The small entrepreneurial business can get off the ground with strong individuals leading the way. But a large organization can struggle to complete a transformation, if just a single leader is responsible for everything.
Transformations can create uncertainty within any organization. Something as simple as switching seats at the office can send tremors through the employee group – what is going to happen to me? Of course, it does not help when they hear talk about strategic journeys, programs and projects. Power balances are shifted, agendas are changed, and uncertainty about direction begins to form.
This is where the strong man or woman comes into the picture. Management books are full of stories about how a new CEO or leader entered a business and created a turnaround in record time. These are hero stories. And we love them. They are almost like fairy tales. And of course, there are examples of powerful solo-achievements. But at the end of the day, the individual leader never does it alone.
Uncertainty demands trust
In our experience, change and the uncertainty that it brings, is often best handled as a team-effort. This requires a well-functioning management team, that works together to change the business and get people on board along the way.
We rarely hear stories about the managers who came together and got their business through a crisis and a strategic reorganization. We almost never hear about how they helped each other and worked to preserve their trust, when things got really difficult.
Unfortunately, this is not what is highlighted in most management-books. But we are certain, that it is an important key to success.
Transformation is tricky – take it seriously
Everyone who has experienced an organizational change, fusion, acquisition, implementation of new core systems, or other extensive changes, know that you need more than one leader to get through the transformation unscathed. At Peak, we often help organizations complete these types of strategic initiatives. And through this work, we meet all types of management groups.
In our experience, strong management groups that can help organizations successfully through transformations, are characterized by:
- Focus on the entire organization and not just their own area. Managers set aside their own territorial interests and are happy to contribute their knowledge, economy and employees in order to get through the transformation successfully.
- Focus on long-term goals and acceptance that it will be a bumpy ride. They are able to help each other believe in their desired results and keep their cool, even when trouble, frustrations, and negative benefits emerge.
- An open mindset- It sounds simple – but it is not easy:
Members in a strong management group take interest in one another, their employees and the process towards their goal. They can make enquiries, listen, adjust their outlook and actions – and make room for themselves and others to learn new things. Both together and apart.
- Understanding that only by using everyone’s experiences and competencies can you succeed in solving the interconnected and unpredictable problems that arise along the way. It is an illusion to think that one or a couple of managers can predict, handle and control the organization’s development.
These are disciplines that require mature managers – and focused work with vulnerability, openness and wellbeing within the group. These are all things that are not synonymous with ‘the strong man or woman’ – but things that make transformations succeed.