How To Mint And Keep A Future-Proof Foreign money
This is how you mint and maintain a future-proof currency
Two rich phrases (coined by Dr. Tasha Eurich), namely “loving critics” and “see clearly and act decisively”, are the key to minting and maintaining a future-proof currency that, if you know, can be successful in the long term. Leaders also need to know how to show humility and show confidence.
It is important to establish the context for the above two sentences in advance. Dr. Tasha Eurich (organizational psychologist, author and sought-after keynote speaker) works with executives to help them “see clearly and act decisively”. Your experience is that people usually act decisively without seeing clearly. While 95% of people think they are self-aware, in reality it is only 10-15%. She notes that while leaders spend a lot of time talking about how to get feedback, they don’t spend enough time on who to get feedback from. She goes on to say that the best people to get feedback from are “loving critics.” She describes loving critics as people who meet two important criteria: a) They want you to be successful, and b) They are willing to tell you the truth, even if it is difficult or possibly even because it is difficult is.
Given the above context, it sets out that there are 4 main ingredients to minting and maintaining a future-proof organizational currency that can deliver sustainable success. These are:
- The implementation of a holistic, integrative model that positions organizational development and employee development as the inseparable flipside of the same coin in order to support the shaping of a future-proof currency that is unique for every organization.
- A robust, structured, and user-friendly process for collecting holistic feedback and then presenting it in a clear and easy-to-understand way from both an organizational development perspective and an employee skill development perspective.
- Managers who are ready to empower their employees to be “loving critics” through their ability to be humble and trustworthy.
- Managers who “see clearly and act decisively.
4 ingredients to mint and maintain a future-proof corporate currency
A high level discussion follows about these 4 ingredients:
1. A holistic, integrative model that positions OD and ED as the downside of the same coin
Organizational development and employee development are shown schematically below as the downside of a coin, which metaphorically represent the value of a company currency for sustainable success. For the purposes of this article, our models and methods will be used. However, any equally holistic and robust approach might be appropriate. The OD and ED models pictured below are easy to understand and together form a framework to systematically mint and maintain a rich future-proof currency that is unique to each organization.
The organizational development model (top left) is explained in more detail in a previous article, while the employee development model (top right) is explained in more detail in the following previous article.
2. A structured, holistic, integrative feedback methodology that is easy to use and easy to understand
The models shown above are holistic and include all best practices that relate to both organizational development and employee development. It is reasonable to expect, therefore, that most organizations will have implemented interventions that aim to develop many, or most, if not all of the key dimensions that make up each of the models. And it is reasonable to expect that their efforts have not gone unrewarded. Diagnostic surveys are a good starting point to measure how future-proof your company and employee currency is in terms of sustainable success.
A robust, structured, and easy-to-use process to collect holistic feedback and then present it clearly and easily understandable from both an organizational development perspective and an employee skill development perspective is described in the above two articles.
Figure 1 below shows how results can be presented from an overall organizational perspective, and Figure 2 shows how an employee skills profile could be presented. It is important that the OD results can be displayed separately for the different teams and departments. While individual skill profiles can be displayed from an individual self-assessment and comparison with 360-degree feedback from colleagues, they can also be aggregated to show what the skill profile of a team, a department or an entire organization could look like. Both OD and ED results can be queried for specific information.
For a sustainable, healthy and high-performance organization that can adapt quickly and safely to future requirements, these two organizational stars have to shine brightly and be in sync. The above representation of the two stars, whereby the organization star is “larger” than the cumulative employee ability star, symbolically stands for the fact that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. The relevance and importance of this becomes clear when one works through such a process systematically.
3. Loving critics
It goes without saying that if you really want to know what is going on in an organization, the best thing to do is to ask the people who work there. So we need every single person who becomes a “loving critic” of the organization for the people they work with and for themselves. And for this we need the following from the managers:
- The humility to ask the right questions to the right people and really listen
- The trust that “the messenger will be listened to (not shot)” and that their feedback will be respected, valued and implemented
- A way to help them get meaningful, holistic, structured, and honest feedback (covered in the section above, but repeated in this section for completeness)
Modesty is one of the manager’s key skills (personal and social skills together form the critical set of basic skills). Trust is a key construct of the organizational development dimension of engagement. There is a lot of literature on the importance, relevance and evolution of these two criteria and further discussion is beyond the scope of this article.
4. Managers who “see clearly and act decisively”
Managers are people. Sometimes they don’t see clearly and sometimes they don’t act decisively.
How can it be explained that huge, immensely successful organizations suddenly “fall on their knees”, seemingly without much warning? Steinhoff is a recent example and Christo Wiese is a smart and experienced businessman. Is it possible that he “couldn’t see it coming”? Is it more likely that the organization’s seemingly overwhelming success has blinded him to warning signs? What if he had the humility to ask the right people the right questions, really listened and asked questions just to clarify the situation, and then acted decisively long before the disaster?
When working with organizations that use the processes and methods described above, it becomes apparent that “seeing clearly and acting decisively” are key characteristics of successful leadership. In one organization, management was made aware of a serious problem but not responded to. A follow-up incident on this issue caused considerable damage to the organization. In another organization, leadership used efforts, resources, and finances to take decisive action to solve a problem, but with little success. However, when the diagnosis clearly revealed the real problem, leadership was able to act decisively and confidently to resolve the problem.
Managers are people and need the support they deserve to “see clearly and act decisively”.
The power of insight
Insight only has power when it is used and not put on hold as “power for the future”. It is hoped that this article will stimulate a dialogue that will help many organizations to coin a future-proof currency for sustainable success.