Exposing your Leaders to the Possibility
Leaders in large organisations are often very experienced. Middle leaders in particular tend to have risen through the ranks and spent some considerable time with the same company. They will often have worked in the team they lead and been promoted based on technical knowledge or high performance in their previous role.
Which is great, isn’t it? That means they know a lot about how the organisation works and what it does, they can therefore manage others within it effectively.
The downside of this is that they can become internally focussed, paying more attention to what happens within their sphere of influence than outside the organisation. If you have only worked for one company for 20 years, then how diverse can your thinking be about different ways of operating?
The result? Culture can stagnate, innovation is stifled by lack of new ideas or protectionism, and change is resisted because things are fine just the way they are, “the way they have always been around here”.
If you are reading this now picturing one or more leaders in your organisation (or maybe even thinking this sounds like you!), then let me paint you another picture.
Instead of going on a training course, that leader steps out of the organisation and goes to work with an entrepreneur on their business. They learn new things, are inspired by the art of the possible, face different challenges and have to help solve problems they have never encountered before. Their brain is stretched, they are a bit scared, and often they don’t know what to do.
But they are nurtured through this journey by an experienced enabler. Someone who can help them understand what’s going in their head, reflect on what they have learned and apply it back into their own role. They return to their job questioning everything – why is this that way? Why can’t we do “x”?
They are energised and look at the organisation with a fresh set of eyes. They lead their team differently and foster a more entrepreneurial culture with fewer perceived limitations. They continue working with the entrepreneur, helping to develop their business and gaining the satisfaction of doing a good thing, as well as a continual flow of new ideas and learning.
The picture I am painting is of learning through entrepreneuring, a new paradigm in people development and business innovation that we will be exploring over the coming months. Watch this space!