influence (13)

Dogged Inaction

8332289460?profile=originalDogged inaction by leaders when staff raise issues is one cause of organisational silence (which I wrote about last week), and ultimately causes the destruction of psychological safety.

Dogged inaction is what happened to the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs around the immigration detention of Cornelia Rau which lead to the 2005 Palmer Report. Rau, an Australian citizen, was illegally detained for ten months. Due to her mental illness her citizenship was not ascertained for all

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Deafening Silence

8272620091?profile=originalWhile a lack of psychological safety means a team is missing out on the opportunity to take risks and innovate (as I pointed out last week), when the lack of psychological safety  becomes rampant, a much bigger risk develops. That risk is the deafening silence that descends on the organisation because no one will speak up. A situation termed organisational or employee silence.

I wrote about this phenomenon a couple of months ago when I reflected on my time at HIH Insurance and the need to sometim

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P.S. Give them the WIIFM

8272620063?profile=originalThere are more avenues to helping a leader realise they need to change to create psychological safety than I shared in my blog last week. While showing them what was happening is a good start, you also need to make sure they understand what they can have if they make changes. That is, answer the question “What’s In It For Me?” (WIIFM).

A good way to do that is to contrast what is happening now with the type of changes you are suggesting and the favourable outcomes they can expect. Here are three

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Fighting Psychological Warfare

Last week I wrote about Kate and her experience of “psychological warfare” which is a culture where psychological safety does not exist. Upon reflection, Kate realised that while she created psychological safety for her team she did not create it for herself. So when she spoke up, her boss and others on the executive felt threatened and reacted with an array of avoiding, delaying and blame-shifting strategies.

Kate and I spoke about how she could have done things differently. In hindsight, she re

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Identifying Psychological Warfare

8219692454?profile=originalI expect the term psychological warfare interests you because you are wondering which kind I would be writing about. Would it be about China, the US Election or state border restrictions in Australia? None of those. It’s about needing to operate in a culture where psychological safety is not just lacking, it’s non-existent.

Recently I invited a guest speaker to my monthly Risk Leadership Group to share her experience in a toxic environment. Let’s call her Kate. What Kate experienced was a culture

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Accuracy over Buckshot

8028324084?profile=originalWARNING – If you are a vegetarian, vegan or an animal lover you may be offended by the story in this blog post.

When you're presented with numbers you don't know if they are buckshot or accurate. You often assume the later when it is often the former.

You must often witness people plucking out of thin air, numbers such as budget estimates, estimates of probability and estimates of impact. It is very common because it takes time to get accurate. We often prefer the buckshot approach because we hit

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The Strategy Funnel Part II

8028320082?profile=originalOne of my readers reached out to me after I introduced the strategy funnel last week which made me decide to prepare an example of how the approach works for a prolonged crisis, like COVID-19. One of my sons co-manages the bars in a three-level restaurant offering a variety of dining experiences. It is located in Manly here in Sydney, which is a tourist area. I have been thinking a lot about the restaurants and hence his future. So I thought I would use the restaurant’s owners as an example.

A la

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The Strategy Funnel

8028324681?profile=originalI’ve taken a sales and marketing tool and turned it into a strategy tool that you might find very helpful right now. The concept works like this:

There are a range of possible futures playing out for each of us. None we can be certain about. The further out in time we look the more uncertain the view. Nothing new here. What is our response? Generally, scenario planning and forecasting. The questions you should be asking yourself now is how many scenarios should I be considering and how can I move

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Observe within as much as (with)out

8028318490?profile=originalObserve your team and look for signals from the outside.

Two weeks ago I wrote about the need to diagnose challenges in order to lead. Last week I wrote about the behaviours you are seeing from customers. This week I want you to think about the behaviours you are seeing in your team. There are clues there about the “system”. The economy, how the government might act, how the populace might act as our world rapidly changes.

What behaviours do you see? Do you see fear, hubris or something in between

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Caught like a deer in headlights

8028309899?profile=originalYou know the saying. It means we can see something coming, but we can’t move. Like a deer in headlights, often traditional organisations experience sheer inertia when faced with the light beams of disrupters to their industry. All talk, no action.

So your job is to get your colleagues moving. First start with the good news. Let them know that if you stop and look at disruption in your industry you are likely to see strong growth potential. Most likely exponential. On the other hand, let them know

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Your Pressure Relief Valve Must Work

8028302672?profile=originalThere is a pressure cooker analogy for driving business performance. That is, apply plenty of heat to the pot (which is your team) and keep the lid firmly shut. The team will push harder to reach their goals. As a safety mechanism, all pressure cookers have a relief valve and so the analogy goes, make sure you don’t overdo it and build up too much pressure. The reason is because one of two things would happen:

One is burn out and potential mental health issues. The other is that your team will fi

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Dealing with Parselmouths

8028304092?profile=originalIf you are a lover of the Harry Potter series, you will have heard of parseltongue. The language of serpents. A Parselmouth is anyone able to speak parseltongue.

If you don’t have a clue what I am talking about, you are reading this and feeling at least a little uncomfortable. Relax, it is all make-believe.

However, don’t relax for too long because your influencing skills might be hampered by how you are providing your advice. Why? Because finance, HR, IT, procurement, risk and many other function

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8028276073?profile=originalIn recent blogs I have been urging you to stand in the shoes of those you wish to influence. Recently I read a blog by futurist Gihan Perera that gave another reason to urge you on. In his blog There’s an ‘I’ in Team he reminds us that the young new entrants to our workforce have a very different WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) than new entrants of past decades. Gihan talks about their wishes including the need for identity and personal development. 

So they won’t care what you think unless you can

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