Tag Archives: organizational transformation

How to Have an Incredibly Collaborative Team - First time manager training

How to Have an Incredibly Collaborative Team?

When we think of sports, we think of fun and entertainment; we think of energy and performance. But when you take a closer look, sports are one of the best representations of teamwork and collaboration. A group of individuals come together to accomplish a particular goal.

Legendary Basketball Coach Phil Jackson once said “For a team to succeed, the players have “to surrender the ‘me’ for ‘we.’ Sports is a living example of how many players come together and work with dedication to achieve a single goal which requires teamwork and group effort to make it realistic.

Everyone in the team plays a different role according to their skill set and strength but they collaborate for a single goal.

While a sport inspires and unites people, it is also a guidebook to be applied in the world of corporates. Moreover, it shows us how champions are born through the efforts of talented individuals who join hands towards a common goal.

A survey conducted by psychologist Marjorie E. Shaw proves that a group of people when working together solves the problem much accurately and precisely rather than when an individual work on them.

How to Have an Incredibly Collaborative Team - First time manager training

What do these teams especially do to have remarkable teamwork and collaboration? Where do businesses lack in developing teams? What features are necessary to build a strong team? How to bring about an organizational transformation using leadership training?

Let’s explore the answer more closely to know what does a collaborative team look like –

  • TRUST

For developing confidence and effective work chemistry within the team, trust is a vital element. If you know your teammates better, consequently you will trust them better which increases the probability of successful collaboration.

Therefore, the companies should plan more employee engagement activities and picnics to help the team members connect in a friendly environment.

  • TRANSPARENT COMMUNICATION

An organization must be transparent with their employees and promote open communication.

99.1% prefer a workplace where people identify and discuss issues truthfully and effectively while less than 50 % say their organization discusses issues truthfully and effectively.

Clear conversation throughout the team and organisation will keep every member on the same page and will assist to make a smooth choice just by focusing better on reaching the planned benchmarks.

  • TEACH WHAT YOU PREACH

Do not just tell your team what to do and what not. Rather, show them, become the leader that you wanted when you were an associate employee. Model the uprightness that you are expecting from your team and hold yourself as well as your team accountable.

Arrange for a formal training program for your future managers so that they receive an unbiased and neutral view of the management, which might get missed by your limited vision. The First Time Manager training program by Pragati Leadership prepares new managers for success by providing them with the training and skills needed to make a smooth transition from an employee to a leader.

Lastly, take a stand when required, and have faith in others.

  • FREEDOM TO EXPRESS

What makes a great team? When individuals of different skills and calibre come together and are given the freedom to exercise their skills proficiently.

Many individuals in a team lead to a diverse body of knowledge – this is the pioneer of creative solutions. Use distinctive skills of every individual member of a team to a strategic advantage while moving forward.  Adopt innovative techniques to give every member their creative space.

  • INVITE HEALTHY DISAGREEMENTS

Keep the communication channel open and never be afraid to have conflicts or disagreements in the ideas. Many members will lead to many perceptions but a healthy disclosure only benefits the business.

When 97% employees believe communication is the core foundation of every business and productivity shoots up by 25% with a better-connected employee system, teamwork and communication should form the basis of your company.

Leadership programs in India stress on the idea of creating a collaborative environment in order to build the foundation of a more prosperous endeavour. Business leaders should keep in mind that for collaborations to work it must be reliable and purposeful, with resources and rewards dedicated to its success. When team members sense that they are a part of something remarkable they are more than willing to grind and work together to accomplish the benchmarks.

One is better than one i.e. one team is always better than one player.

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Why health should be priority for leaders - organizational transformation

Why Health Should be a Priority for Leaders

We grew up learning ‘Early to bed and early to rise makes one healthy, wealthy and wise!”. In the last century though, while we have become wealthier and wiser, we seem to have received a beating on the health front. Many problems like Diabetes, Hypertension, Cholesterol, Thyroid etc. hitting individuals at a very young age. Senior leadership is expressing concern over lack of energy and enthusiasm in team in the second half of the work. They were found to have very poor attention and participation in meetings. Client calls were more like a ‘tick-in-the-box’ lacking much involvement. The main challenge was that all of them were mid-senior level and in their 30s to 40s of age, rather very commonly found in almost most of the organization.

Why health should be priority for leaders - organizational transformation

Another observation from HR is a remarkable rise in sick leave, peer-level conflicts over minor topics, short-temper etc. among employees. Now, this again is not unique to a particular organization or geography, but very common across all levels and age. The intention behind sharing the above issues is to get closer to the reality of health challenges and its impact on our daily personal and professional life. This also is a major challenge on desks of leaders, since it will impact the individuals, client, productivity, performance, and business.

So what can the Leader do to address the challenge and bring about an organizational transformation?

The first & foremost step all leaders need to take is to ACCEPT the fact that health is important and needs to be addressed at all levels. Acceptance is the key step in dealing with the challenges. Most of the times, everyone asserts with the words “I am fine, it will not happen to me, my employees are fit” and so on, until one-day reality hits them hard.

Once as a leader you accept that health is a priority and needs to be addressed, 80% of the job is done. So what next after Acceptance, you may ask? Well once we accept, we can then take the next steps to have a Good Health Development. It can be done in a multi-pronged approach.

Create Awareness of Good Health

This can be done by the way of posters, mailers etc. Make individuals realize the advantage of Health and its impact on Personal and Professional life. We have heard of the famous Quote” If you don’t take care of your customers, competitors will”, but “If you don’t take care of your health, who will?”

As a leader, you have the power and ability to impact many, who will further impact many more.

A leader must drive this message followed by his own tangible actions. Everyone should undergo a medical check-up at least once a year. To ensure that we don’t miss, we can make it a habit to do so on our birthdays. We never forget our birthdays and it can also be a gift to ourselves. We can reserve one day like the last Friday or the first Monday of the month, to implement innovative ways to foster good health. We can try implementing basic changes in our lifestyle in simple ways like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, conducting stand-up meetings, avoiding sugar etc.

Today we have such wonderful apps on the smartphone which we can leverage in many ways. Leaders can encourage various individual and group/team/pair challenges. The participants can be rewarded for challenges such as walking the most number of steps in a day, holding a plank position for the longest time, etc. The more the diversity, the higher the participation and the greater the fun.

Good Health is not just about exercise.  Such myths also need to be addressed by creating awareness with the help of experts. What we eat and drink, is what contributes to health.  Leaders can create awareness on the importance of various elements in our diet which impacts good health of all and good health of organization. Rest / Sleep is another very important aspect. It should be encouraged and attention must be drawn to proper and sufficient sleep. For e.g.: 5 min rest after lunch can be made mandatory at a scheduled time.

Individuals look up to the leaders and follow them. As leaders, we lead by example in meetings, executive coaching sessions, project discussions, client negotiations, business presentations, etc. We should also lead by example in various good health habits. We can share success stories, benefits, and incentives due to good health practice. Leaders can create that ripple effect and initiate it as a movement. I would like to sum it all up on a poetic note by quoting the below:

“If we can’t fly, we must run.

If we can’t run, we must walk.

If we can’t walk, we must crawl.

Whatever it is we must keep moving.”

Leadership Facilitator - Manoj Vanjiri

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Ready and Capable Leaders - Organisational Transformation

How Do You Know Your Leaders are Ready and Capable?

In a recent conversation, the CEO of a well-run organization expressed this question and it got me thinking – is leadership development addressed sufficiently well by organizations and the owners of the organization?

Let’s begin with the CEO’s question. Common sense thinking would be to have a competent person for the job. But in the era we live in, a continuously changing and evolving landscape of business and competition make things very unpredictable. What kind of competencies would really be needed to navigate the maze becomes the single most important question to really bring about new thinking?

Ready and Capable Leaders - Pragati Leadership

Would past experience and knowledge not be sufficient? Think about, explorations of the space. Would knowledge of having been in space be sufficient to travel to Mars? Very unlikely! Important but not sufficient. One has to apply forward thinking of the unknown challenges and risks and yet be bold enough to actually jump into it.   Elon Musk, a very unconventional leader has a penchant to deviate from the normal and take risks. Does every organization need an Elon Musk type leader?  Or can they continue to win with proven horses and strategies? Organizations need a blend of both type of leaders, but it’s evident that we will need a bigger pipeline of leaders equipped to deal with the future.

So how do we approach this problem?   Clearly current day skills and knowledge will get outdated and organizations will have to reshape on a continuous basis.   The question is not when but how? Building agility and strategic mind-sets,  using executive coaching developing big picture thinking,  encouraging creative problem solving, creating inspiring workplaces, leading strategic change are few things the organization’s leaders will need to develop and demonstrate.

In one business review meeting with a client, I asked leaders if they could think what the business landscape would look like after 3-5 years, and their responses made me shudder.   The inability to foresee new challenges and taking comfort in the known situations could make the organization and the individual vulnerable to the external environment. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is upon us.  Futuristic competitive forces are a good starting point to know if the organizations and it leaders are ready and capable to address them, if not all at least some of them. Having leaders who are not just good in doing what the organization can and wants them to do, but also equipped in doing what its future competitors will do, will define whether the organization will succeed in future or not.

And yes, organizational transformation, leadership and talent development is a continuous journey.   An evolution!  And it has to happen at an increasing pace because the environment is changing faster than what we might prefer.

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The Role of Leaders in Creating Happiness

The Role of Leaders in Creating Happiness

All business leaders are expected to deliver results for the organization. However the role of leaders in creating happiness is lesser understood and also contested by many leaders.

Let’s take the conversation to an era, where leaders were essentially rulers of a tribe, clan or a kingdom. There are numerous folk tales where the kings often had a huge task cut out and had to ensure that their subjects were able to live a just and happy life. Of course there were also leaders who did not really care about the citizens and were more focussed on their power, wealth and entertainment.

It was always expected from a benevolent leader to help his/her subjects in times of famines or other crisis. I recently read a story of the king of Mysore who gave up most of his kingly possessions and was ready to even mortgage his palace to fund the incomplete KRS Dam. This dam would have provided succour to the parched regions of Mysore and would have benefitted the farmers significantly. Would a business leader in today’s time go to such length to ensure the happiness of his/her team?

The Role of Leaders in Creating Happiness

Focusing on happiness essentially means showing concern for people. In today’s world with hyper competition and high volatility, a business manager’s focus tends to be largely on reaching one’s goals. One cannot afford to lose business, while a loss in the team is often considered acceptable.  These paradigms perpetuate eventually pushing the leaders’ focus purely on producing results. Produce or perish (ref. Blake and Mouton’s managerial grid) then is the operating Mantra.

What are the drawbacks through the relentless focus only on producing results? In my observations, sustaining an organization in the long run purely through this focus on production is very difficult. Disengagement and attrition are two familiar outcomes. What does it take for a leader to create happiness in the work place? Is it counterproductive to his core objectives of delivering results? Will happy employees be as rewarding as happy investors?

These questions require deep diving into understanding that happiness is important to every individual. The definition of happiness itself can vary vastly from individual to individual. A simplistic approach can often lead organizations and leaders to focus on the external motivators like compensation and other benefits. Once one realizes the short lived outcomes on the benefits of such external motivators, it then forces you to think what brings happiness and joy in people.

One definition which endures is helping people find meaning and pride in one’s work. Great leaders create the intrinsic motivations through instilling purpose and create empowering environments that allow people to discover themselves. And sometimes all it takes is emphatic listening. Simple as it might sound, it is quite another thing to practice and find ways to alleviate people from their current paradigms. Genuine executive coaching conversations can help break these barriers.

Excellence is a hallmark of Joy! Focus on creating joyful and meaningful workplaces can be potential enablers in creating excellence without compromising on the focus to produce. Big picture thinking meshes the ability to take people along and getting results. They are indistinguishable. You are then poised for a huge leap and true organizational transformation. But it all begins with you!

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