There are many promising concepts and tools related to leading and managing. The only challenge, you feel, is that of incorporating all that seamlessly in your work, without upsetting your rhythm. Thankfully, here is a solution.
1. Baseline profile: Learning leadership, though a continuing effort, should be a blind exercise. Baseline profile of a leader provides a useful reference point for comparing before and after situation of leadership skills in use.
2. Communication skills: Communications require clarity and logic of thought and expression in a suitable form. Both areas have been given importance through systematic capture of reality, values, ideas, and actions (clarity of thought, logic) and modes of thinking (expression in a form suitable for dissemination and collaboration).
3. 360 degree feedback: Once a popular tool is not in much favor these days. In some cultures, people have difficulties in giving and receiving frank and honest feedback. However the basic idea of a good reality check is good. Therefore, this principle is incorporated in a different way in the programs in Learning Leadership and Lead to Regenerate book.
4. Time management: A lot has been written on the subject. Our approach to time management is different. Don’t manage time, manage the work. Not just manage the work -achieve breakthroughs in work. Don’t manage time, create time!
5. Pain points: This is a popular way of deciding where to focus. In Learning Leadership and in the Lead to Regenerate book, listing of pain points is just one of the ways of finding focus. It serves another purpose: a reference point. If as a leader, you carry the same pain points in the next period you haven’t led that much.
Pain points can introduce a bias and tend to exclude other areas. Pain points can also lead a wrong problem definition. Our programs use the pain points as one of the inputs and put emphasis on finding root causes.
6. Action learning and experiential learning: Most leadership development efforts put emphasis on concepts and theories and not on actions in the learners’ work areas. Our programs put strong emphasis on experiencing thinking like a leader (workouts) and acting on the thoughts (actions resulting from workouts). Simply put, our programs encourage you to evaluate the learning of leadership skills solely on the basis of the action plan (agenda) and it’s implementation.
7. Value creation (and destruction): ‘value add’ and ‘value’ are popular terms. In our programs integrate their real meaning into understanding work and achieving breakthroughs. (see ‘process way’ below)
8. Process Way, Six Sigma, Lean Sigma: The Six Sigma technique was used by Allied Signal (later merged with Honeywell)and later by GE. However, Process Way and Six Sigma were popularized by GE. These are very powerful technique. Launching these initiatives is tough since they involve significant efforts in data gathering and analysis. Yet, without a proper organizational and leadership foundations, these initiatives are difficult to sustain.
The Regenerative Leadership framework relies on the fact that the processes (manufacturing, service, or business processes) can generate value and that the processes can be improved and maintained using relatively simple yet powerful technique in most situations.
Process improvement is regenerative in nature. By putting these technique in hands of leaders, our programs provide them with ‘levers’ to manage operations, handle growth, beat competition, and bring about change.
9. Project Leadership: Traditional project management relies on well known PERT & CPM concepts and involves a central function to coordinate all activities. While this is essential for any large project, by itself it does not add to the odds of success. Project delays or over-runs are generally caused by un-anticipated activities or risks. To improve the odds of success ‘smart project leadership’ must continually identify and mitigate ‘risks’ and redesign project plans. Our programs incorporate these principles.
10. Attracting & retaining talent, employee engagement, empowerment: Programs and tools for these areas receive a lot of attention from HR practitioners. The problem is that all such programs need to be driven from HR with operating and business managers participating from ‘outside’.
In the “Regenerative Leadership” framework we take these concerns right into the work area with the understanding that ‘good’ (talented) people need ‘good’ (value creating) work and opportunities for self-development.
We put people at the heart of processes and projects and encourage leaders to match knowledge & skills one one hand and values, attitudes, & beliefs on the hand with the what is needed for the processes and projects. We also encourage leaders to come with action plan for closing any gaps.
Developing people is regenerative, putting this development in the context of processes and projects benefits the organization immensely.
Leaders are encouraged to ‘learn’ from their experiences and ‘teach’ or ‘transfer’ their learning to their people.
We believe that this is the best way of achieving the above objectives, once the hygiene factors (pay, working conditions etc.)are taken care of.
11. Innovation, out of box thinking: Ideas spark innovation. Generating and harnessing ideas is an integral part of the “Regenerative Leadership” framework. Leaders are encouraged to look at a diverse sources of ideas -industry structure, customers, processes, projects etc.
12. Emotional Intelligence (EQ): In the “Regenerative Leadership” framework, we extend EQ into Emotional Leadership (EL) by encouraging leaders to think how to convert negative emotional energy into positive energy. Our workouts help leaders reflect on emotional experiences and draw lessons for shedding baggage and finding purpose.
13. Delegation: Delegating work is an important managerial tool. A Regenerative Leader thinks beyond saving his or her time (a zero sum game) and looks at delegation in the context of processes and projects at hand. The person to whom a particular set of tasks go knows the full context of the work, boundary conditions, and measures of success. The organization, the leader, and the person benefit through this. Our programs provide workouts for thinking on the above lines.
Incorporate the Regenerative Leadership Framework mentioned above in your thinking and work through various programs in the “Lead to Regenerate” program book.