I got involved and engaged in a LinkedIn thread this morning, one that I had actually been trying NOT to be involved in! But they wore me down so I posted this up around the theme that some leaders actually make things worse by being involved.
I will just post up what I thought about the situation and what I wrote:
My focus for many years has been on the issues of organizational performance, individual motivation, involvement and engagement, and issues of teamwork and alignment. Toward that end, I have presented on a wide variety of topics in 38 countries thus far and I sell my toolkits inexpensively and globally. All that is simply meant to anchor the following thesis:
Most managers are un-engaging their people.
If we look at any of a very wide range of data, it is clearly evident that most people in most workplaces are dis-engaged and uninvolved. I share some viewpoints and data and other people’s ideas in two blogs referenced at the end of this.
With all that data supporting un-engagement, like Sirota Research saying that 85% of new hires regress to “average” motivational levels within 6 months, it all begs the question as to whether managers and supervisors might simply CHOOSE to do some things differently. Might they look to focus on something I will call Dis-Un-Engagement.
Simply put, why can’t / won’t they focus on removing the roadblocks that their people face in doing their daily jobs. People report that no one listens to their ideas (and have been doing that for the past 70 years, it seems) and that feeling more of a part of things is a powerful motivational tool.
Most people are not REALLY roadblocked, as most coaches will tell you; they are simply perceiving that they are, or they are somehow choosing to be. They could do things differently and will often do so when involved in some problem-solving team situation. Peer pressure / support is a powerful tool for generating change.
A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world (John Le Carre)
Yet most decisions seem to emanate from that desk rather than the hands of the workers who try to push the wagon forward every day. If all they see are boards and hands, no wonder they don’t show up motivated and engaged.
Dis-Un-Engagement — a corollary of “Ask and Ye Shall Receive,” methinks.
You can see some writings here:
I think that ANY one leading any group in any organization can IMPROVE their overall leadership effectiveness. There will still be that average curve of skills ranging from low to high because that is just a statistical reality of any population of people. What we CAN do is move that median score upwards to improve overall effectiveness of the population…
Dis-Un-Engagement. It does not even sound that hard…
I think that this is just another example of a simple, elegant solution!
Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant. Connect with Scott on Google+ – you can reach Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org
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