Running Ourselves Ragged

I’ve been here at Teleos now for almost a full year and through that experience I’ve been exposed to a lot of organizations across a number of industries. Part of what I love about being a consultant is entering into different systems and working with different people on a number of different initiatives, from coaching to leadership development to organizational development and change management. To say it’s been a blast and an eye-opening experience for me is an understatement.

I love my job for a number of reasons, but what I appreciate most is that I’ve been given a new lens to see the world through, and I get to share this knowledge with clients. I’ve taken to the metaphor that our boss, Fran Johnston, uses when describing us- we’re pollinators. We’re little bees that get to spread information from one system to the next and help people and organizations navigate the complexity that we’re all up against. Interestingly, what I’ve taken away most from my interactions, is that we’re all up against the same challenges… people and organizations moving at breakneck speed, with little information to help serve them when making decisions, despite the abundance of information now at our fingertips.

Leaders everywhere are overwhelmed, stressed, tired and taxed. The more enlightened organizations are starting to understand that they need to provide help, guidance and care, but it’s few and far between. People are running in and out of meetings, coming in late, because they don’t even have time to stop for food or go to the bathroom during the course of their day. We’re literally running ourselves ragged, pushing for what’s next, trying to one up the competition, which sometimes happens to be our own colleagues. We work in organizational structures that aren’t agile enough for what we’re up against.

We see organizations that continually ask for more from their employees, but give them less to get the job done. The expectations are raised, but the commitment to the employee’s ability to get the job done has diminished. We see organizations that ask leaders to leave emotions out of their work. They want results not relationships. But it’s all short-sighted. Most organizations will tell you that their competitive differentiator is their people, and yet, when we ask how they support their people, they look at us askew, or tell us that financial pressures have forced budget cuts.

The systems and structures in place today are becoming ancient relics. They aren’t agile enough, they don’t provide enough space for the organization or the individual to breath. They’re built to point out deficiencies and imperfections. They’re constructed to tell us what’s wrong in the world. There’s a place for this, at times, but what if we imagined a different way to support and grow our people? What if we were able to share with you the movements that are starting to build across organizations to free themselves of outdated models and start to pollinate the promising ideas across organizations?

In every organization that I’ve stepped foot in over the past year, there’s a lot of great things happening. New ideas for how to manage performance, new initiatives to spurn growth and development. The seeds are being planted for the evolution, but we need to help spread the word before it’s too late. There are more enlightened ways to approach business. There are ways for leaders to inspire to drive results, there are ways for organizations to design themselves to engage their people and there are ways to give your people a much-needed break, to allow them to reset and refresh. We can help…

 

 

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