The 7 Challenges of Flattened Management Hierarchies

The 7 Challenges of Flattened Management Hierarchies

In our last article, we discussed how organizations could use a collaboration skills checklist to profit in the modern workplace. The modern workplace is increasingly one where management and supervisory lines are blurred or removed. These flattened management hierarchies have been shown to produce many benefits, including:

However, flattened management hierarchies also provide a range of challenges to the organization, its leaders, and employees.

Focusing on the challenges of flattened management hierarchies

When developing a competitive organizational structure capable of challenging in the 21st century, change management must consider needs of the business and its people. Valve Software considered its flat structure to be integral to its business strategy. Company CEO Gabe Newell said:

“When we started Valve [in 1996], we thought about what the company needed to be good at. We realized that here, our job was to create things that hadn’t existed before. Managers are good at institutionalizing procedures, but in our line of work, that’s not always good. Sometimes the skills in one generation of product are irrelevant to the skills in another generation. Our industry is in such technological, design, and artistic flux that we need somebody who can recognize that. It’s pretty rare for someone to be in a lead role on two consecutive projects.”

Here are seven challenges that are commonly faced by organizations with a lack of hierarchical structure:

1. Lack of leadership leads to motivational issues

Not everyone is a self-starter, and flatter structures thrive when its people are good self-motivators. Flat organizations are short on the management numbers to offer individual guidance and instruction.

2. Decision making processes become blurred

A more collaborative approach may require big decisions to be made by voting or consensus. This can be complicated and slow down the decision making process.

3. A lack of understanding of spheres of responsibility

When people are challenged to work in cross functional teams and on multiple projects, spheres of responsibility can become confused. There must always be some degree of supervision and delegation, but teams will commonly be self-governing to minimize the supervision needed. The real challenge here is that important issues are communicated to each team.

4. Processes and procedures lack consistency

When teams are allowed to determine their own best practices, methods of working become disassociated. This produces inconsistences in approach and employees may find it difficult to transition from one team to another.

5. A lack of recognized career progression

With fewer supervisory and management positions, there will be less opportunity for traditional career progression. Not only this, but with fewer managers to oversee projects and the work environment, high-flying employees could be passed over for promotion or recognition. This could lead to higher staff turnover.

6. Keeping on top of capabilities and abilities

While the flattened management hierarchy and new way of working will produce opportunities for self-improvement of individuals, it will be more difficult to monitor these capabilities and utilize to enhance the organization.

7. Traditional lines of communication become defunct

Finally, when people work in smaller, autonomous teams, traditional communication techniques and tools fail to ‘spread the word’. New technologies and procedures will need to be used to ensure communication is efficient and effective.

Change is difficult. It needs a strategic vision, a committed leadership, and a set of common objectives that drive employees and teams to achieve. In flattened management hierarchies, organizational leadership will necessarily need to discover new ways to motivate and manage. Best practices will be continuously iterated and will need to be communicated via appropriate channels.

In our next article in this series, we’ll examine how to motivate a millennial generation workforce as you strategize to jumpstart change.

Contact Primeast today and discover how a Change Agent Bootcamp, and coaching in Consulting and Facilitating, will help your organization take advantage of the modern, collaborative workplace.

The 7 Challenges of Flattened Management Hierarchies

The 7 Challenges of Flattened Management Hierarchies

In our last article, we discussed how organisations could use a collaboration skills checklist to profit in the modern workplace. The modern workplace is increasingly one where management and supervisory lines are blurred or removed. These flattened management hierarchies have been shown to produce many benefits, including:

However, flattened management hierarchies also provide a range of challenges to the organisation, its leaders, and employees.

Focusing on the challenges of flattened management hierarchies

When developing a competitive organisational structure capable of challenging in the 21st century, change management must consider needs of the business and its people. Valve Software considered its flat structure to be integral to its business strategy. Company CEO Gabe Newell said:

“When we started Valve [in 1996], we thought about what the company needed to be good at. We realized that here, our job was to create things that hadn’t existed before. Managers are good at institutionalizing procedures, but in our line of work, that’s not always good. Sometimes the skills in one generation of product are irrelevant to the skills in another generation. Our industry is in such technological, design, and artistic flux that we need somebody who can recognise that. It’s pretty rare for someone to be in a lead role on two consecutive projects.”

Here are seven challenges that are commonly faced by organisations with a lack of hierarchical structure:

1. Lack of leadership leads to motivational issues

Not everyone is a self-starter, and flatter structures thrive when its people are good self-motivators. Flat organisations are short on the management numbers to offer individual guidance and instruction.

2. Decision making processes become blurred

A more collaborative approach may require big decisions to be made by voting or consensus. This can be complicated and slow down the decision making process.

3. A lack of understanding of spheres of responsibility

When people are challenged to work in cross functional teams and on multiple projects, spheres of responsibility can become confused. There must always be some degree of supervision and delegation, but teams will commonly be self-governing to minimise the supervision needed. The real challenge here is that important issues are communicated to each team.

4. Processes and procedures lack consistency

When teams are allowed to determine their own best practices, methods of working become disassociated. This produces inconsistences in approach and employees may find it difficult to transition from one team to another.

5. A lack of recognised career progression

With fewer supervisory and management positions, there will be less opportunity for traditional career progression. Not only this, but with fewer managers to oversee projects and the work environment, high-flying employees could be passed over for promotion or recognition. This could lead to higher staff turnover.

6. Keeping on top of capabilities and abilities

While the flattened management hierarchy and new way of working will produce opportunities for self-improvement of individuals, it will be more difficult to monitor these capabilities and utilize to enhance the organisation.

7. Traditional lines of communication become defunct

Finally, when people work in smaller, autonomous teams, traditional communication techniques and tools fail to ‘spread the word’. New technologies and procedures will need to be used to ensure communication is efficient and effective.

Change is difficult. It needs a strategic vision, a committed leadership, and a set of common objectives that drive employees and teams to achieve. In flattened management hierarchies, organisational leadership will necessarily need to discover new ways to motivate and manage. Best practices will be continuously iterated and will need to be communicated via appropriate channels.

In our next article in this series, we’ll examine how to motivate a millennial generation workforce as you strategize to jumpstart change.

Contact Primeast today and discover how a Change Agent Bootcamp, and coaching in Consulting and Facilitating, will help your organisation take advantage of the modern, collaborative workplace.

How to Bring Organisational Values to Life

Tips to Embed Required Value-Driven Behaviours

In our previous article, ‘Creating a purpose-driven organization: the importance of values in the development of people processes’, we discussed the crucial nature of values to engage people in an organization’s purpose and vision.

Values are great. So is trust. We need both. But what does it look like? What are some tangible behaviors that we can associate with values – and how can we implement them?

The starting point: Value vs behaviors

Before delving into what an organization and its leaders can do to embed desired behaviors within the culture and working practices of their people, we should first ensure that leaders are aware of the nature of values and behaviors.

Values are abstract concepts that trigger how we feel and act. And values can be pretty fluid, as far as they can mean different things for different people in different contexts. For example, two people may have equally high family values and wish to provide the best for their loved ones. However, one of these people believes this translates as working 70-hour weeks to earn the money to pay for a great standard of living, while the other person believes that it is necessary to spend as much time with family as possible.

It is important to understand how the same values can manifest in different behaviors. For an organization, behaviors can be defined as ‘actionable and measurable’ operating principles – and it’s also important to ensure that an organization’s values deliver consistent behaviors.

How to implement values in a company ─ 8 tips to turn organizational values into tangible behaviors

A company’s values can be the difference between success and failure. They are what makes the company different from other companies and stand out in the marketplace. Therefore, it is important to understand how to implement them in your organization.

Here are eight tips to help you drive tangible behaviors from your values.

Provide real examples and talk through the company’s expectations

Values are not just a set of words on a poster, they are demonstrated through actions and enforced by leadership. This helps to provide examples of what employees should do to align with the organization’s values in any given situation.

Turn values into pioneering stories that inspire

Another way in which values can be implemented in an organization is by using stories that inspire. Stories of how values were implemented in the past and how values were applied to solve problems for customers. But there is more than just telling stories about what has been done before ─ it’s about infusing values into everything from business strategy, marketing campaigns, and customer service interactions.

Focus on changing the behavior of groups, not individuals

People tend to act differently in groups than they do alone. Groups produce conformity, and self-police behaviors of their members ─ and individuals decide how to behave and act based upon the behaviors and actions of those around them.

Make performance management and recruitment a key part of your strategy

Organisations have found success by incorporating their values into their day-to-day work; for example, by promoting employees who embody the values in their work, or by hiring based on value alignment.

Identify your potential first followers and key influencers

Internal influencers are key to helping communicate and drive employee engagement in your values and required behaviors. Influencers have a strong voice and internal network ─ listen to them, tap into their knowledge, and use them to drive the change you require.

Make it a leadership and management responsibility

Too often, the implementation of values and behaviors is an edict passed down from the C-suite to HR. While HR will be involved in this work, it is not an HR program. It should be a continuous and consistent strategy for which leadership and management are personally responsible.

Embed your values into organizational processes

Values must be fully integrated into how you do things. This includes during the entire employment lifecycle ─ recruitment, onboarding, performance reviews, etc. ─ as well as daily operating processes and interactions with key stakeholders (such as service users and providers), and customers.

Turn behaviors into rituals

Recognise and reward those employees who embody your organization’s values in what they do and how they do it. Reward people in real-time, being specific in describing why recognition is being made. People follow culture heroes ─ hold events in which you create these through your recognition programs.

Leverage your values in your business

Fast-forward five years. What will have happened for you to look back and see your current challenges as the greatest gift for your business? How will you embed your values into your organization, and develop the behaviors that set you apart from your competition?

PrimeFocus™ is a simple yet powerful framework that helps individuals and leaders focus on success and deliver prime performance. Our free assessment provides you with a snapshot of the eight conditions that must be in place and aligned to deliver prime performance. It will provide an insight as to where you are on the journey and whether you should consider talking to us about the value that comes from using our full PrimeFocus™ Organisational Assessment.

To find out more about how we work with you to measure and embed the values you need to achieve your goals, read more here.

How Intrapreneurism is Becoming Crucial for Talent Management

A change in attitudes is taking place in businesses around the world and across industries at present, with a group of self-motivated, proactive and action-oriented people coming to the fore to lead their companies in innovative new directions.

The rise of the ‘intrapreneur’ is not exactly a new phenomena, with the term having been coined by Gifford Pinchot in his 1978 paper Intra-Corporate Entrepreneurship. It is, however, a development that the modern business leader should be paying close attention to, due to the growing need for innovative new ideas and products to help corporations stand out in a crowded marketplace. And never more so in the current times, where supply chains are being tested, new ways of working are being adopted and strategic shifts between the business as usual and the long term vision are having to be navigated by leaders.

The question of recruiting and retaining your intrapreneurs is probably one of the most important priorities for Talent Managers globally

An intrapreneur is an individual who today is defined as: “A person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation.”

They are therefore the type of employee that leaders must ensure they keep hold of, but in the fast-paced world of business, if these innovative risk-takers do not get the support they need then they may take their ideas elsewhere, and while not every intrapreneurial endeavour will prove a success, those that do can provide a significant boost to a business.

A new generation of professionals that want to make a difference

The introduction of the millennial generation to today’s workforce has precipitated a far-reaching change in many business cultures, not least of which has been the impact of this group’s drive to make a difference.

Millennials are often portrayed as a restless group, quick to move on if they feel their current job fails to fulfil their expectations or meet up to their ideals. However, when businesses take the time to engage with their staff more closely and allow these individuals to make an impact, then great things can happen.

How can we nurture intrepreneurs?

Providing intrapreneurs – not necessarily just of the millennial generation, but of any age – with the tools to make their vision of a better business or product a reality is therefore an essential part of this process.

A key element of ensuring that intrapreneurism is allowed to flourish within a business is therefore having the courage to embrace change and the foresight to invest in one’s staff, be this through training, coaching or simply by giving them the platform to try out their ideas.

Failure to invest in talent is a failure to invest in your business

Company leaders, now more than ever, need to be aware of the pitfalls of a failure to support the intrapreneurs within their midst, as this is a group that given the right environment to flourish can deliver lasting benefits and change.

By focusing on uncovering the individual talents of staff and creating a culture that embeds innovation into the very fabric of a business, leaders are liberating their employees to think outside of their daily responsibilities and to provide a framework for growth.

Furthermore, making a meaningful contribution to how a business operates and progresses is a strong attractor for many of the best and brightest.

It is therefore in the interest of company leaders to invest in talent liberation and in supporting intrapreneurial practices, as these are all elements of creating an inclusive and dynamic place to work. Indeed, when an employee knows it is okay to indulge in their creative side you will see excitement growing with new ideas and the energy to put them into motion.

However, if intrapreneurs feel they are not being appreciated for their hard work and drive to make changes, then this is a situation when companies can miss out and lose these individuals to their rivals.

Conservative or risk-averse leaders may therefore struggle to recognize the distinct advantages of supporting this type of work, but if they do not, then they could be losing valuable and potentially industry-changing innovations to others in their field – a situation that does not bode well for future prosperity.

Ensuring the very highest-ranking members of the business (right up to board level and the CEO) are promoting a culture where ideas from everyone within the business are given an equal hearing must be a priority for those wishing to get the very best out of their teams. Delivering an engaged and productive workforce is therefore key to this.

Align talent to vision to deliver the best results

On this topic, leaders should not underestimate the importance of aligning the talents and attitudes of the company’s key innovators to the overriding vision and goals of the business.

Leaders need to realise that they cannot make things happen directly, but instead rely upon those around them to deliver their vision for the company and to make it a reality. It is therefore important for all members of a business to be pulling in the same direction and this is where the intrapreneur can truly make a difference.

Realising this can result in a paradigm shift in the way that businesses operate, with the purpose of the business placed at the very core of all its activities.

Ultimately, companies that wish to excel in the field of intrapreneurism must not be afraid to tolerate failure and to embrace change. Indeed, only by doing so can the conditions to foster intrapreneurial endeavours be properly created.

By investing successfully in the talents of staff and by promoting the creation of more intrapreneurial teams within a business, companies can not only garner improved engagement from individuals keen to make a difference in their career, they also position themselves to be innovators in their field and to attract the very best.

To find out more about developing the leadership that champions innovation and intrapreneurial practices, get in touch.

Understanding your Purpose

Why purpose matters

Without purpose there is nothing. It’s our reason for being, for getting up in the morning and for going to work every day. And it matters now more than ever during these challenging times. As leaders struggle to navigate the current uncertainty, it is important to support your employees and embrace the opportunity to emerge from the crisis, confident that you are clear on your own and your organization’s purpose because your purpose informs your behavior and how you behave during and post the pandemic will directly influence the internal and external perception of your organization. This is an opportunity to emerge stronger, as we work together to overcome the challenges we face.

This interactive session was first delivered by Sarah Cave at the Women in Nuclear Annual Conference 2018, helping participants understand their values and purpose. As a result employees will achieve greater self-awareness, self-fulfilment and, as a result, be more present, more engaged and aligned with your organization’s purpose.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou American poet, memoirist and civil rights activist

Sarah Cave, Head of Leadership at Primeast, facilitates this free virtual workshop

Play the interactive video during which Sarah Cave will guide you through the session as she helps you explore your values and understand your purpose. You will need the report from your PVA assessment to refer to during the session

A New Approach to Culture Transformation

Culture transformation has never been an overnight fix. Building an organizational culture where goals can be achieved and people can thrive is now more complex than it has ever been.

As our understanding of corporate culture has evolved so too has our response to developing thriving cultures within organizations. Since the publication of John R Childress’s ‘Culture Rules!’ in 2017 where he introduced the concept of culture as a business system, we’ve seen the development of the concept of Culture 4.0 (Source: CulturSys, Inc.) which has radically shaped the current thinking on organizational culture and its critical components.

However if the last eighteen months has taught us anything it is that the world has changed and it will only continue to do so. Just as we’ve seen the acceleration of Industry 4.0 as a result of recent leaps in technology, and the subsequent disruption and transformation during a time of extreme volatility, do we need to rethink the nature of culture with a post-pandemic lens?

Are we heading towards a Culture 5.0? And if so, what does this mean for leaders?

A number of critical factors have had a major impact on cultural perspectives:

The impact of the pandemic

The experience of the last year has caused many of us to re-evaluate, to question our own needs, wants, values and attitudes towards work and what we expect from the precious hours we commit to our professional endeavours.

The trend towards hybrid working has been a direct output of the pandemic and the significant changes to ways of working. As if talent attraction and management wasn’t already enough of a challenge, organizations looking to recruit much needed talent for the future with new skills and thinking, now need to compete with the remote working trend which has unlocked talent from the traditional geographical borders. Surveys conducted show a shift in values and expectations as a result of Covid19 (the Barrett Values Survey) – highlighting the need for communication, strong working relationships and an awareness of values – all critical elements in organizational culture design. Whilst much has been said about the cultural ecosystem, our experience over the last year has demonstrated that none of us can exist in isolation, that all things are connected and we are as much the consequence of external factors as our cultural legacies.

As with all business decisions and strategic intent we must understand context.

New ways of working

The trend in hybrid and remote working has added another layer of complexity to the culture challenge. The old ecosystem has changed. A host of new terminology has entered our lexicon over the last 15 months – zoom fatigue, you’re on mute, social distancing, flattening the curve, the new normal, the big reset….and we must adjust. Response and reaction to new ways of working has been diverse with some embracing the opportunity for greater productivity and freedom whilst others have suffered from the lack of social interaction. As organizations wrestle with the challenges of adapting to a new set of expectations, restrictions and responses, we must all be aware of the potential impact on culture.

There is however perhaps a sliver of silver lining to the cloud of cultural resetting in that by its nature culture has always been complex and not something that can be changed overnight. In the same way that it takes longer to break a habit than it does to form one perhaps all is not lost. Having said that some organizations suffer for years from a legacy culture and no matter how many new leaders are brought in, it doesn’t change without some concerted intervention. It can sometimes be the case that ‘culture is the disease you get if you stay here long enough’.

Population structure

As we look to the future, younger generations, from millennials to generation Zs feature highly when considering the next generation of leaders. As organizations consider succession planning and the drive to develop and recruit the new skills needed in this current age of digital transformation, they must be aware of the expectations, aspirations and influencing factors when selecting their employer of choice. Evidence shows that this generation is increasingly influenced by the social factors which affect where and how they live as much as their thirst for personal and professional development, the need to contribute to something meaningful and a duty of care towards future society and the environment.

Compound that with the younger generation of employees, particularly in the UK, struggling to buy their first home and potentially renting in inner city locations where cars aren’t required, commuting is reduced and accommodation is replacing the traditional office stock, there is evidence of a geographic merging of home and workspace which results in this generation increasingly seeking a familial network in the places where they work. Where jobs are no longer for life and the growth of the gig economy, potential employees are increasingly drawn to organizational cultures which satisfy these complex expectations.

What can we learn from this?

When it comes to organizational transformation, we have to talk about leadership. And of course, culture is not exclusively the responsibility of just the leaders – we all must play our part, but leaders are a critical influence. Said Business School state that the key capabilities for leaders in today’s new age of industry (Leadership 4.0) are:

  1. Lead into uncertainty
  2. Develop the narrative
  3. Enable a sense of purpose

Whilst there are many approaches and processes which leaders can follow when working on transforming their culture, experience can often count for everything. And the good news is, you don’t have to do it alone. We’ll bring the experience, a collaborative approach and we’ll help not just your leaders but the wider organization to help you get to where you need to be. And we’ll do it with you, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, helping you and your teams to ‘make it happen’.

How we can support you with culture transformation

At Primeast we’ve been working with and alongside organizations for 30 years, as they seek to transform their cultures. During the process, which can take time to shake off legacy behaviors and which requires the engagement of every individual within the organization, we employ a number of tools and approaches depending on the specific challenges and stages of the journey.

Our approach has been adapted over time and reflects the demands of the culture as a business system with the added layer of context; a culture 5.0 approach that incorporates the needs, wants and impact of external factors and contributors.

Rcd-Culture-transformation

Working with and alongside our clients, as they embark on their journey towards culture transformation we employ a range of tools and methods from bespoke surveys to values assessments which enables a full understanding of the challenges and opportunities and which includes the external context which might be influencing organizational culture. We then work collaboratively to identify the gaps between current and desired destination and we then design the programs, interventions, facilitated workshops which build alignment, engagement and the skills and thinking at all levels to accelerate culture transformation. Events are created and designed to achieve the specific need identified to make the change happen. Because, while leaders lead on culture transformation it is often those working at the management and operational levels who have the greatest impact on making the culture stick. This is why it is important to equip people with the skills, knowledge and conditions to be able to mobilise cultural transformation.

Supporting organizations in making change happen requires a comprehensive approach and process which encompasses all contributing elements. To find out more about how we can support you on your culture transformation journey, get in touch and speak to a member of the team todayy

Whilst we might choose to design bespoke surveys, there are a number of tools we might use during a culture transformation program. One of these is the Barrett Values Model, a renowned and proven suite of assessments, because values influence behaviors which create cultures. Find out more about the Barrett Values model and complete the self assessment as an introduction to the concept of values assessments or speak to the team to discuss how we might work with you to create your desired culture.

What Motivates a Leader to Succeed?

How can leaders maintain themselves to stay motivated?

We’ve all felt it – the sudden lack of interest, the waning enthusiasm. The feeling that comes with not feeling like you’re in control of your own work anymore. When this happens, it’s important to find meaning in your work.

For leaders and their employees, it’s difficult to be passionate about something without it having an overarching purpose or meaning. Otherwise, you may end up getting discouraged and feel like you are wasting your time.

Indeed, motivation – the driving force behind high-performing teams – can often be cultivated through finding and understanding one’s purpose, and understanding how it aligns with the organization’s purpose.

This gives true meaning and value to the contribution that individuals and the team make.

What motivates leaders? Making work meaningful for yourself and your team

To be a motivated leader, you must find your own purpose and identify how it matches your organization’s purpose.

If you want people to be engaged and feel like their work is meaningful, it’s important that your team is aligned with your organization’s purpose.

While it seems simple, there are challenges in aligning your own and your team’s purpose with the organization’s purpose. Some employees may not understand or know what their company’s current objectives are or why they exist at all; this leads them to be confused about how they should act in each situation.

Therefore, a fundamental responsibility of leadership is to articulate the organization’s purpose and engage your team with it.

A sense of purpose creates a better future for the organization and its talent.

What motivates individuals to become successful leaders?

Purposeful leadership starts with a focus on why we do what we do, and not what we do, to make sure employees know what they are striving for. It is about creating a sense of meaning and significance that is greater than just earning a salary or just advancing your career.

Purposeful leaders find ways to align the work that their team is doing with the organization’s purpose. They will go out of the way to hire the right people who share organizational values, cultivate an inclusive culture, and create opportunities for all employees to contribute and develop skills.

When you engage your team with the organization’s purpose, they will demonstrate four critical behaviors:

In short, leading with purpose is the key to unlocking the potential of an organization.

Purpose creates resilience through change

The world is in a constant state of flux, and organizations must develop a culture of change to remain relevant and competitive. Success requires a clear vision and understanding of why change will benefit the organization. To support this understanding, leaders need to create a sense of purpose for their teams, for purpose now matters more than ever.

When employees feel that their work has meaning and that they’re contributing to something larger than themselves, it becomes easier to cope with change and setbacks. Without a sense of purpose, it can be hard to create resilience in the face of change.

A strong sense of purpose helps a leader to focus on the right things in service of the organization’s purpose, and to share this with their teams as they prioritize tasks to support the change required.

A leader is only as good as their team

As Clive Wilson discusses in his book ‘Designing the Purposeful Organization: How to Inspire Business Performance Beyond Boundaries’, it is important for leaders to know how to align their team with the organization’s purpose, to move beyond the limits of transactional performance (“Pay me x and I will deliver y”) towards purpose-focused performance that releases innovation, talent, and engagement. You see, a leader will only ever be as good as their team.

The hallmark of a great leader is someone who, in addition to their technical expertise, can develop and sustain the morale of their team. This means that they should be able to motivate employees and retain talent, as well as provide an environment that fosters innovation and performance. They create teams that work hard even when they are not present in person or when they are not overseeing daily tasks. The key to all this is purpose.

At Primeast, we work with organizations to help identify their guiding and compelling purpose, and then to undertake the process to articulate and engage people with this. This leads to an understanding of the values required which inform the behaviors needed to be able to act in service of the purpose.

To read more about how we use PrimeFocus™ when partnering with organizations as strategic and organizational consultants, read more here and listen to Clive Wilson discussing the importance of purpose within an organization.

Read more about the inspiring work Clive Wilson undertook with the Bedford College Group helping to define a compelling purpose to build engagement and motivation. The work is being followed with a program of culture-based skills and mindset development workshops to help build alignment and embed desired behaviors as part of the culture transformation program.

If you’re looking to re-set your organization’s purpose and vision as part of a change management or organizational transformation program, and to design a roadmap for the future, speak to a member of our team today. Helping you develop your leaders and teams to ensure they are equipped to achieve their goals.

How to Bring Organisational Values to Life

Tips to Embed Required Value-Driven Behaviours

In our previous article, ‘Creating a purpose-driven organisation: the importance of values in the development of people processes’, we discussed the crucial nature of values to engage people in an organisation’s purpose and vision.

Values are great. So is trust. We need both. But what does it look like? What are some tangible behaviours that we can associate with values – and how can we implement them?

The starting point: Value vs behaviours

Before delving into what an organisation and its leaders can do to embed desired behaviours within the culture and working practices of their people, we should first ensure that leaders are aware of the nature of values and behaviours.

Values are abstract concepts that trigger how we feel and act. And values can be pretty fluid, as far as they can mean different things for different people in different contexts. For example, two people may have equally high family values and wish to provide the best for their loved ones. However, one of these people believes this translates as working 70-hour weeks to earn the money to pay for a great standard of living, while the other person believes that it is necessary to spend as much time with family as possible.

It is important to understand how the same values can manifest in different behaviours. For an organisation, behaviours can be defined as ‘actionable and measurable’ operating principles – and it’s also important to ensure that an organisation’s values deliver consistent behaviours.

How to implement values in a company ─ 8 tips to turn organisational values into tangible behaviours

A company’s values can be the difference between success and failure. They are what makes the company different from other companies and stand out in the marketplace. Therefore, it is important to understand how to implement them in your organisation.

Here are eight tips to help you drive tangible behaviours from your values.

Provide real examples and talk through the company’s expectations

Values are not just a set of words on a poster, they are demonstrated through actions and enforced by leadership. This helps to provide examples of what employees should do to align with the organisation’s values in any given situation.

Turn values into pioneering stories that inspire

Another way in which values can be implemented in an organisation is by using stories that inspire. Stories of how values were implemented in the past and how values were applied to solve problems for customers. But there is more than just telling stories about what has been done before ─ it’s about infusing values into everything from business strategy, marketing campaigns, and customer service interactions.

Focus on changing the behavior of groups, not individuals

People tend to act differently in groups than they do alone. Groups produce conformity, and self-police behaviours of their members ─ and individuals decide how to behave and act based upon the behaviours and actions of those around them.

Make performance management and recruitment a key part of your strategy

Organisations have found success by incorporating their values into their day-to-day work; for example, by promoting employees who embody the values in their work, or by hiring based on value alignment.

Identify your potential first followers and key influencers

Internal influencers are key to helping communicate and drive employee engagement in your values and required behaviours. Influencers have a strong voice and internal network ─ listen to them, tap into their knowledge, and use them to drive the change you require.

Make it a leadership and management responsibility

Too often, the implementation of values and behaviours is an edict passed down from the C-suite to HR. While HR will be involved in this work, it is not an HR program. It should be a continuous and consistent strategy for which leadership and management are personally responsible.

Embed your values into organisational processes

Values must be fully integrated into how you do things. This includes during the entire employment lifecycle ─ recruitment, onboarding, performance reviews, etc. ─ as well as daily operating processes and interactions with key stakeholders (such as service users and providers), and customers.

Turn behaviours into rituals

Recognise and reward those employees who embody your organisation’s values in what they do and how they do it. Reward people in real-time, being specific in describing why recognition is being made. People follow culture heroes ─ hold events in which you create these through your recognition programs.

Leverage your values in your business

Fast-forward five years. What will have happened for you to look back and see your current challenges as the greatest gift for your business? How will you embed your values into your organisation, and develop the behaviours that set you apart from your competition?

PrimeFocus™ is a simple yet powerful framework that helps individuals and leaders focus on success and deliver prime performance. Our free assessment provides you with a snapshot of the eight conditions that must be in place and aligned to deliver prime performance. It will provide an insight as to where you are on the journey and whether you should consider talking to us about the value that comes from using our full PrimeFocus™ Organisational Assessment.

To find out more about how we work with you to measure and embed the values you need to achieve your goals, read more here.

How Intrapreneurism is Becoming Crucial for Talent Management

A change in attitudes is taking place in businesses around the world and across industries at present, with a group of self-motivated, proactive and action-oriented people coming to the fore to lead their companies in innovative new directions.

The rise of the ‘intrapreneur’ is not exactly a new phenomena, with the term having been coined by Gifford Pinchot in his 1978 paper Intra-Corporate Entrepreneurship. It is, however, a development that the modern business leader should be paying close attention to, due to the growing need for innovative new ideas and products to help corporations stand out in a crowded marketplace. And never more so in the current times, where supply chains are being tested, new ways of working are being adopted and strategic shifts between the business as usual and the long term vision are having to be navigated by leaders.

The question of recruiting and retaining your intrapreneurs is probably one of the most important priorities for Talent Managers globally

An intrapreneur is an individual who today is defined as: “A person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation.”

They are therefore the type of employee that leaders must ensure they keep hold of, but in the fast-paced world of business, if these innovative risk-takers do not get the support they need then they may take their ideas elsewhere, and while not every intrapreneurial endeavour will prove a success, those that do can provide a significant boost to a business.

A new generation of professionals that want to make a difference

The introduction of the millennial generation to today’s workforce has precipitated a far-reaching change in many business cultures, not least of which has been the impact of this group’s drive to make a difference.

Millennials are often portrayed as a restless group, quick to move on if they feel their current job fails to fulfil their expectations or meet up to their ideals. However, when businesses take the time to engage with their staff more closely and allow these individuals to make an impact, then great things can happen.

How can we nurture intrepreneurs?

Providing intrapreneurs – not necessarily just of the millennial generation, but of any age – with the tools to make their vision of a better business or product a reality is therefore an essential part of this process.

A key element of ensuring that intrapreneurism is allowed to flourish within a business is therefore having the courage to embrace change and the foresight to invest in one’s staff, be this through training, coaching or simply by giving them the platform to try out their ideas.

Failure to invest in talent is a failure to invest in your business

Company leaders, now more than ever, need to be aware of the pitfalls of a failure to support the intrapreneurs within their midst, as this is a group that given the right environment to flourish can deliver lasting benefits and change.

By focusing on uncovering the individual talents of staff and creating a culture that embeds innovation into the very fabric of a business, leaders are liberating their employees to think outside of their daily responsibilities and to provide a framework for growth.

Furthermore, making a meaningful contribution to how a business operates and progresses is a strong attractor for many of the best and brightest.

It is therefore in the interest of company leaders to invest in talent liberation and in supporting intrapreneurial practices, as these are all elements of creating an inclusive and dynamic place to work. Indeed, when an employee knows it is okay to indulge in their creative side you will see excitement growing with new ideas and the energy to put them into motion.

However, if intrapreneurs feel they are not being appreciated for their hard work and drive to make changes, then this is a situation when companies can miss out and lose these individuals to their rivals.

Conservative or risk-averse leaders may therefore struggle to recognise the distinct advantages of supporting this type of work, but if they do not, then they could be losing valuable and potentially industry-changing innovations to others in their field – a situation that does not bode well for future prosperity.

Ensuring the very highest-ranking members of the business (right up to board level and the CEO) are promoting a culture where ideas from everyone within the business are given an equal hearing must be a priority for those wishing to get the very best out of their teams. Delivering an engaged and productive workforce is therefore key to this.

Align talent to vision to deliver the best results

On this topic, leaders should not underestimate the importance of aligning the talents and attitudes of the company’s key innovators to the overriding vision and goals of the business.

Leaders need to realise that they cannot make things happen directly, but instead rely upon those around them to deliver their vision for the company and to make it a reality. It is therefore important for all members of a business to be pulling in the same direction and this is where the intrapreneur can truly make a difference.

Realising this can result in a paradigm shift in the way that businesses operate, with the purpose of the business placed at the very core of all its activities.

Ultimately, companies that wish to excel in the field of intrapreneurism must not be afraid to tolerate failure and to embrace change. Indeed, only by doing so can the conditions to foster intrapreneurial endeavours be properly created.

By investing successfully in the talents of staff and by promoting the creation of more intrapreneurial teams within a business, companies can not only garner improved engagement from individuals keen to make a difference in their career, they also position themselves to be innovators in their field and to attract the very best.

To find out more about developing the leadership that champions innovation and intrapreneurial practices, get in touch.

Understanding your Purpose

Why purpose matters

Without purpose there is nothing. It’s our reason for being, for getting up in the morning and for going to work every day. And it matters now more than ever during these challenging times. As leaders struggle to navigate the current uncertainty, it is important to support your employees and embrace the opportunity to emerge from the crisis, confident that you are clear on your own and your organisation’s purpose because your purpose informs your behaviour and how you behave during and post the pandemic will directly influence the internal and external perception of your organisation. This is an opportunity to emerge stronger, as we work together to overcome the challenges we face.

This interactive session was first delivered by Sarah Cave at the Women in Nuclear Annual Conference 2018, helping participants understand their values and purpose. As a result employees will achieve greater self-awareness, self-fulfilment and, as a result, be more present, more engaged and aligned with your organisation’s purpose.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou American poet, memoirist and civil rights activist

Sarah Cave, Head of Leadership at Primeast, facilitates this free virtual workshop

Play the interactive video during which Sarah Cave will guide you through the session as she helps you explore your values and understand your purpose. You will need the report from your PVA assessment to refer to during the session

A New Approach to Culture Transformation

Culture transformation has never been an overnight fix. Building an organisational culture where goals can be achieved and people can thrive is now more complex than it has ever been.

As our understanding of corporate culture has evolved so too has our response to developing thriving cultures within organisations. Since the publication of John R Childress’s ‘Culture Rules!’ in 2017 where he introduced the concept of culture as a business system, we’ve seen the development of the concept of Culture 4.0 (Source: CulturSys, Inc.) which has radically shaped the current thinking on organisational culture and its critical components.

However if the last eighteen months has taught us anything it is that the world has changed and it will only continue to do so. Just as we’ve seen the acceleration of Industry 4.0 as a result of recent leaps in technology, and the subsequent disruption and transformation during a time of extreme volatility, do we need to rethink the nature of culture with a post-pandemic lens?

Are we heading towards a Culture 5.0? And if so, what does this mean for leaders?

A number of critical factors have had a major impact on cultural perspectives:

The impact of the pandemic

The experience of the last year has caused many of us to re-evaluate, to question our own needs, wants, values and attitudes towards work and what we expect from the precious hours we commit to our professional endeavours.

The trend towards hybrid working has been a direct output of the pandemic and the significant changes to ways of working. As if talent attraction and management wasn’t already enough of a challenge, organisations looking to recruit much needed talent for the future with new skills and thinking, now need to compete with the remote working trend which has unlocked talent from the traditional geographical borders. Surveys conducted show a shift in values and expectations as a result of Covid19 (the Barrett Values Survey) – highlighting the need for communication, strong working relationships and an awareness of values – all critical elements in organisational culture design. Whilst much has been said about the cultural ecosystem, our experience over the last year has demonstrated that none of us can exist in isolation, that all things are connected and we are as much the consequence of external factors as our cultural legacies.

As with all business decisions and strategic intent we must understand context.

New ways of working

The trend in hybrid and remote working has added another layer of complexity to the culture challenge. The old ecosystem has changed. A host of new terminology has entered our lexicon over the last 15 months – zoom fatigue, you’re on mute, social distancing, flattening the curve, the new normal, the big reset….and we must adjust. Response and reaction to new ways of working has been diverse with some embracing the opportunity for greater productivity and freedom whilst others have suffered from the lack of social interaction. As organisations wrestle with the challenges of adapting to a new set of expectations, restrictions and responses, we must all be aware of the potential impact on culture.

There is however perhaps a sliver of silver lining to the cloud of cultural resetting in that by its nature culture has always been complex and not something that can be changed overnight. In the same way that it takes longer to break a habit than it does to form one perhaps all is not lost. Having said that some organisations suffer for years from a legacy culture and no matter how many new leaders are brought in, it doesn’t change without some concerted intervention. It can sometimes be the case that ‘culture is the disease you get if you stay here long enough’.

Population structure

As we look to the future, younger generations, from millennials to generation Zs feature highly when considering the next generation of leaders. As organisations consider succession planning and the drive to develop and recruit the new skills needed in this current age of digital transformation, they must be aware of the expectations, aspirations and influencing factors when selecting their employer of choice. Evidence shows that this generation is increasingly influenced by the social factors which affect where and how they live as much as their thirst for personal and professional development, the need to contribute to something meaningful and a duty of care towards future society and the environment.

Compound that with the younger generation of employees, particularly in the UK, struggling to buy their first home and potentially renting in inner city locations where cars aren’t required, commuting is reduced and accommodation is replacing the traditional office stock, there is evidence of a geographic merging of home and workspace which results in this generation increasingly seeking a familial network in the places where they work. Where jobs are no longer for life and the growth of the gig economy, potential employees are increasingly drawn to organisational cultures which satisfy these complex expectations.

What can we learn from this?

When it comes to organisational transformation, we have to talk about leadership. And of course, culture is not exclusively the responsibility of just the leaders – we all must play our part, but leaders are a critical influence. Said Business School state that the key capabilities for leaders in today’s new age of industry (Leadership 4.0) are:

  1. Lead into uncertainty
  2. Develop the narrative
  3. Enable a sense of purpose

Whilst there are many approaches and processes which leaders can follow when working on transforming their culture, experience can often count for everything. And the good news is, you don’t have to do it alone. We’ll bring the experience, a collaborative approach and we’ll help not just your leaders but the wider organisation to help you get to where you need to be. And we’ll do it with you, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, helping you and your teams to ‘make it happen’.

How we can support you with culture transformation

At Primeast we’ve been working with and alongside organisations for 30 years, as they seek to transform their cultures. During the process, which can take time to shake off legacy behaviours and which requires the engagement of every individual within the organisation, we employ a number of tools and approaches depending on the specific challenges and stages of the journey.

Our approach has been adapted over time and reflects the demands of the culture as a business system with the added layer of context; a culture 5.0 approach that incorporates the needs, wants and impact of external factors and contributors.

Rcd-Culture-transformation

Working with and alongside our clients, as they embark on their journey towards culture transformation we employ a range of tools and methods from bespoke surveys to values assessments which enables a full understanding of the challenges and opportunities and which includes the external context which might be influencing organisational culture. We then work collaboratively to identify the gaps between current and desired destination and we then design the programmes, interventions, facilitated workshops which build alignment, engagement and the skills and thinking at all levels to accelerate culture transformation. Events are created and designed to achieve the specific need identified to make the change happen. Because, while leaders lead on culture transformation it is often those working at the management and operational levels who have the greatest impact on making the culture stick. This is why it is important to equip people with the skills, knowledge and conditions to be able to mobilise cultural transformation.

Supporting organisations in making change happen requires a comprehensive approach and process which encompasses all contributing elements. To find out more about how we can support you on your culture transformation journey, get in touch and speak to a member of the team todayy

Whilst we might choose to design bespoke surveys, there are a number of tools we might use during a culture transformation programme. One of these is the Barrett Values Model, a renowned and proven suite of assessments, because values influence behaviours which create cultures. Find out more about the Barrett Values model and complete the self assessment as an introduction to the concept of values assessments or speak to the team to discuss how we might work with you to create your desired culture.

What Motivates a Leader to Succeed?

How can leaders maintain themselves to stay motivated?

We’ve all felt it – the sudden lack of interest, the waning enthusiasm. The feeling that comes with not feeling like you’re in control of your own work anymore. When this happens, it’s important to find meaning in your work.

For leaders and their employees, it’s difficult to be passionate about something without it having an overarching purpose or meaning. Otherwise, you may end up getting discouraged and feel like you are wasting your time.

Indeed, motivation – the driving force behind high-performing teams – can often be cultivated through finding and understanding one’s purpose, and understanding how it aligns with the organisation’s purpose.

This gives true meaning and value to the contribution that individuals and the team make.

What motivates leaders? Making work meaningful for yourself and your team

To be a motivated leader, you must find your own purpose and identify how it matches your organisation’s purpose.

If you want people to be engaged and feel like their work is meaningful, it’s important that your team is aligned with your organisation’s purpose.

While it seems simple, there are challenges in aligning your own and your team’s purpose with the organisation’s purpose. Some employees may not understand or know what their company’s current objectives are or why they exist at all; this leads them to be confused about how they should act in each situation.

Therefore, a fundamental responsibility of leadership is to articulate the organisation’s purpose and engage your team with it.

A sense of purpose creates a better future for the organization and its talent.

What motivates individuals to become successful leaders?

Purposeful leadership starts with a focus on why we do what we do, and not what we do, to make sure employees know what they are striving for. It is about creating a sense of meaning and significance that is greater than just earning a salary or just advancing your career.

Purposeful leaders find ways to align the work that their team is doing with the organisation’s purpose. They will go out of the way to hire the right people who share organisational values, cultivate an inclusive culture, and create opportunities for all employees to contribute and develop skills.

When you engage your team with the organisation’s purpose, they will demonstrate four critical behaviours:

In short, leading with purpose is the key to unlocking the potential of an organisation.

Purpose creates resilience through change

The world is in a constant state of flux, and organisations must develop a culture of change to remain relevant and competitive. Success requires a clear vision and understanding of why change will benefit the organisation. To support this understanding, leaders need to create a sense of purpose for their teams, for purpose now matters more than ever.

When employees feel that their work has meaning and that they’re contributing to something larger than themselves, it becomes easier to cope with change and setbacks. Without a sense of purpose, it can be hard to create resilience in the face of change.

A strong sense of purpose helps a leader to focus on the right things in service of the organisation’s purpose, and to share this with their teams as they prioritise tasks to support the change required.

A leader is only as good as their team

As Clive Wilson discusses in his book ‘Designing the Purposeful Organization: How to Inspire Business Performance Beyond Boundaries’, it is important for leaders to know how to align their team with the organisation’s purpose, to move beyond the limits of transactional performance (“Pay me x and I will deliver y”) towards purpose-focused performance that releases innovation, talent, and engagement. You see, a leader will only ever be as good as their team.

The hallmark of a great leader is someone who, in addition to their technical expertise, can develop and sustain the morale of their team. This means that they should be able to motivate employees and retain talent, as well as provide an environment that fosters innovation and performance. They create teams that work hard even when they are not present in person or when they are not overseeing daily tasks. The key to all this is purpose.

At Primeast, we work with organisations to help identify their guiding and compelling purpose, and then to undertake the process to articulate and engage people with this. This leads to an understanding of the values required which inform the behaviours needed to be able to act in service of the purpose.

To read more about how we use PrimeFocus™ when partnering with organisations as strategic and organisational consultants, read more here and listen to Clive Wilson discussing the importance of purpose within an organisation.

Read more about the inspiring work Clive Wilson undertook with the Bedford College Group helping to define a compelling purpose to build engagement and motivation. The work is being followed with a programme of culture-based skills and mindset development workshops to help build alignment and embed desired behaviours as part of the culture transformation programme.

If you’re looking to re-set your organisation’s purpose and vision as part of a change management or organisational transformation programme, and to design a roadmap for the future, speak to a member of our team today. Helping you develop your leaders and teams to ensure they are equipped to achieve their goals.