As we near the end of 2014, my mind wanders to the inevitable predictions that come with a new year. The seers and prophesiers among us will be at the ready to let us know what we can expect in 2015 and beyond. Some forecasts will be based on reasonable analyses of the World landscape and some will be rubbish. As always, it will be up to each of us to choose what to believe, what to throw away and how much it’s going to matter to us.
Having said that, there is value in taking time to reflect on what might be coming next. After all, there is always something happening, changing, interfering with, or otherwise upsetting our equilibrium. In fact, we have come to know that just at the moment we begin to feel steady, things are going to change. It’s the way of the world.
To me, all this suggests that a leader’s job, (at least one of them), is to create a platform for stability, often where none exists, because in a world of constant change and increased complexity, people need to feel anchored to something they can count on.
The question is, how might this be accomplished? The answer is…well I’m not sure. But I have some ideas and here they are:
- Be Purposeful
Knowing our organizational purpose is a great beginning to creating stability. After all, while change affects the way we go about fulfilling the purpose, the purpose itself, more often than not remains the same.
- Extend the purpose beyond the confines of organizational boundaries.
Most organizations support charities or causes of some kind. Just as the causes can vary, so can the motivation for supporting them. To me though, doing good works that align with the organizational purpose helps the company grow roots and contribute to the creation of stable communities, both inside and outside corporate boundaries.
- Keep Learning
Broadening our knowledge base creates a more stable environment. In other words, the more we know and understand the less there is to fear. So giving true value and support to learning, not just training, will build a company of people who are confident, resilient and eager to see and experience what comes around the corner
- Be Guided by a set of strongly held values
World events, economic instability and a constant feed of both useful and useless information contribute to a dizzying existence for most people. Sometimes we just need to stop and remember what’s important and what we stand for. It’s kind of like being out in rough seas. When we can’t see the shore and the boat is tossing us around mercilessly, our values serve as the lighthouse beacon that gives us the promise of solid ground.
- Take Blame out of the Equation
When things go wrong, and they do, it’s easy to panic. When we panic we look to place blame. Blame is the enemy of stability. It rattles people and often for the wrong reasons. Blame is not about accountability it is about passing a hot potato and making sure it lands in someone else’s lap.
Taking blame out of the organizational culture and replacing it with a more solution oriented demeanor allows more people the confidence to participate in solving problems as they arise rather than spending time looking for ways to take cover.
That’s what I think anyway. What do you think?