Are you running a system that WOWs the whole of your team?

August 29, 2020

Do you see yourself as a cog in your organisation’s system? Or if you are in charge, does it feel like a high performance team output is secured, no breakdowns or stoppages? I have variations on this cog theme, 1. rusty and not running smoothly, 2. well-oiled and working in flow with all systems go and 3. that whirring of a continually running hamster wheel. The latter is preferably not a loose wheel that has escaped its housing!

A dynamic version of option 2 is a reality we would all like to see for now. The pandemic challenge has sent some companies adrift – the wheels most definitely have fallen off. Some have been working hard at getting back up and running to cater for all of the staycation holidaymakers. Whatever the circumstances there has been a whole lot of adjusting going on. Finding flow may take a fundamental mind-set shift like never before.

A whole organisation workout (WOW) comprises all individuals tuning into their contribution. They may be externally motivated by the rewards on offer, or perhaps more internally motivated and whole-heartedly satisfied with all that their role offers. So pay what you need to the externally motivated ones and consider how you can nurture the internally driven. Pump up the talent management and succession planning wheels and work out which of your members are all fired up, and clear about the choices they can and need to make.

As I was reading a colleague’s post recently about the Lane 4 formula (leadership development consultancy)  he has used in his associate capacity, this got me thinking about how this model supports finding flow in the system. Using an understanding of autonomy, belonging, meaning and connection for each and every individual their model supports leaders developing a deep understanding of how to correctly steer course for their workforce. Supporting each internally driven individual in being motivated, fit to make great choices, attached to and part of a thriving community with clarity about what they do well. While also being socially, professionally and meaningfully connected.

It also is an ideal way to underpin the societal contribution of either your CSR or ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) agenda. John Blakey (author of Challenging Coaching, Blakey & Day) recently hosted a conversation with CEOs where one of the guests cited the Social component of ESG or CSR as the most significant given the current situation. I agree, and firmly believe that our social responsibility to be sustainable has meaning on a number of levels. We all need to contribute to sustaining the workforce’s wellbeing, this might mean challenging the systems in which we find ourselves and working towards ensuring all systems are fit for purpose. Our own as well, and not just our company’s. So are they?

Finally, remember the role of hope and optimism, ensure you give people control over their choices. Nurture a community that adheres to the values you uphold and ensure that your systems cater for challenge that supports people making a meaningfully, interdependent contribution. Working in flow is good for our systems.