Leading change – Arend Ardon
Leadership Event #2 – June 12th 2019
Leadership Event #2 – June 12th 2019
Before Arend tells us about changing our behavior to stimulate our environment to change their behavior, Søren and Saskia have a say.
HOW DO WE EMBRACE CHANGE?
Søren starts off by acknowledging that everyone is busy, but he emphasizes that we need to take time to learn. The only way to deal with change is by developing ourselves and our teams continuously. It is up to all of us to find a balance here.
Søren used to believe leaders knew everything. This makes it hard to be vulnerable. But leaders are no superwomen and supermen. There are things we are good at and things we are not good at. Therefore we need to be vulnerable – share our strengths and weaknesses. So that we can form great teams. This start with trust.
Saskia explains how sailing as a child, still defines her as a leader. The short video of a boat out on the ocean, racing a dangerous and long race shows teamwork and leadership. She shares her Management Drives profile in order to show her strengths as a leader, but also where she needs help from her team. As HR Director she feels it is up to her and her team to support all managers to create an open organization, create flexible teams and an environment where people are curious and want to grow (see model below). This is how we can embrace change.
But what does this look like in practice? This is what Arend will be helping us with today. Using our own values: ‘daring, ownership and collaboration” he will show what behavior is needed to really embrace change.
CHANGE LEADERSHIP BEHAVIOR
Arend is welcomed to the stage. He starts of with a question: “Who is the best person to change you?”, the general response is “Me!”, though one person jokingly shouts “My wife!”. The crowd is correct: of course it’s you.
He continues with a second question: “Who is the best person to change your employees?”. It is an obvious answer after the first question. Employees are the only ones that can change themselves. But a common pitfall is that leaders think they can. Then what can we do as leaders, to evoke change among our employees?
Change Leadership is about creating an environment where change comes about, where change is embraced and people work hard to make it happen. An environment in which people dare to act, take ownership and collaborate. How do we as leaders create such an environment?
The best Change Leaders work on two themes constantly:
CRACKING DISFUNCTIONAL PATTERNS
Every organization is bursting with ingrained (behavioral) patterns: interactions that we continue to repeat, often without thinking. A lot of these functional patterns, but also dysfunctional patterns, unintentionally undermine ownership.
He explains this model about behavioral patterns:
(DOC) The way I think, I will act upon, the way I act makes others think, and in response they will behave to their beliefs.
Thus, how we think, is how we lead – It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Luckily, we can break this pattern. 75% of the solution is begin aware that you are part of the situation. That your thoughts cause behavior, that influences others.
NLP: if your behavior strategy doesn’t work, try anything else.
This sounds easy. But there is one pitfall: If you change your pattern, others will get suspicious: “why is he doing this, what is his hidden agenda with this sudden change of behavior?”. As a result you get back in your old pattern. So explore with your teams the patterns you think you recognize.
What is the most effective way to break a pattern?
CREATING A POSITIVE CHANGE CLIMATE
Creating a positive change climate starts with formulating and internalizing common values. For T-Mobile these values are: daring, ownership and collaboration. These are easily recognizable words, but it is something else to actually promote these values as a leader. What do they really mean?
A short clip from the movie ‘Pay it forward’ is shown. Arend asks the audience what it entails. A brilliant answer follows: “All the good you bring, comes back to you.”. Which is exactly how Arend would describe it. The teacher in the movie says: “The realm of possibility exists in each of you.”. That is how he is creating an environment that is stimulating and challenging.
Tom Peters: “True leadership is not about creating followers, true leaders create other leaders.”
How to create a positive change climate?
EXERCISE: DARING, OWNERSHIP, COLLABORATION
We join in an exercise to discover our personal beliefs about these values. Several questions are asked about our personal perspectives and if you agree, you step into the center of the room.
What stands out is that when we ask our managers if in the last week they have were blamed, complained or justified, every single manager walks to the center of the room. Yes we are all humans and we all fall into dysfunctional patterns.