Whether one wants to change personal habits, implement a new information system, improve a business process, get team members to work together, increase a community’s appreciation for diversity, or even to topple a monarchy, taking seven actions driven by seven disarmingly simple truths will individually and collectively help achieve the goal.
Manage to Lead: Seven Truths to Help You Change the World is a workbook that top educators, consultants, and executives use to help their students, clients, and staffs become effective leaders of strategic change. Manage to Lead serves as the core content for a class in Organization Leadership, Analysis, Strategy, and Development at one of the top Organization Development masters programs in the United States.
The workbook was introduced in the spring as interactive, digital content and is now also available in softcover from Amazon or as an iBook from iTunes. It introduces a straightforward framework to describe and assess any organization and provides a structured approach to plan and implement next steps for an organization as it strives for long-term growth and performance.
The application of behavioral psychology to organizations over the past 60 years or so has given rise to Organization Development tools, methods, and principles. University programs and training labs have taught thousands of professionals in the rapidly evolving discipline. Many of those trained wonder where they fit in the organizations that employ them.
Many organizations embrace the need for their leaders to convene offsite, for a day or two, in order to advance their ability to achieve a desired future state and to improve group performance by crystallizing and preparing to launch one or more Strategic Initiative. The best organizations know that to achieve optimum results such a session is best hosted by a trained outside facilitator and that pre-meeting data collection and preparation are key to success.
For decades organizations have sought and achieved productivity and performance improvement through information technology and process engineering initiatives. While these efforts streamlined and automated what organizations do to provide services and products, they failed to address many people and organization needs along the way. As a result, we still have a long way to go in order to achieve peak performance as suggested by figures 1 and 2 below.
While the next wave of performance improvement may come from augmented reality, artificial intelligence, the internet-of-things, or any number of other things, it can also come, as suggested in figure 3, from enhancing the way people perform as individuals and together in groups, teams, and organization units. Leaders at all levels are challenged to get the most from their organizations and change initiatives by developing each person and their teams to fulfill their potential to perform and grow.
Unfortunately, the skills to effectively lead this wave are not yet widely known or effectively taught and are difficult to figure out on-the-job even among bright and highly motivated professionals. These skills can, however, be learned and immediately put to work to improve performance in any organization.
IntelliVen content is rooted in the discipline of Behavioral Science as applied to real-world experiences by pioneering executives and cutting-edge executive coaches in public, private, venture-backed, and private-equity-owned for-profit, not-for-profit organizations.
Leaders and coaches can put the tools, methods, and principles posted on the IntelliVen site into highly effective practice and success in social, public, and commercial sector organizations of all sizes and stages of evolution.
It is hard to interest organization leaders in lifting performance through improved interpersonal dynamics. The reason is that it is harder to grasp than, say, buying a system or changing a business process.
As such it is incumbent upon those who sell and deliver improvement through upgrading behavior, to package and describe offerings in tangible terms. For example, rather than pitching Manage to Lead as tools, methods, and principles that help an organization to achieve its potential to perform and grow, it may be more tangible, and therefore more “buyable” if it is introduced as the Manage to Lead Systemand delivered in a staged, systematic, deliberate way.
The other key is to sell the benefit delivered, not the process by which it is achieved. For example, following the Manage to Lead System will increase growth rates and improve profit margins. That it does so principally by getting people and teams to work better together is incidental to the final result though it is an extraordinarily efficient way to achieve it.