World Monitor Mag WM_June 2018 web - Page 97

additional content two years, Bailey said, the company would need to undertake many painful measures, including huge cuts in staff and other unnecessary costs, to “stop the bleeding.” It would also need major operational changes, applying the “lean thinking” approach that had helped many companies instill quality practices at lower cost. Finally, it would divest some major underutilized assets, in a way that allowed those assets to survive — and maybe do better — in other companies that were better suited to managing them. Though the holidays were approaching, Bailey insisted they start executing the new approach right away. “I had three weeks to do site audits, meet all the key managers, and conduct the high-level assessment before most sites closed for three weeks,” he recalled. “I could not wait until they came back in January.” When he asked for their reactions and input, most people were skeptical, and he understood why. “I had not met any of these managers before. I was new. There was low trust and high personal stress. Corporate management could shut down the business any day.” During the first two months of the following calendar year, Bailey followed up with a series of in-depth meetings and training sessions in all eight of the company’s main office locations. He reassured people that the pervasive rumors of a “bloodbath” were not accurate, and acknowledged that their ability to come up with new ideas had been impaired by the emotional impact of the past year, including the natural drive for self-preservation, which had led many of them to blame others. For one pivotal training session with about 30 functional leaders and key managers from all eight sites, Bailey asked participants to prepare in advance short talks about what they personally wanted their businesses to achieve. After the discussion ended, he passed around a statement of his own position and objectives, which he had typed up the day before. “It turned out to be very aligned to what they had just said,” he explained. “It blew them away.” They had all believed the deceptive organizational message that they were in competition. Now there was a reframing: We’re in this together. “We then went into a formal review process,” Bailey said. “I asked them to identify the waste and key failure points within their processes that prevented products being delivered profitably and on time, and how they and their teams could address them. Everyone contributed.” Within five hours, they had identified more than 130 problems and agreed on the seven that needed to be fixed first. They also agreed on who would drive the corrective actions, with a support team nominated for each. These were all broad common issues that had affected most or all of the eight sites. This reframing brought the group from ambiguity and conflict to a sense of shared purpose. An equally powerful case of reframing occurred at the food company with Lauren and Majid. Lauren screwed up her courage and asked Majid to have lunch with her, just the two of them. This wasn’t easy, and when they met, speaking openly about her concerns was even harder. “Majid,” she said gently and without rancor, “we have a problem between us, and it’s affecting everyone on our team.” Majid, to her surprise, opened up as well. He said he was just as concerned; rather than wishing to undermine her, he had been trying to protect himself. Now they recognized that their success depended on each other. They didn’t have to trust each other completely, but they did have to reach out to each other with a problem before escalating it to headquarters. As Lauren and Majid talked more frequently, they found new ways to collaborate on expanding the business in their region. Each began to regard the other as someone to rely on. Instead of believing deceptive messages that they were at risk of being marginalized, the two of them now put forth a message: Together, we know how to grow the enterprise. Your ability to act as a transformative leader — a catalyst for farsighted action in the organization around you — depends on your continued practice with relabeling and reframing deceptive organizational messages. When you relabel them, identifying them as problems rather than accepting them, you are no longer bound by forces you cannot see. When you reframe them, crafting new messages that take you in the right direction, you trigger higherlevel patterns of behavior in the mind, reinforced by similar habits in the brain. Eventually, the messages that people ruminate on in your company — as individuals and as a group — are no longer nearly as deceptive. People understand those messages as not just a way of perceiving reality, but a choice to perceive reality in a more accurate and constructive manner. Author Profiles: • Jeffrey Schwartz is a research psychiatrist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author or coauthor of three bestsellers: Brain Lock (with Beverly Beyette; HarperCollins, 20th anniversary edition, 2016), The Mind and the Brain (with Sharon Begley; HarperCollins, 2002), and You Are Not Your Brain (with Rebecca Gladding; Avery, 2011). He was the first scholar to identify self-directed neuroplasticity and attention density, terms that he coined, as means of making personal and organizational changes. • Josie Thomson is an executive coach based in Brisbane, Australia, who has pioneered the use of neuroscience principles in working with business leaders. Based by: Strategy & www.strategy-business.com supported by EUROBAK 93 additional content two years, Bailey said, the company would need to undertake many painful measures, including huge cuts in staff and other unnecessary costs, to “stop the bleeding.” It would also need major operational changes, applying the “lean thinking” approach that had helped many companies instill quality practices at lower cost. Finally, it would divest some major underutilized assets, in a way that allowed those assets to survive — and maybe do better — in other companies that were better suited to managing them. Though the holidays were approaching, Bailey insisted they start executing the new approach right away. “I had three weeks to do site audits, meet all the key managers, and conduct the high-level assessment before most sites closed for three weeks,” he recalled. “I could not wait until they came back in January.” When he asked for their reactions and input, most people were skeptical, and he understood why. “I had not met any of these managers before. I was new. There was low trust and high personal stress. Corporate management could shut down the business any day.” During the first two months of the following calendar year, Bailey followed up with a series of in-depth meetings and training sessions in all eight of the company’s main office locations. He reassured people that the pervasive rumors of a “bloodbath” were not accurate, and acknowledged that their ability to come up with new ideas had been impaired by the emotional impact of the past year, including the natural drive for self-preservation, which had led many of them to blame others. For one pivotal training session with about 30 functional leaders and key managers from all eight sites, Bailey asked participants to prepare in advance short talks about what they personally wanted their businesses to achieve. After the discussion ended, he passed around a statement of his own position and objectives, which he had typed up the day before. “It turned out to be very aligned to what they had just said,” he explained. “It blew them away.” They had all believed the deceptive organizational message that they were in competition. Now there was a reframing: We’re in this together. “We then went into a formal review process,” Bailey said. “I asked them to identify the waste and key failure points within their processes that prevented products being delivered profitably and on time, and how they and their teams could address them. Everyone contributed.” Within five hours, they had identified more than 130 problems and agreed on the seven that needed to be fixed first. They also agreed on who would drive the corrective actions, with a support team nominated for each. These were all broad common issues that had affected most or all of the eight sites. This reframing brought the group from ambiguity and conflict to a sense of shared purpose. An equally powerful case of reframing occurred at the food company with Lauren and Majid. Lauren screwed up her courage and asked Majid to have lunch with her, just the two of them. This wasn’t easy, and when they met, speaking openly about her concerns was even harder. “Majid,” she said gently and without rancor, “we have a problem between us, and it’s affecting everyone on our team.” Majid, to her surprise, opened up as well. He said he was just as concerned; rather than wishing to undermine her, he had been trying to protect himself. Now they recognized that their success depended on each other. They didn’t have to trust each other completely, but they did have to reach out to each other with a problem before escalating it to headquarters. As Lauren and Majid talked more frequently, they found new ways to collaborate on expanding the business in their region. Each began to regard the other as someone to rely on. 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