In a fast-moving and continually changing world, organizations often need to reassess what they have and react to the environmental changes. There are moments when leaders lose focus and miss some details meant to lead them to the environment’s next evolution. And these moments of confusion become more and more. Companies hire coaches, mentors and consultants, and strategists to help them deal with every new challenge that comes in their way. Leaders try their best to attract and retain the brightest promising talents. Organizations focus on developing different paths to help these same talents make the next successful step for them and the company.
Often when a leader fails in a specific area, analysis follows to discover what went wrong. After the “hard work” on analysis, leaders get together to discuss how to improve. Most of the actions planned and approaches discussed lead to reactive behavior, hoping that things will not repeat the same way next time. And when the next time things repeat in some similar way, leaders repeat the same setoff actions.
To change this circle of actions, leaders must react differently. Finding the root cause and predefining what can happen and managing situations positively means the thinking must move from reactive to proactive. One of the tools widely used to help this happen is coaching.
As an activity pointing to the leader’s active role, coaching asks questions to rule the leader way into decisions and actions that change the environment. Here I’m offering you six helpful questions from the coaching practice to help you identify what works in your company and what you need to focus on:
Do you have the right people?
Often we can hear a leader saying this person is not the right fit for the role. But there is more behind this simple statement. To have the right person, you will need to evaluate what skills people in their current position have and what needs to be improved. With the second part of the first question, the leader must focus on if people role has the skills and knowledge to do their responsibilities. There is no much sense in having people with specific skills and expert knowledge in one area and demand them to work on projects and tasks entirely out of their scope of expertise.
Do you have the right structure?
I have currently met the CEO of a mid-sized company who told me about the company Facility management team’s problems. When we talked a little bit on the topic, the CEO shared that this same engineering department was under the company CFO’s hat. Most of the problems came as an internal conflict between CFO and the Facility manager involving how funds are spent and if a technical decision is needed. Engineers from the Facility Management team were taught that they need to learn the finance part of the things they were making and follow all the steps to ensure that each activity will be funded and reported per the finance area legislation. And the CEO couldn’t. The leader must ask himself if the people working in the department have the right roles, enabling them to show their full set of skills and talents and engage with the right set of responsibilities.
Do you have the right rewards?
It is obvious, but still, many companies offer a set of rewards set for everyone in the structure the same way. Leaders and people departments in the companies widely market these rewards without even knowing each one’s acceptance level from the employees. The question’s relevance is to set priority rewarding practices, splitting people into groups by similarity. There is no need to offer paid by the company family weekend for the 20-25 years old group. This group of people is interested in another type of reward. But the same bonus is relevant for people 40+ years. If the leader proactively asks employees about their preferences and offers rewards based on the package most widely expected from each group.
Do you have the right resources to offer?
I have experienced it twice in my life coming to a new workplace; there was no account created for me, no laptop so that I can enter the company systems, and I have had to work with a phone in my hand and using the account of a colleague for more than two weeks. There is nothing wrong with adding some additional features to employee roles in time, but the leader must be proactive. If you have expectations for an immediate contribution involvement, you need to think in advance on what tools you offer for the job to be done and cover the needs of the role. It is the same to say to a buyer, “I need you to buy something, but find me a good offer before I share with you the budget we have for this.” The current question is hear to point to the leader to evaluate the budget, technology, tools, and equipment for the role and guarantee that the person or the people holding that role will be as productive as possible.
Did you make the right decisions in time?
Situations leaders often enter in are a result of past actions and decisions in their work. The leader must have enough information to make the right decision to lead to sustainable and positive change in time. Here the essential elements to think in advance are connected with the time frame and the purpose of the decision taken and implemented. Decisions create the basis for action, and actions create a chain of success, quality, and stability.
Do you have the right processes?
There are plenty of examples of old and not working processes that ruin the change planned. No matter the type of change the leader intends to execute, he often misses its operations and its impact on what is coming. This question to ask is crucial to define the speed of change and the quality of the decision’s execution in time. Focusing on processes will allow every leader to understand the current structure and mindset and bring the best working tools to change them for the better. Even the most excellent plan for change will not work if you have the wrong process and steps to implement it. That is why analysis of the company’s processes is crucial to start positively, see what is working, and work in the future and what the team must focus on to change to ensure growth and success.
The only constant in the 21st century is the change. Companies need it to stay competitive; leaders need it to ensure growth and sustainability in time. Understanding the right pillars of what is working and what not in the company is the element to bring to life sustainable change management for tremendous success.