I read an article about a well known CEO who increased the market value of his company by $400 billion in just two decades. For him it was clear that reinventing a company required many actions that often appear to go in contradictory directions. In the first five years as CEO, he cut costs ruthlessly and even fired one in four people. Ironically, at the same time he was spending millions of dollars on what he called “non-productive” things. He upgraded the companies learning center, built a high performance conference center, and installed a big fitness center. As with any change, many didn’t see the logic of his actions but the results spoke for themselves. The key metrics of productivity were increased significantly.
To manage contradictory tugs within an organization requires lots of energy and leadership edge. It requires clear but innovative thinking, and it demands a vigilant resilience to bounce back after every set back. Unfortunately, our research clearly shows that the majority of leaders are running low on gas and therefore too often prefer ticking boxes instead of facing the paradox and leading.
In the current turbulent times many companies are going through an organizational transformation. Leaders are changing positions. Teams are changing. And definitely uncertainty is high. What a great opportunity to create a glue that holds your organization and your team together through all the change initiatives. This glue is the high energy, vitality and resilience of your people. This glue is what enables them to achieve their potential and perform there best. This is serious - it’s not just a nice to have. Clearly, it is a strategic must. What would everyone in your organization say about you if you applied some of this glue? You would face the paradox and you would for sure positively impact performance. What will they say when the organization’s productivity doesn’t just return but exceeds the pre-recession levels?
Do you have the glue? Are you focusing beyond the quarterly results, business plan milestones or the company vision statement? Let us know. Are you building your model for future prosperity and success?
By the way, the CEO I was talking about is Jack Welch.
By Jogi Rippel
CEO // Founder