’s where it gets back to, again, culture and leadership, how do we kind of create the environment through leadership behavior, to build a culture that engages people and unlocks their discretionary effort. So that was my second insight and doing the research. The third insight is that organization change works when you can identify belief and behavior, you want to change, and then create structure, process and governance. So the short way to say this is it’s belief before behavior, not the other way around, and and asked and relatives came up with this notion of the tyranny of the tangible, and the tyranny of the tangible is, most organizations put the tangible cart before the emotional horse when they’re trying to change. So what they have is, this is like, the image here is a horse, pushing a cart into a deep dark tunnel. This tangible levers are structure systems and process, anytime an organization goes to do a change, they say, Hey, we’re going to do a reorg. And we’re going to implement this new system. And we’ve got a new process that we’re going to apply. And we’re going to put some software in to automate that process, and everything’s going to be great. Those are the tangible, these levers, you can see them, you can measure them, you can track progress on them. But oftentimes, that focus, the over focus on the tangible levers, leaves a big gap on the emotional levers of the experience and the beliefs and the behaviors of the people. And so, I believe, through this research is borne out that many organizations over focus on the tangible side and under focus on the emotional side, and if you don’t engage people, on the experience, experience, behavior, belief and behavior level, they’re not going to come on the change journey with you, and therefore the organization won’t transform, which is why we see the numbers we do. All right, we have a second quiz coming up. Now, this quiz is a little bit like Wheel of Fortune. So my question to you is, what is the one requirement for a person to be a leader as long as I’ve been doing leadership? I think there’s one and only one requirement in order for a person in an organization to be a leader. And this is like this is you take this into the questions. This is like Wheel of Fortune, the letters will appear and we’ll see who can be the first person to figure out what is the one requirement for person to be a leader
alive as I see alive as a response. Anyone? Humanity followers, great Wanda and Catherine got it followers. So to me, that is the one and only one requirement. You know, there is no leadership without followership. So then the question becomes how do you engender followership? And more subtle, and I’ll speak about this a little bit more is followership can come from anywhere in the organization. You know, you can have an engineer who knows everything about a particular network. And a lot of times the CEO will be sitting beside the engineer saying, What can I do to help you so we can get the network back up because they have expertise that the CEO does not have. So followership is not just a hierarchical position power thing. followership is you would follow someone for a reason. So that means that leadership and followership are far more fluid and flexible inside the organization than the traditional hierarchical network. So that’s one thing, that’s a very important aspect. Now, a lot of times when we talk about the middle manager or middle management as a, as a, as a group, we tend to, we tend to call them dinosaurs. Oh, they’re dinosaurs. They are the ones that gum up the works. If we didn’t have to have all these layers of middle management, everything would work really well. I don’t subscribe to that at all. I believe that middle managers or center leaders, they’re the ones that sit between strategy and results so they can guide activity around results. And if the results aren’t working, they can inform direction to strategy. They’re the first people who can see whether or not a strategy is actually taking hold because they’re closer to the action field. Also, if they recognize that the culture Sure is pushing back on a particular strategy, they can motivate change, because they’re closer they sense it center and they have more legitimacy inside the system. And a lot of times moving culture means you need to know which people to influence. And if you can influence those people’s behavior, then you can move the culture, then you can get the results to serve the strategy. So the way I see it, is that instead of middle managers being a layer of permafrost, or dinosaurs, they’re actually dynamos because everything revolves around them. That’s like a propeller. And center leaders can propel the organization forward by working on strategy, results, culture and people. And the way they do that is they create aspiration around the shared purpose, to realize the strategy, alignment around that purpose, to get the results, you need to fulfill the strategy, autonomy in the culture to allow people to apply their discretionary effort to do the work they need to do, and accountability on the people to do what they say they’re going to do. So in my framing of leadership, leadership is not top down or bottom up, it’s middle out, it’s from the center leader out to propel the organization forward. So if that’s a framing where we can think about, you know, center leaders, being able to propel the organization forward to deal with all of these strategic changes, how the question is, how do we do that? How do we unlock the discretion effort of people through the the behavior of center leaders. And that’s essentially where the book came came from. The research that I went through with the book essentially looked at, what are all the components that are required in order for people to lead from the middle out to drive successful change. And what emerged here is this framework is called the people centered transformation framework. There are 10 elements, they’re numbered, but they’re not necessarily in that order. So they’re numbered just so we can follow them. But they so anybody, you can start anywhere, so to speak, but in general, the three in the middle, our core. And so you really want to make sure you have those in place, and then the others can come and fill around as we go. And what I’m going to do now is I’m going to kind of take you on a little bit of a journey through each one of these, what we call PCT elements. And I’m going to, I’m going to do three things with it. The first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to kind of give you an example or an insight from a thought leader in words like through a story. The second thing I’m going to do is I’m going to show you what the PCT element is and you’re going to evaluate your own organization against it. In other words, where are where do you think your own organization is on that particular leadership element. And then the third thing is I’m going to talk about the shifts, we’re going to have to value X over Y, just like just like we did for the agile organization. So I’m going to go through 10 of these things. But in each one, you’re going to score as we go along. Because one of the things I promised is you’d be able to take a score for your own organization. So if you haven’t done so already, go ahead and grab your PCT element, or your PCT pulse, it’s called this particular sheet. And what I’m going to do is I’m going to now go through relatively rapidly to explain to at a high level what each element is. And then I’m going to ask you to score each element as we go through so that when we get to the end, you’ll have kind of taken your first PCT pulse. Okay? Let me take a quick sip of water before I move through this and allow you to, to get that document up, or you can just write it down on a piece of paper.
All right, so let’s go to the first one, communicate a compelling change narrative. When Martin Luther King stood up in front of Lincoln Memorial, he did not stand up in front of everybody and say, I have a plan. Because if he did, we wouldn’t be talking about him today. He said, I have a dream. And in articulating that dream, he told a compelling change narrative of a different kind of America. And that was something that others could believe in. And therefore he created a movement. So people must believe that the achievement of a shared aspiration is possible. It could be it’s a dream of the future that Martin Luther King presented and worthy of their effort before they were willing to change their behavior to make it happen. Right. So how do you get belief before behavior? If Martin Luther King had just said, I have a plan and next time we’re going to meet and it’s going to be over here, and then we’re going to meet and we’re gonna try and get this many more people. And then we’re going to have an email campaign and then we’re going to advertise here or there. That’s the tactics. But he wouldn’t have had the belief in articulating the I Have a Dream speech, he created belief that then led to the behavior, right, have a shared aspiration to bring civil rights, civil rights act into play. So that’s, that’s the first thing is does your leadership This is the first question. You can strongly disagree. You can be neutral, you can strongly agree for the leaders in leadership in your organization. Our leaders communicate a clear, concise, consistent and compelling narrative that makes a purposeful, passionate, and emotionally resonant case for change. Those every one of those things is required in order for people to engender the belief they need to make that shift. So go ahead and score where you think you are. Number one is strongly disagree to the left, number seven is strongly agree to the right. Okay, so this is how we’re gonna do each one. Now, in order for leaders to make the shift, to be able to create a compelling change narrative, they have to do three things, right? This is, what do they have to do? What are the shifts that they have to do? First thing they have to do is they have to focus on the shared aspiration over the required action. So if you’re a center leader, if you’re a middle manager, you might be did you do that yet? Did you do that yet? Did you do that yet? When are you going to have that done? It’s on the Gantt chart, it’s on the critical path. I’m not saying you don’t have to do that. But I’m saying in addition to that, you also need to be articulating the shared aspiration. The reason why we’re doing this is such and such, now you can see why what you’re doing matters so much. So you need to value the shared aspiration over the required action. The second thing center leaders need to do is they need to be able to articulate the possible future over the problematic present. If all you’re doing is saying we’re in real trouble here. If we don’t get this done, have you got it done yet? I’m not saying that doesn’t matter. However, we need to also be articulating the dream or the possible future and why it is we’re working on this together. And again, for those of you know, Simon, cynics work, you need to be emphasizing the purpose of why why are we here together? And why why? Why are we doing this work together over just simply the actionable button how. So the gray stuff is the status quo, and it’s required, but just like we talked about with with agile, you also need to move to the red stuff, you need to have a shared aspiration of required action possible future over problematic present purposeful why over actual button. So that’s essentially how, how this works, each element has a pulse component, and then how leadership behavior needs to shift in order to activate that pulse component. So now that we’ve done this, once we have a learning curve, we can move a little bit quick, more quickly through this. The second, the narrative here would be Mahatma Gandhi, right? So he often said Be the change that you wish to see in the world, right Be the change that you wish to see in the world. And so the takeaway here is leaders who deliberately act their way into a new way of thinking are more successful in changing their own behavior, and motivating change behavior and others. I’ll give you an example. Yesterday, I went into my son’s bedroom, and I said, Oh, my gosh, this is a disaster area, clean up your room right now. Yesterday evening, there had been no change. And I was upset. And then I walked into my room. And I noticed that my room also looked like a disaster area. And the penny dropped for me, why would my son in this case, if I’m supposedly, you know, the person in authority? Not do what I say but not what I do. And this is exactly what Mahatma Gandhi I think really epitomized in his leadership style was he didn’t just demand change behavior, he demonstrated change behavior. So for your leadership in your organization, do your leaders generate respect and followership from others? By personally, authentically and openly modeling the change beliefs and behaviors required to evolve an organization?
When you look to your leadership? Are they walking the talk? Are they behaving in the way that you believe is the right way, in order to achieve the outcome you’re looking for, again, strongly disagree is the one strongly agree is the seventh. Now in order for leaders to achieve and activate this particular outcome, what are the shifts, you’ve got to demonstrate to change behavior, not demand. It’s not like cleaning up your room, and you have a messy room, if the biggest lever for change is changed behavior, acting your way into a new way of thinking. When a leader when a leader behaves differently, when they say they’re gonna behave differently, and they behave differently, others will follow. If they say, and demand for others to behave differently and they don’t change, people won’t change. So that’s that’s a big requirement for leadership today. Secondly, being authentic and open over being authoritarian and overbearing, if leaders just use their position, power and kind of yell at people to kind of get stuff done. Rather than being authentic and open about we can get this together. I don’t know the exact answer, can we please work together to figure it out in this complex world? Position power works, but only so much. And thirdly, leaders need to value trying and learning over thinking and planning. I’m not saying thinking and planning doesn’t matter. But a lot of times these days, more than 70% of the time when we’re talking about strategies, the thinking and planning doesn’t work. So we have to try and learn and find our way forward and the generative learning process, all the stuff in grey matters, but for leaders to to lead from the middle out, we need to really also emphasize the red stuff. Okay, so that’s two. Now we can start moving a little bit quicker through the rest of them. The next this is Mary Parker Follett from 1914. This is a quote directly from her book leadership is not defined by the exercise of power, but by the capacity to increase the sense of power. Among those lead a lot of the empowerment language, I think it goes all the way back to Mary Parker fall, it’s work. When you’re empowering someone, you’re increasing that you’re increasing the sense of power among the lead. So this also goes to me it’s admissions work on situation humility, leaders must embrace situational humility by showing vulnerability, seeking help asking questions and demonstrating failures acceptable. A lot of leaders find this very difficult to do because they believe they need to, you know, project power and control and knowledge, etc, etc, the more complex at the world we’re living in no one human being can know every answer. So humility builds a foundation of trust and psychological safety that gives others the confidence to engage in open, transparent and authentic interactions around change. Sometimes people don’t want to tell the boss that something’s not working, because they fear the repercussions if the if that’s the way your culture is, you’re going to be in trouble in a world that’s changing as fast as ours. So number three, think about your leaders. Do they show vulnerability? Do they seek help? Do they demonstrate that failure is acceptable? Do they consistently seek to increase the autonomy and accountability of their people rather than seizing control? Again, one is strongly disagree. Seven strongly agree you could be neutral on that. Now,
this is a hard one for leaders. So here’s the shifts that have to be made. You have to show vulnerability over projecting power. Think about it, you’ve been in an organization a long time and you’ve made it up through the hierarchy, you feel a right to that power, you climb the pyramid. So but also, you don’t know all the answers, particularly in the world today. So certainly have a position power, reward power, but you have to show vulnerability. I don’t know the answer. Asking open questions over demanding definitive answers. I need an answer on this tomorrow, you need to get me to know how we’re going to reduce this by 20%. And I needed in chapter and verse on a Gantt chart, as to am I asking the right questions in the first place, you’re closer to the work, what could we do more better differently, to achieve the outcome we’re looking for. And that’s a huge one, making failure safe over playing it safe. A lot of managers today, I want to play it safe. And that’s not going to take you to breakthrough thinking. And if you don’t make failure safe for your people, they’re not going to tell you if something’s not working. And they’re certainly not going to come to you with ideas that might take the organization to the next level. So these are the key shifts that have to be made around embracing situation humility. So those are the three core elements, right? The three core elements is a compelling change narrative, acting your way into a new way of thinking, and embracing situational humility and those kind of form, essentially, the foundation of a people centered leadership model. Let me now move on to the ones that are around the edge before we move to new notions of culture. Steve Jobs, focus is about saying Now Steve Jobs very famously, when he came back to Apple, Apple had a very bloated product pipeline and he essentially drew up a two by two and said there’s going to be PC laptop, there’s going to be consumer company, and we’re going to make four products he even got rid of the computer was named after his daughter, the Apple Lisa. So he says focus is about saying no, focus is not about saying yes, focus is about saying no. So to reduce collaborative overload, this is Rob Cross’s research leaders must adopt a portfolio based approach to change by ensuring people’s energy and attention squarely focus on the vital few change initiatives that matter? So how do we really focus attention on what matters? How do we clarify that? How do we make it really, really super clear, so everybody knows what really matters? A lot of times we think, what gets measured is what matters. That can be a problem if the measures are coming from a portfolio of products that shouldn’t even be in the pipeline. So here the question you need to ask yourselves about your organization is, do your leaders bring clarity and focus by prioritizing and communicating the key strategic priorities that matter the most in business? And that’s at every level. When I worked at IBM, Lou Gerstner, I’ll talk about later every week said, here’s the three Creek priorities. Here’s the three key priorities we worked on last week. Here’s what we did on. We’re keeping this one and we’re moving to these next two. And everybody in the organization had a drumbeat and understood, where the key focus was the key strategic focus, where we should be focusing our attention as we move forward. Very simple communication, but got a lot of alignment around that. So if we’re going to focus attention on him out on, on what matters, what shifts we have to make, we have to focus strategic attention over measuring progress. But those are two different things. If we just fall into the fallacy of measuring, you know, measuring what’s going on and then just focusing on that we’re missing where do we want to focus the attention of the people. Secondly, discipline prioritization over holding multiple options. Holding options is a good idea for contingency plans. But if you’re holding too many options, and you’re holding too many products in your pipeline, or you’re holding too many initiatives that aren’t going to yield value that’s very costly to the company. So you need discipline prioritization, which is exactly what Steve Jobs did when he came back to Apple, which means you need to prune your project portfolios over letting them flow. And this is one of the big issues, I did my dissertation in this work where once that project makes it in to a portfolio inside of an organization, boy, it’s really hard to kill, it goes through all the stages. And this is where you get things like the Chevy Nova, and a car that’s sold in, in Latin America that has the name Nova, no go, it wasn’t successful. It didn’t really work. But but the project process allowed it all the way through, and 70% of products fail upon arrival into the marketplace. So we have to get more specific on focusing our attention of our people on the changing initiatives that matters most, which means we need more prioritization. And we need more pruning.
This is Vince Lombardi, a legendary American football coach. And here’s his key quote, you know, people, people, football players famously said they would run through a wall for this guy, what is it about him that would that would make people be willing to run through a wall, he’s an individual commitment to a group effort, that is what makes a teamwork a company work and society work, right? This is getting to the element of what we call discretionary effort. Discretionary Effort is what people do because they want to not because they’re told to they have, they have an intrinsic motivation to want to do it. So to unlock discretion, effort, leaders have to focus on the intrinsic motivation levers that compel people to go the extra mile. That’s not money. That’s what motivates people, by tapping into their aspirations and giving them autonomy in return for accountability. That’s heavy lifting as a leader, you need to understand the people you need to understand what they care about, you need to understand what they’re curious about. And then you need to find a place at work, where they can exercise that curiosity, right? And you have to give them the autonomy to do it and trust that they will get it done to the right level. So so ask that about your leaders. Do your leaders understand how to motivate discretionary effort, what people will do, will do because they want to not because they’re told to, by tapping into the aspirations of others and giving them autonomy in return for accountability. You think about your leadership in your organization? Do they really know? What motivates you? Do they really know intrinsically? What gets you fired up in the morning? And do they give you the opportunity to apply that curiosity or energy at the workplace so that you feel like you’re being developed and you’re growing? How do you make those shifts? Well, you have to channel aspiration over dictate direction. So so now it’s like, what do we want to achieve together? And who would like to work on what part overland there’s where we’re going get in line? Are you on the bus? If you’re not on the bus, get off the bus because that’s where the bus is going. Second motivating inspiration ever manipulate with fear? If you don’t get this done by tomorrow, you’re fired? Am I clear? Recognizing novel effort or over requiring procedural conformity, everybody must get their such and such done on this time, as opposed to wow, you try something new and different thank you for, you know, making an effort to try to do something different that could allow us to take take the organization forward. Again, the stuff on the right is important, but we must value the stuff on the on top the red stuff, so that we can unlock the discretionary effort of our people. All right, we are halfway through, we’ve completed the spine of the model where we’ve talked about compelling change narrative, we’ve talked about acting our way into new way of thinking. We’ve talked about embracing situational humility. We’ve talked about focusing on what matters most and we’ve talked about motivating discretionary effort. Those are essentially kind of the spine, the backbone of the model. Let me now go on to the stuff that’s around the edges. Okay. This is Charlene Lee. She talks a lot about agency she’s running. She’s written a number of great books, agencies a two way street power comes with responsibility and accountability. So agency is letting people trusting people to do the work, right. So instead of go for management, you telling people exactly what to do you define the outcome, and you allow them to find their way to deliver on it. Organizations. Charlize research shows that organizations that give people agency what she defines as the permission to take independent action, or make changes. Without approval. That’s the important part without approval, are far more likely to succeed in organization transformation. So think about this for your own organization. Do your leaders create agency for you by giving others the permission to take independent actions and make changes without approval? Think about all the forms you have to fill in to even get approval to got to travel somewhere, for instance. So score that strongly disagrees a one strongly agrees a seven, what are the shifts a leader needs to make to create to allow this to happen, they have to value give and take reciprocity, over top down hierarchy, right back to the whole notion of center leader and having a follower and tapping into the network, they have to allow independent action over requiring prior prior permission.
And they have to give individual agency over exercising executive authority. Right, so so these are very, very difficult things to do. Because if you give somebody agency and they don’t deliver, it’ll come back to you if you’re further up in the organization hierarchy. So your you know, sometimes it’s called providing air cover for your people to be able to do things. So giving people agency is starting to unlock that discretionary effort and allowing people to do what they do, because they want to, but it also needs to, they have to be accountable for it, and they have to deliver on it. The next one. This is Peter Drucker, who’s one of my favorite business philosophers. And he makes a very, very clear statement. In most organizations, the bottleneck is at the top of the bottle. Now, today, if you think about organizations, we think we tend to think about organizations as kind of entities that pull people together to produce something. However, if we think about the information age that we’re in today, we’re really operating on the speed of ideas and the speed of decisions around ideas. So instead of it being a factory that makes products, Roger Martin, along with Peter Drucker, they think about organizations as decision factories, how fast is your decision factory work. And so, Roger Martin envisions organizations as decision factories, and argues leaders should only make the choices they’re best equipped to make. A lot of times we talk about decentralizing decision making and put it closer to the person, the people who will be impacted by the decision, and allow them to make the decision. And I do a lot of work in something called org network analysis. And what you find is, if you have too much central command and control, all these decisions that are out there now in this in this very complex environment are funneled through the organization and funneled up to the top. And people are waiting around for this leader to make a decision and the leaders feeling completely overwhelmed by all the decisions they have to make, and they don’t feel like they have the knowledge required to make the decision. Right. So we have to kind of start thinking about how we move decision making out. So for your organization, do your leaders only make the choices that they’re best equipped to make, clarify the choices that others should make and the boundaries within which to make them? Or is everything just getting gummed up by being pushed through the organization system and pushed up to the hierarchy? If that’s where you are, there’s a lot of wasted time waiting for the leader to make a decision a lot of time that could be spent creating more value for your customers or for your employees. So what kind of shifts does leader center leader have to make here? Sometimes you have value experience and expertise, every position and role. Sometimes the CEO needs to be sitting beside the engineer who knows how the network works if the network is down. And so it’s not just about position and role, we also at some point in time need to know, need to lean into experience and expertise. This is a very important one. If a decision has been made, it’s really important to explain the rationale for that decision and not just expect agreement from the people. Because if the people weren’t involved in the decision making and they don’t know the why behind it, then you may not get agreement from them, and they may gum up the works for you. So it’s important to explain the rationale for your decision if the decision has been made. And then as much as possible, you need to distribute decision making over centralizing decisions, because what we’re seeing today is that the speed of decision making in organizations is slowing down and the higher up it goes, the longer it takes.
Okay, we’re coming around the homestretch here. The next one is catalyze the network. So this is John Carter’s most recent research, where he’s been really looking at why is it that organizations you know, can’t execute on strategy? Why can’t they innovate? Why can’t they keep up with the marketplace? Why can’t they respond to the competition. And he his suggestion is that every company starts out as an entrepreneurial company, and everybody kind of, you know, mux in to get something done. But over time, you start to build hierarchy so that you can get efficiency and you can you can get a increase your profit margin by lowering your costs and all of that. And his argument is we’ve lost that we’ve lost that entrepreneurial element, we’ve lost that network element, we have to have both sides. So this goes back to the Ambidextrous Organization or the dual organization. He calls it a second operating system, you need to have the hierarchy and the network and you need to cultivate both sides. So leaders must exercise their position power in the hierarchy and to influence and override that hierarchy, creating time and space for cross functional teams to emerge, converge and engage around critical interfaces. So in a way the very people who sit within the hierarchy have to create the space to allow the network to emerge, particularly when you’re dealing with something new and novel that you haven’t seen before. So there was a lot of organizational networks activated during COVID. Irrespective of what industry you were in, because you needed to pull together people who had expertise to solve a problem that we hadn’t seen before. That doesn’t really work very well in a hierarchy. But it does work well in network, but in network needs care and feeding and support to make that happen. So for you, and your leadership, my leaders create the time and space for cross functional teams to emerge, converge and engage around critical, crucial strategy and design interfaces, do you feel that you are given the time and space to engage in cross functional activities where you have passion? Right, and that you have permission to do so strongly agree as one, I’m sorry, strongly disagree, as one strongly agree is neutral. What do leaders need to do in order to make that happen? They need to value and recognize informal networks over organizational hierarchies. The truth is that work gets done through networks, hierarchies show who’s in control and how money flows. But so so that’s kind of money flows and decisions go up and down, if you will. But work works through the network, network. And so we need to understand how the informal networks work and how they operate. And you can use a you can use a tool that’s becoming more prevalent these days called organizational network analysis. organizational network analysis says it asks about tasks and relationship questions. So a question in an organizational network analysis would be, you have to leave for two months, who would you give your work to to make sure it’s done properly? That’s like a task oriented question, Who do you trust to do your work? Your organization is about to go through a big transformation because your key product has been disrupted? Who would you follow into the fire? That’s a leadership question. Your organization has a new new opportunity that can have massive profitability, but you’re worried about the ethics of it. Who would you talk to to understand whether or not the company should take that on? That’s more of a relationship, moral, ethical question. And by asking these questions, you can see the network of relationships about who do you get energy with? Who are the 20% of the people who really do the work? Who are the real change agents who are the real influencers. And you can start to identify what the organizational network looks like, rather than saying, oh, we need to restructure the organization. Because by the time you restructure the organization, the markets already shifted. And you have to restructure again. So so what we’re seeing now is much more relational network analysis of who needs to be convened to address the problem that we’re dealing with right now. Next, a lot of times when you have a project initiative, like I talked about, at the very beginning was like, no problem. We’ll assign a cross functional team, we’ll have someone from HR whether someone rob someone from it, someone from the field, somebody from engineering, and they can solve the problem. Well, if you have permanently assigned cross functional teams, that doesn’t work, what what’s important is that emerge emergent collaborative teaming that is, oh, we have an issue does anyone want to participate. Anyone who wants to participate gets to do that Google has this kind of idea with their 20% Friday’s right, you can work on any project you want. And if you can convince others to spend their 20% with you, you can, they can all work together. And lo and behold, that might yield a new product or a new process that makes the organization efficient. That’s emergent collaborative teaming. It’s not a predefined cross functional team. It’s one that’s motivated and driven by discretionary effort.
The last one is one that I’ve written extensively on previously in other environments. And this is Peter sangee. The second the last one, I should say. And he says real change starts with recognizing that we’re part of the systems we seek to change. This is a little bit of complexity theory, we’re not outside the system looking in, we’re part of the change, right? And so we need to stop thinking about leadership as a person, we need to start thinking about leadership as a system, a system that works from the middle out in a networked fashion. And so we need a new kind of leader assistance leader to catalyze the collaborative leadership required to navigate dynamics and complex and systemic change. Peter, if you don’t know that, Peter Sankey is, you know, did a lot of work on the learning organization in the 90s. And this is his new thinking about, we need a much more systemic approach to leadership that works in a network fashion from the middle out, because that’s the kind of environment we operating in today, we’re operating in a business ecosystems much more of a biological metaphor than a physical one. So do your leaders catalyze the collaborative leadership required to successfully navigate dynamic complex and systemic change? Do they catalyze the right teams to work on the generative learning projects to figure out the solution to something that we’ve never seen before? Is there a mechanism for that to happen? Do they give you the the autonomy to do that? Because if they don’t, they’re not creating the kind of culture that’s going to allow you to succeed. So what do you have to do you have to value systemic collective leadership over functional hierarchical leadership, you have to value catalyze and guiding change over controlling and monitoring compliance. A lot of change we tend to think is, you will do this system you will adopt this process. There’s more than that. You have to involve people in the change. People don’t resist change, they resist being changed. So if they by involving them in the change, they’ll take more ownership for it. And we need to think about adaptive leadership systems rather than technical leadership practices. Right? So we have to, we have to evolve our leadership system over time. Finally, and this is something from my own experience, I’ve worked at IBM during Lou Gerstner his tenure, when Lou, prior to Steve Jobs, who I talked about earlier, most of my research, if it’s not clear is, is in high tech industry, because they have to move and change so quickly. So that’s why I look at the high tech sector. When Lou Gerstner came into IBM, he basically transformed the organization very successfully. In fact, it’s probably the second biggest transformation to what Steve Jobs did with Apple. And when he when he retired, when he was done, he wrote a book. And in that book, it’s called Teaching the elephants how to dance teaching the elephant how to dance. This is the quote, he said, I came to see in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. Now there’s all kinds of other things that has to happen. Peter Drucker has famously said that, you know, culture eats strategy for breakfast kind of thing. But at the end of the day, if you don’t have the right culture in place, do not pass go do not collect $100. So so so culture acts as a limiting and resistive force to design and delivery of strategic change initiative. Culture is really, really hard to change. But you can’t leave it to chance, if you leave it to chance, you’re in trouble. So what do you do, right? So do your leaders consciously and continuously nudges the culture in the direction of aspiration, we have a shared aspiration, alignment are aligned around this aspiration, autonomy, you do what you feel you can contribute the most, and accountability and you need to get it done. So the organization can move forward. That’s those are the elements that we look for aspiration, alignment, autonomy, accountability, and that creates an agile enterprise that creates an organization that can move and pivot in an increasingly complex environment. So what are the shifts required in leadership to nudge the culture, you really have to go back to the human and emotional change over the technical and rational change, it’s not about the structure and the process, it’s about the culture, and what people believe and how they behave. You want to think about activating each of these elements overtaking on culture directly, if you come in and say we are here to change the culture, and you will repeat after me, it doesn’t work. It might work in the short term, but it doesn’t work in the long term. So you have to think about nudging the culture over leaving it to chance you leave it to chance, it’s going to it’s going to kind of devolve back to the status quo, you push too hard, it’s going to devolve back to the status quo, you have to find that middle ground by activating each of these 10 elements in the order you need to in order to push towards aspiration, alignment, autonomy, autonomy and accountability. So there you go. That’s 190 page book in just about 30 minutes. I know that was a lot of information. But what I wanted you to be able to do was think about your leadership. Now there is a process to do this, that I’ll show you so that you can, you know, go further in this journey should you choose to
what we’re doing with this book, or what I’m aspiring to do with this book, is I’m trying to put the emotional levers of experience, belief and behavior ahead of the horse, right, I’m trying to I’m trying to get the horse back in front of the car. And, and structure system and process has its place. But it has to come after we engage the people around the change, right. So if you’re going to, if you’re going to try to adopt this people centered approach, you’ve already got the first step done, you’ve taken your first PCT pulse. The second thing you would do then is plot your PCT radar, and I’ll show you what that looks like. You would then pick your priority element, you would then identify your PCT shifts, and then figure out what are you going to do better differently to activate that shift. And once you’ve gone through that, you go back up to your next element. So this, again, will be driven by you. Everyone on this call might have a different PCT element that they’re looking to activate. And that’s perfectly fine. And then you move through driving those shifts, once you you know, your shift is complete, you move back up. And that’s how it works. So just to show you exactly, you have probably filled out this form now. Right after right after I would encourage you to plot your radar looks something like this. If you’re closer to the middle, you’re closer to the middle, that’s the one you have to work on the most because you score lower on it, right. So in this case, you have to decentralize decision making. Then there’s the tool that I that is part of the package where you’d say, okay, decentralized decision making, it’s you have to make this shift this shift in this shift. Which one do you think you want to make first, second, or third? And then you would say those are the that’s my rank order the shifts? What do I have to do more what I have to do better and what I have to do differently? And then you work those shifts in your own behavior as a leader, and that will move the culture forward and you move to the next one. So that’s That’s that I now have five minutes just to share with you a little bit of what’s the story. So I have one more pop quiz for you. This might be a tricky one. Who is this man? Anyone have any idea you can type into questions there who this man is? No, not seeing anything yet. Sometimes people say Mr. Rogers is not Mr. Rogers is close. Let me let me go ahead and just say who it is. It’s Joseph Campbell. And for those who don’t know, Joseph Campbell, Joseph Campbell is is is the man, the gentleman who kind of codified myth into something called the hero’s journey. I mean, I didn’t nothing about this, but the editor of the books, and you really need to write a story. And I said, Okay, how do I write a story? And I learned of Joseph Campbell. And the problem now is every time I look at a movie, I can’t look at the movie. I was watching a movie with my kids last night. And I’m like, Oh, I know exactly what’s going to happen next. Because it’s quite formulaic. In other words, Joseph Campbell has kind of codified the hero’s journey, there’s an ordinary world and there’s a call to adventure, then you refuse the call, then you meet a mentor, and then you cross the threshold and you get into tests, allies and enemies. Then you’re called to the approach you have a big ordeal where you stand up to power, that’s where Luke Skywalker stands up to Darth Vader, then you get the reward, then you get the road back, then you get the atonement and then the return. So essentially, every kind of movie or story tends to follow this narrative. And so when my editor said, you can’t just write a book about this, you have to tell a story. We went to this idea of a of a narrative, and in this narrative, you then have to create characters. So maybe is the heroine Pentacles the sidekick future may she comes back from the future is the guide. Reason as the floor manager. He’s the voice of the people tricksters, the mentor. Connect is the connector Sapiens, the head of HR noob is the intern and then on the other side, you have the MUX that represents the hierarchy chief MK Bucky NOC is financial Dewey MK is operations. techie MK is technology. And so then we go on a story. And the narrative device is essentially you have the MCC immutable rulebook, demand fail proof plans, measure outcomes and pose hierarchy dictate direction. And as you go through the book, these this is what may be the main character she tries to impose these 10 rules from The Merv and it doesn’t work. It’s not working, the people are not following. And then future may comes and says no, you don’t need to do the MERV you need to do the people centered transformation and if you’ll notice, this is the these elements are the same things that we just talked about comedian compelling change narrative giving others agency motivate discretionary effort. So the hard part for me, I knew the research, you know, I knew the elements I done that work. But then what I had to do was I kind of literally had to put it into storage give you a flavor may wakes up in the morning or No, it’s the evening she’s watching her favorite show. She’s upset because her promotion was rejected. She wishes that she wasn’t couldn’t be stuck in this environment. All of a sudden, there’s a big crack of lightning, the show goes off.
A field undulating device comes it’s all over the news, the world is falling apart, what do we do? Her her sidekick comes along and says hey, we got to get to work really quick. The boss and we have to be there apparently we can help. They’re going through, they’re going through the roads. This is this is the this is the building here. It looks like a pyramid we have a little a little nod to COVID this one person has a mask on things are falling apart. They had the call to adventure as they run into the building, the boss is at the top, he’s telling them that they have to do something that people that show up late lose their jobs may in particular promoted. The prime minister comes on and says you have to build a billion fix to counteract the foot. So essentially, that’s that’s how it works, right? There’s you have to make the story. But in making the story. You’re trying to build in the key elements you’re trying to build in the key elements of the actual research. So if we go to the approach and the ordeal, they go through and they try and do everything with the MK immutable rulebook, it doesn’t work. They go home and they’re complaining about it. And future may comes through a time or a hole and explained to them you can’t do that. You have to make these shifts. They get the idea of having to go do the shifts. In the ordeal, may stands up to Chief mock and says no, you need to let me do it my way. If you don’t let me do it my way. I’m going to take my people with me he lets her do it. And then she goes downstairs and says Look, I don’t know what to do. You all know what to do. Let’s work on this together. And down here you can see which elements are getting activated. So essentially, writing the story was was an interesting part. And at the very end, they’re successful. The eight they get the 8 billion things delivered figure like vaccines. Chief mock is very, very happy. He offered her the job to become CEO because it was her that made it she said she doesn’t want to be CEO she wants to work from the middle out then She falls into a dream at night and she meets future man says, Hey, you really did it. And she’s woken up the next morning says, Oh, I can’t believe it. It’s the guy from everyday superheroes calling her to be on the show, which was her dream in the first place. So that’s the end of the story. There’s a lot more than 190 pages, but I wanted to give you a little flavor for that. What are we talking about today? Coming full circle, there’s a three part narrative. The first thing is to create lasting change in your organization to be able to deal with the complexity we’re working with. We must adopt a people centered approach. And in adopting a people centered approach, as I hope you will, with these tools that I shared today, you can make chips happen on your own personal hero’s journey. So with that, I know we had about five minutes for q&a. I just wanted to say, being from Ireland, Dr. Margaret means thank you very much. I appreciate your attention and time and being here. And Sarah, I’m happy to open it to to any questions now. I think we’ve got about five or six minutes left.
Thanks, doctor. Oh, that was a really information filled presentation. It was great. We do have any questions. We have about four minutes here, you can type those into the questions box, and we’ll answer as many as we can. And our first question today is coming from Carly and Carly would like to know, what is the best way to implement PCT? Do you start at the individual team or organization level?
That’s a great one. So you can do it any way you want. Right? So if you go back to looking at the PCT, as it’s currently written, it says our leaders, if you want to make that about yourself, you can say I, I communicated clear, concise and consistent and compelling, right. So so you can do it at an organization level. So I’ve worked with leadership teams, like executive teams, where we’ve taken this survey, and this is like, what do people feel about the organization? And what’s the PCT element we want to work on together? Or I’ve worked within functions or teams, where a team leader will just take this and work with his or her team to say, Okay, what do we work on first, and they work on individually, they work on it collectively as a team, or for yourself, you can ask yourself, which one of these things do I feel I have a gap in, that I should work on myself. So that’s the thing about this as you can come in at any level, organization, team or individual. And that’s, that’s the idea is that what we want to do is we want to make the shifts in the leadership behavior, right? Around the belief that we should be people centered. And whether you do that bottom up or top down? Doesn’t, you know, doesn’t matter?
Great. And then I think we have time here for one more question coming from Matthew, Matthew, which of the PCT elements should you focus on first?
Ah, yes. So so if you go, let me go here. If you look closely PCT element one, two and three are slightly darker, right. So if you if you if you were to take your PCD quiz, right, and you’re fine on one, two, and three, then go to the one that’s scores lowest, the one that’s closest to the MERV, that’s the one that’s closest to have the hierarchical behavior is. But you want to make sure these three are in place first, because those are really the foundation if you don’t have a real clear, compelling change narrative, if you don’t have your leaders acting differently, and if you don’t have your leaders being vulnerable and open, it’s almost like unless you’ve got that core to build from, you’re in trouble. Other than that, it doesn’t matter which order you move in.
Wonderful. And with that, that does bring us here nearing the end of our session today. Thank you so much, Dr. Driscoll for an informative session receiving some great feedback from the audience.
I’m very glad that you were able to stick through it, it was a lot of content, I know. But, again, please feel free to reach out and get the book. These charts will be available. That was another question I saw, they’re there, they’ll be made available. And we also have a PCT toolkit. So I’ve abbreviated each one of these things to where you have, what the PCT element is, what the criteria is and what the shifts are. So that’s essentially, you know, the book on a page, so to speak, or two pages. So thank you all for your attention. Really appreciate it. And thanks, HR DQ for having me. It’s been a pleasure.
Thank you. Yes, thank you all for participating in today’s webinar. Today’s webinar does qualify for SHRM credits. You will receive follow up messaging after today’s event on how you can receive that, and that there does bring us to the top of the hour. Thank you, Dr. Driscoll, and thank you all for participating in today’s webinar.