Nothing lasts forever. Everything eventually disintegrates. It’s a lesson I was reminded of after spending 7 days at the Adizes Institute in Santa Barbara, California earlier this year.
We had our own little United Nations. Leaders from Spain, the USA, Russia, South America, Sweden, and Australia. All committed to learning the “secret sauces” of Dr Ichak Adizes, one of the worlds most successful authorities in organisational transformation.
His simple but profound ideas and strategies have literally helped hundreds of organisations improve their results and people’s lives.
IDEA NUMBER ONE: The Success Formula
Here’s just one of his ideas: The Success Formula.
Organisational (and personal) success is a function of how well you connect to your marketplace (External Integration). It’s about really understanding the needs of your customers and the opportunities that abound.
Then it’s simply a matter of developing and matching your talent and capabilities to these needs and opportunities. The better you do this, the faster you do this, the cheaper you do this, the better you beat your competition.
But if only it were that easy…
What does it take?
Well, it takes a lot of things but primarily it takes energy, lots of it, and a commitment to keep it going and never losing focus.
So what detracts from energy?
As Shakespeare’s Hamlet said:
“Ay, there’s the rub!”.
What detracts from this energy is not what’s happening externally, it’s what is happening internally, inside the organisation. We’ve all been there…
- A Board that doesn’t give the CEO their total support.
- Team members not giving 100% support to the leader (because one of them went for the role and missed out).
- Leaders more focused on their function or role, rather than the success of the total organisation.
- Associates worried about pointing out poor practices or behaviours because the last person that did is now gone.
- Open warfare between two of your senior leaders who for some reason just seem to detest each other.
- Leaders so obsessed with advancing their own career that their ambition gets in the way of great team work and results.
- Endless variations of negative politics.
And what’s the common denominator here? It all SUCKS UP ENERGY!
Energy that could be going into mind boggling results for your customers, endless innovation and creativity.
Guess where energy flows first?
You guessed it, it can only go to one place at a time, and it goes straight to the internal.
So in summary, your organisation will never reach its full potential if its Internal Disintegration is greater than its External Integration. In fact, eventually, if this is the pattern, your organisation will either die or slowly meander on its path to mediocrity.
Can anything be done?
Absolutely. The key to minimising (it’s very rare you’ll get zero Internal Disintegration) is to increase the Mutual Respect and Trust in the organisation (INTERNAL INTEGRATION).
How do you do this?
By firstly getting the right Vision, Mission and Values. Having the right structure, then right processes, and lastly the right people.
So the formula now looks like this:
Energy is fixed. External Integration Energy is all of the energy available. Internal Disintegration Energy is all the energy destroyed.
IDEA NUMBER TWO: The Change Loop
Leaders are managers of change. Tweet This!
They grasp problems, they determine solutions and of course, those solutions often bring up other problems. And the management of this continuous change loop is what leaders do.
Again, if you can do this faster and better than your competition, you’ll thrive. It’s Mutual Trust and Respect, through LOWER Internal Disintegration that will get AND keep you there.
So what does it take to come up with solutions?
Primarily, it takes two things.
You have to:
- Make Decisions
- Implement these Decisions.
And the best decisions are never made by one person alone. You need multiple viewpoints and perspectives. You need to really listen to, and take into account other’s views. What’s required here is MUTUAL RESPECT.
But now it’s time to implement. Who was it that said…
“A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.”
General George S. Patton
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
What’s required here, more than ever, is MUTUAL TRUST. I need to trust that you will carry out the plan we agreed, that you’ll support the decision we made as a team, that you won’t “white ant” me, or others.
But before Trust, there’s something else that’s needed. So how do you even get to a point where you talk about trust? You must be very clear on (and agree on) your long term shared interests. Without this, why would anyone even bother building trust?
Sure, do your L.S.I. in your organisation, yet even more important is your…This is often the first thing I’d get teams to agree on, especially merged teams.
These are just two of Adizes’ simple but stunning concepts. There are 100s more. Here’s a few action steps to decrease the amount of Internal Disintegration in your team or organisation. They’re questions that must be asked:
- Do we have an agreed Long Term Shared Interest (LTSI)?
- Do we agree, and have we communicated our vision, mission, and values?
- Do we have the right structures in place to achieve this?
- Are authorities and accountabilities crystal clear?
- Do we have agreed, efficient (minimum resources) and effective (maximum outputs) processes in our team (or organisation)?
- Do we have the right people? People that are team players and are totally committed to mutual trust and respect?
- Can we, and do we raise issues, and point out where mutual trust and respect are breaking down?
- Do we give each other heartfelt respectful and helpful feedback?
- Do we then pour all our extra energy into producing outstanding results for our clients and exhilarating jobs for our people?
For more information on how an Australian based Adizes consultant can help your organisation get in touch.
Until next time…
Find the Passion
Develop the Skills
Make the Numbers
Make a Difference
Paul Mitchell (@Paul_S_Mitchell) is a speaker, author, transformational leadership coach and founder of the human enterprise. Through leadership coaching, leadership development programmes, keynotes and facilitation, Paul works with organisations to build cultures where everybody leads.
The Success Formula is taken from the Adizes Methodology © Adizes Institute Worldwide