You say improving morale and productivity at the same time is impossible? Well, I’m here to tell you that it is possible! Not only possible but extremely effective and can be done in a few months. Our team recently worked with the HR Team of a large for profit company. In less than 2 months, engagement has skyrocketed! We used a simple process of collaboration with every team member to build a Management Operating System. Here is a visual of what we mean by MOS:
We begin by understanding what drives effective communication and a common language as well as teaching how to recognize the barriers to effective communication (the blue circle). This is accomplished by completing a Force Field Analysis and our common language discussion takes about 4 hours. We then build out the Values, Vision and Mission statements of the framework (the gold circle). On our second day on site, we teach how to build out an effective strategy and empower the teams to accomplish this task in 4 hours. We are on site 1 1/2 days. From here, an advisory board is formed in which the leader and one of our coaches formulate the entire MOS. The real progress occurs in the days that follow.
The human mind is a very interesting thing. You become what you think about. As team members begin to build out their MOS, they participate and collaborate in a way that opens communication and builds trust and camaraderie. Those that share the values of the department excel. Those that don’t are quickly identified. Why does this matter? The happiest and most productive team members share your values. No one wants an unhappy unproductive member on their team. These employees may be a better fit somewhere else in the organization or another company.
Alignment Begins With A Humble Leader
Any leader possessing all the answers to a team’s problems is a stumbling block to team morale and team productivity. The principle to be applied here is:
Heavy on what and light on how
Have you ever worked with someone who direct your every action on a project?How did that make you feel?? Conversely, have you ever reported to someone who allowed you to use your creativity and your personality to bring a project to a conclusion? Which of the two is more empowering. Which brings out the best in people? At TQL, we have defined this idea as command and control versus empower and release. A leader seeking the best solution begins by involving anyone affected by a decision to be involved in the solution.
How to Become a More Effective Leader?
Every leader needs to know what drives their personal effectiveness. The problem, however, is that most leaders operate out of their unconscious competence. This process works very well until it doesn’t. In other words, they keep doing things that have always worked without documenting what they did and when they did them. This was me more than 20 years ago. So, I decided to think through all the things I was doing that drove my effectiveness and abandon the things that were obstacles by using a little tool previously mention; Force Field Analysis. In this process, we analyze the things that will drive us (driving forces) to our desired state and the things that will restrain us (restraining forces) from reaching our goals or vision.
Document what works. Stop doing what doesn’t!
One of the things I documented that drove my personal effectiveness was my
tendency to involve other people when making decisions when I was unclear about
next steps. This began a journey of truly understand the power of
To say that collaboration is the most powerful tool a leader has for increasing alignment is perhaps the most under stated thing I could say about this powerful process. When we ask others to be involved in problem solving, we are truly capturing their creativity in ways that all organizations should emulate.
The foundation for all for alignment begins with collaboration within a set of boundaries. These boundaries are discovered and documented when you build out an effective Management Operating System. We specialize in this process at Total Quality Leadership. Our process is practical, effective and achievable in just a few months and change starts happening within two days.