Be the change you want to see

When I am called in to work with companies it usually involves changing behaviours in some way to support the business more effectively. Often the senior teams want their direct reports to change their behaviour, the middle managers want to know that any development they are undertaking is also being undertaken by the senior team and everyone else just want “the management” to change. So this article by Lou Tice really struck a chord with me. Perhaps it will for you.

“Managers who want quality from their workforce need to hold themselves to the same high standards. To borrow an old saying, “What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander” – or it should be. You see, in the quest for total quality and continuous improvement, many managers forget about the role that they themselves play in bringing these things about. They ignore the baggage they bring to work every day, but expect their employees to be totally focused on their jobs. Or they announce a new corporate ethic, but continue to behave as they always have because they don’t really think the new standard applies to them. There is no doubt about it. The companies showing the others how it’s done are characterized by management that is more receptive to change and more receptive to new ideas. And the companies that will lead us into the future are the ones led by men and women who can do what is currently considered unusual, and do it comfortably. They are risk-takers in their personal as well as professional lives and they see themselves – intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, economically – as experiments in continuous improvement. In other words, they walk the talk. Change usually starts at the top, but it can also be stopped there unless management makes a sincere effort to take its own standards of excellence to heart

So, whether you are an executive, manager, employee or business owner here are my questions to you:

· How are you demonstrating your own commitment to continuous improvement?
· How are you modeling the behaviour you want to see?
· How much energy are you wasting focusing on how others “should” behave?

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