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Category Archives: Culture change

How to Get Everyone on the Same Page

How to Get Everyone on the Same Page

fishes-swimming-together

Why does every organization need a vision statement?

A vision statement explains ‘what you aspire to reach’ as an organization and why that matters.

The purpose of a vision is to focus and inspire each person in the company in a meaningful way. Furthermore, the process and people you involve to craft your vision is also important! Research shows successful companies are true to the vision.

e.g Amazon

“Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

Philips

“At Philips, we strive to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation”


A Vision Health Check

Does everyone in your company know what the vision statement is?

Does your vision resonate personally with individuals? Is it inspiring??

Do people own and share the vision with others in simple language?

What do you do to keep this vision alive?

Does your vision immediately show in the way you

  • behave towards each other
  • the way you do business
  • the way your systems and operations run
  • how you meet customer needs?

Can people in the company relate their daily roles and responsibilities straight back to the vision?

 


 

If you don’t have a vision statement?

Commit to the importance of having a vision statement:

Plan the process

  • Decide who should be involved in designing the vision. It needs to be supported to work. If you want everyone to own it, it needs to be shared and co-created
  • Meet to design a vision – meeting off site, somewhere in nature will definitely help you think out of the box, inspire and keep the energy up

Answers these questions together:

  • Why do we exist? What is our ultimate purpose – this is your vision!
  • How do we ideally want to achieve our vision – this is the basis of the strategy that will help you achieve that vision
  • What specific products and services will achieve our vision

Make it work!

  • Reduce your vision statement to two or three lines that are inspirational, but simple. Make it comprehensive yet detailed
  • Decide how will you communicate the outcome, and to whom?
  • Consider how will you weave the new vision into the fabric of the company on an ongoing basis?
  • Coach your managers and staff to help everyone connect the vision to their team and individual roles. For example making it part of existing team meetings and other work processes already in place

 
When to Bring in the Big Guns!
At SYNQUITY, we are experts at helping you to craft a deep meaningful company vision, co-created and owned by everyone, connected to your teams and individual roles, communicated in the way you behave towards one another, transparent in the systems run and the way you meet customer needs.
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Learn Why This CEO’s Change Efforts Failed


I recently met with a CEO of a large corporation. He was demoralised and confused by the limited impact a 3-year culture change program had, in which they had invested EUR 300 000. Despite a substantial effort, it seemed it was a waste of money. However, there were many aspects at the beginning that they got right.

What did they do Right?

  • The change was initiated and supported at board level
  • During the change program, a clear vision and goals were developed, which fuelled a sense of urgency
  • Change management efforts (information about the change) targeted top level, middle management and pockets of people across the company
  • The change program provided staff with a menu of options such as workshops, team meetings or one on one coaching to help them embrace the changes
  • Changes were rolled out and supported over a substantial period of time
  • They celebrated and marked important milestones
  • The team leaders had an active role in facilitating change with their own teams

Yet, this organizational change failed?

  • The Chairman seemed to be fully on board at the outset, but quickly lost interest and it was visible to all
  • The Voices of Judgement (VoJ), Voices of Cynicism (VoC) and Voices of Fear (VoF) in the organization remained unchecked (see Otto Scharmer’s work)
  • The Chairman’s lack of support (his VoC) for the program was not raised with him this had a snowball effect
  • In the culture of this organization, it was customary to preserve harmony and stability at all costs. Therefore when concerns or issues were noted or raised, they were quickly minimized, shut down or ignored (VoF)
  • Senior managers could not really buy-in to the change since the chairman’s attitude undermined the program. It was therefore not ‘politically correct’ for managers to act as role models for change (VoF)
  • People in the organization, as well as the change leaders, defended the status quo and remained silent, and in denial of resistance (VoJ)
  • The organization lost the ‘critical mass’ which is needed to reach the tipping point for changing the old, dysfunctional, obsolete status quo (VoF)

Solution: Strategic Systems Coaching

In organisations like the one in this case, the executive leadership is the portal to change the rest of the organisation. If commitment and trust are lacking at the executive and management level, it will be difficult to develop leadership and achieve real organisational change. This commitment and trust is therefore vital, and systems coaching is one way to keep this on the agenda and not let it slide.

  • Strategic systems coaching means coaching an organisation’s leadership so that the organisation can change as a whole system. 
  • In systems coaching process, we apply various coaching processes to change management methodology. 
  • This is a highly effective way to facilitate change, connection and integration in organisational systems. 
  • We provide an opportunity for leaders to step back and look at the elements of their organisation and the relationships with and between these elements, and then to examine how these relationships and elements dynamically interact via feedback loops. 
  • Voices of Judgement, Voices of Cynicism and Voices of Fear are part of any organisational reinvention and coaching offers a safe forum to work through it.
  • Changing is not just about doing the right stuff, It rests on true commitment of the spirit and heart of the people to make the changes.
  • Along every step of the way, leadership influences the existing culture by either facing or ignoring the underlying convictions of (fear, judgement, and cynicism) that derail real change.

Our systems coaches help organisations to change as a whole system and make the journey smoother and more effective. 
I want our organizational change to be effective 

Madeleine van Der Steege

For more information or comments please contact me on mads@synquity.com

 

4 Defenses for Leaders Riding the Speed of Change

Speed of changeWelcome to our latest issue focusing on 4 Defenses for Business Leaders in a geo-economy that can be highly unpredictable and hard to navigate. To find out more, please scroll down and read about the 1st defence in this blog. And if you are interested in utilizing our international expertise to build leadership confidence on every level of your organization, no matter where you are based, contact me on mads@synquity.com or view www.synquity.com.

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1st Defense: Get your Organization to Function as a Whole by Jointly Developing Purpose & Vision

Madeleine van der Steege

Enabling those in the organization to function as a whole is much like preparing an orchestra to deliver its best performance. Each member is engaged to demonstrate mastery and to inspire others. The communal performance rests on solid, specific preparation, during which people make errors. They should play the parts they are comfortable with and flow with the unknowns that come up in the performance.

Paying attention to how people and functions interconnect across the organization and getting the peer economy to collaborate are often challenging. Centering activities, such as the clarity of a unified overall goal or purpose (‘we are in the business of’), acts like gravity. Yet an overall integrated performance involves so much more. An organizational vision is a practical tool, not just an abstract concept. It provides meaning and purpose to the existence of the organization and everyone in it.

“When people know the purpose of an organization, they don’t need to check in or get permission to take the next step; they just create value.  When people know the purpose, they are not waiting to be told what to do. – Nilofer Merchant 2012

IF you, the leader, and your leadership team, and the rest of the organization are not aligned to the essential purpose, vision and values of the organization (and this happens surprisingly often in the field), a systems coach can assist you in the process by collectively connecting you to your essential leadership and organizational purpose, vision, core values and a pliable strategy.  These organizational roots need to be deeply embedded for an organization to thrive in, let alone withstand, 21st century turbulence.

But how do you get everyone connected and caring while pressure is so high? Using systems coaching to reintegrate an organization creates sustainable improvements without excessively compromising ongoing operations. Systems coaching is an important organizational and leadership development process that spans multiple organizational levels. It is based on the notion that, as leaders, you are interested in getting support, but still want to own your organizational development. We use clients’ objectives (e.g. new vision or culture change) to strategically launch a combination of coaching forms, sometimes concurrently, to help organizations function collectively as more connected, integrated systems. These include one-on-one, local-global, divisional leadership, team, cross-functional, customer and cross-organisational coaching etc.

Leaders and teams can then reconnect on every level through more effective feedback loops and by crystallizing customer value and figuring out how to deliver this in unison.

Feedback on the Impact of systems coaching

We needed to strengthen our position in a highly competitive environment. To achieve this change, we looked for a company that would not only be able to help us define the direction, but also guide us in making it happen. We found an ideal partner in Synquity, with whom we worked very closely over a period of two years to incorporate changes we designed and which then enabled us to achieve a cultural change. I firmly believe that we as a company are now in a stronger place and better able to overcome the challenges facing us now and in the future. Ben Haneveld, CEO, NL.

I look forward to your comments or feedback. In our next blog we feature the 2nd Defense for leaders riding the speed of change : How to be a great Board member. Warmest regards Mads

 
 
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