I’m David Veech and this is Elevate Your Performance.
We’re exploring this spectrum of organizational culture that spans from Defiance to Engagement.
I believe the vast majority of organizations operate in a culture of compliance. You can be perfectly successful here. Some are even satisfied here.
In a culture of compliance, people show up, work hard, and generally stay within the lines. That’s another way of saying they do what they are told. They follow the rules. They comply.
Following rules is essential, but restrictive. To create something new, like a new process, or even to change a process, everyone has learned that you can only do something like that when your leader has directed it. That directive doesn’t have to be dictatorial. It can come in the form of an innocent question, “How’d you like to be on the next kaizen team?”
And that is what makes us tend to stay in this culture of compliance. People have learned not to try new things because of the likely response they will get from either their leaders or their peers. We’ve learned not to rock the boat. We’ve learned not to stand out.
To change this, we can’t just talk about encouraging people to share their ideas. We can’t just ask people to let us know when they need help. We have to have systems that make it safe for people to do these things.
The best way to convince people that this is safe is to deliberately train them on the techniques we want them to use when they have a problem or an idea. We might need to do some conventional familiarization training – the classroom stuff we’re used to, but the more effective, although slower, way is to build a system that teaches them in real time when they have a problem or an idea. In this case, the leader is the teacher and coach and reinforces the notion that we do want people to begin pushing the limits of the way we currently do things and forcing changes in the rules when the rules restrict us from improving performance.
I have some ideas that can help you build these systems, so give me a call and we can get started.
Have a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow!