finish the homework Reading(s):
Read HBR “Conquering a Culture of Indecision” Charan (2011).
Unit Journal Posts – Individual
- Read HBR “Conquering a Culture of Indecision” Charan (2011).
- Unit Journal Posts – Individual
Students will make three (3) Posts per UNIT. Each Post must be a MINIMUM of 200 words.
Each Post must consist of the following three (3) elements:
- an important fact from the UNIT reading,
- what this fact means,
- why this post is important to you.
Student will post one (1) response per UNIT. Students will select another student’s Post and provide an encouraging response to the ideas expressed by that student. Each Response must be MINIMUM of 100 words.
Conquering a Culture of Indecision
Imagine….. presenting a project and waiting for everyone else to open the discussion:
No one wants to comment.
There is a loud silence in the room.
The comments are all positive.
Remarks are finally made but judging from their remarks, it appears that everyone in the room supports the project. The project ends….but has it resolved anything?
Appearances can be deceiving.
Many people may be discontent, keeping their reservations to themselves.
…..can strangle a project to death
The true sentiment may be that people oppose the project
Silence and the lack of closure leads to false decisions:
project has not resolved much
False decisions and conclusions get undone by unspoken factors and inaction.
Leaders are charged with:
reaching a decision
engaging with one another.
Leaders who do not take charge:
demonstrate the inability to take decisive action and
create a corporate culture of indecisiveness.
Leaders can break this culture of indecisiveness by:
The quality of the dialogue determines:
how people gather and process information
how they make decisions
how they feel about one another
about the outcome of these decisions
Dialogue can lead to new ideas and speed as a competitive advantage
It is the single most important factor underlying the productivity and growth of the knowledgeable worker.
Breaking a culture of indecision requires a leader who can engender between people:
trusting relationships: connections
The leader must set the tone by:
using these connections
modelling open and honest dialogue
Setting the tone is only the first step.
To transform a culture of indecision leaders must also see that the organization’s social operating mechanisms have honest dialogue at their centre.
Leaders must establish clear lines of accountability for reaching decisions and executing them.
Follow-through and feedback are the final steps in creating a decisive culture.
Feedback can be used to:
coach those who are struggling
redirect behaviours of those blocking progress and
provide reward to those who achieve.
It all begins with dialogue
Studies show that products and operational strength are not what really sets the most successful organizations apart.
What can not be easily duplicated between these companies are:
the decisive dialogues and robust operating mechanisms and
their links to feedback and follow-through.
These factors constitute an organization’s most lasting competitive advantage.
Decisive dialogue encourages:
brings coherence to seemingly fragmented and unrelated ideas
Outcomes seem right because people have helped to shape it
Where there is intellectual inquiry rather than advocacy people are energized and ready to act.
In these dialogues it is important for the leader to inject realism
Further, this dialogue should appear open to insight where people feel:
more sharply focused
It is important that there is not a failure to get all relevant information into the open.
How dialogue is conducted affects people’s attitudes and behaviour in subtle and not so subtle ways.
How dialogue becomes action
The social operating mechanisms of decisive corporate culture features behaviours marked by 4 characteristics:
Openness means that the outcome is not predetermined.
There is an honest search for alternatives and new discoveries. Leaders create an atmosphere of safety that permits:
2. Candor is a willingness to:
speak the unspeakable
expose unfulfilled commitments
air the conflicts that undermine apparent consensus
Candor means that people express their real opinions…..not what they think team players are supposed to say
Candor helps wipeout the silence
Informality encourages candor. It reduces defensiveness
People feel more comfortable asking questions and Reacting honestly
Closure imposes discipline
Closure means People know exactly what they are expected to do
Closure produces decisiveness by:
deadlines to people
Closure tests the leader’s inner strength and intellectual resources
Leaders get the behaviour they tolerate….putting up with old cultures of individualism and information hoarding
Cultures should be one where there is:
…..a cultural mechanisms of airing and resolving conflicts
Bringing conflicts to the surface is a sign of organizational health
A healthy culture provides the opportunity for:
a safe environment for disagreement
In every organization conflict is inevitable
Therefore, a healthy approach to conflict it can be an opportunity for identifying best solutions
Dialogue is not about stating a message once and assuming it will sink in
Change in corporate culture and behaviour is made through a repetition of the dialogue
True behavioral change comes through a genuine cultural change
It is important for the organization to develop a cultural/social operating mechanism that promotes:
productive and decisive dialogue.
Further, for dialogue to be productive, the conversation should be focused on a common task.
Follow-through and feedback
Follow-through is at the root of decisive cultures.
A lack of follow through destroys:
the discipline of execution
A good example of a follow-through and feedback mechanisms is the performance and compensation review process…..especially if it is explicitly linked to the corporation’s social operating mechanisms.
This feedback mechanism, however, cannot be viewed as ritualistic
Where there is no genuine conversation or no feedback, there is:
no chance for employees to learn
no opportunity for candid dialogue between employees and leaders
Without the right type of dialogue:
feedback mechanisms will not work as intended
not serve its purpose
behavioural and cultural change can not happen
Leaders must give honest feedback to their direct reports, especially to those who find themselves not doing well
Finally…..feedback should be many things:
relentlessly focused on behaviour performance
One thing….it should not be surprising to the employee
Feedback mechanisms should be conducted on a continual basis…as a year long process
Dialogue and Indecision
|Follow-through & Feedback|
|Connection between leader and team||Executive meetings
|Honest feedback, and reward high achievement|
|Model respect, openness and honesty||Where the people of a corporation do business||Coaching for those struggling|
|Decisive dialogue sets the tone for the organization||Establish clear lines of accountability for decisions & action||Redirect behaviors blocking the organization progress|
Ultimately, changing a culture of indecision is it matter of leadership
It is a matter of asking hard questions:
how robust and effective are our social operating mechanisms
How well they are linked
did they have the right people in the right frequency
do they have a rhythm and operate consistently
is follow through built in
Further, a social dialogue mechanism must be marked by:
Transforming a culture of indecision is a big demanding task
asking the right questions
identifying and resolving conflicts
providing candid and constructive feedback
Leaders with the strength to insist on honest dialogue and follow-through will be rewarded not only with a decisive organization but also with a workforce that is: