Every entrepreneur or manager has a mental image about how they’d like their workforce to look but, in many cases, they’ll expect duplicates of themselves which isn’t always good for an organisational culture. As we discussed before, diversity is a key weapon in a company’s armoury – it leads to better business performance and also promotes an inclusive environment. (What does innovation means?)
Innovation is a prime area of focus for many businesses today. So, if the vision for the staff body is that they all work innovatively, that’s great. Having goals is fundamental, but so is having the skills to hit the back of the net. Just because the boss may be innovative doesn’t mean staff will automatically become creatively-minded. Similarly, if managers aren’t innovative, then they definitely shouldn’t expect staff to think inventively.
The first step in this instance is considering why you want innovation and what it looks like to you. It’s easy to buy into innovation itself because it’s such an omnipresent buzzword but you should know what you want from its implementation. Is that the use of new software to help improve business processes? Is it workers using more out-of-the box thinking? Whatever it may be, focusing on leadership development will be your starting point.
How the team leader thinks and operates will play a big role in building an innovative team. On top of your personal desires, what does innovation mean to your business overall? If the answer is not much, then you’ll need to look at changing organisational culture and that’s a top-down process, which isn’t always straightforward, but the reward will certainly be worthwhile.
Communication in this instance is what’s required to get going. As a leader, you must outline to yourself precisely what you want from the team and then translate that to them. Remember, the staff aren’t mind readers. The crucial thing following this is to lead by example. An old saying it may be but, the head of the team must ensure they practise what they preach in order to demonstrate how they would like specific tasks to be handled.
PwC’s 2018 study on preparing for tomorrow’s workforce surveyed business and HR leaders globally and, unsurprisingly, innovation was raised. 79% of respondents placed a collaborative environment as either highly important or important, agreeing “our working environments are designed to encourage teamwork, collaboration and innovation.” Seemingly you can’t have one without the other – to foster innovation means is to foster teamwork and collaboration.
Elsewhere, the report also detailed that in terms of innovation specifically, 76% claimed “we have avenues present for employees to offer innovative ideas and support them in turning these ideas into action.”
As a leader, you’re in the driving seat to encourage effective teamwork, but a roadmap is needed, so tell your passengers where you’re all heading – or, even better, ask them if they feel like there’s any other routes that should be taken on the way. Ensure they’re not sitting in silence for the journey and in doing so, the results will speak for themselves as innovative ideas will come.
At CharacterScope we’ve seen how powerful open dialogue is. And as our users have understood themselves and their leadership styles better, they’ve better communicated with their teams, who’ve better taken hold of their duties. By empowering yourself through continuous learning and leadership development, you can in turn empower your team as they learn from you.
One way of looking at it as an intrapreneur. This phrase refers to a manager who thinks like an entrepreneur – like a builder. As PwC found, “people increasingly want to feel that their contributions count.” Developing an innovative team, encouraging them to also think like intrapreneurs, can only be a positive thing that will work towards your goals.
As businesses scale and change, often at a ferocious pace, there is often a need to promote and recruit new and inexperienced managers to lead people and drive the company forwards.
This can bring with it a range of benefits. They often bring a fresh approach, appetite and enthusiasm. There’s also the added fact that they’re often young and can be developed and nurtured. However, if they joined the business as a junior, regardless of how perfect they were for their previous post, they won’t necessarily have the managerial experience their predecessor possessed. So, what are you supposed to do?
In many cases, companies just hope for the best. They hand over the keys to the promoted party’s position and let them learn how to lead on their own, which is not without its risks. The desire to move fast means that support comes more likely when things are broken, in the form of interventions, rather than being ongoing. When this goes wrong, it can have a huge impact on morale, culture and your organisation’s ability to attract and retain talent.
But an inexperienced individual joining the company wouldn’t be left to it, so why would you leave someone without experience of managing peers to chance? Ultimately, if you want your managers to manage, and manage well, you need to ensure they’re equipped and supported to do this as well as they can. The stakes are too high.
Sure, you don’t want to breathe down their necks every two minutes and nor do they want you to – they’re a manager now, right? But the necessary traits they possess that got them the step up the corporate ladder in the first place must be reviewed to see where improvements can be made in order to achieve the best outcomes for the team.
At CharacterScope, that’s precisely what we’re built for – developing team leaders. Everyone is different and we know that. It’s not about changing who people are, but encouraging and helping them to be the best versions of themselves, sharpening their strengths while understanding where they can advance. You need strategy and direction to lead a business – why not have the same approach for leading a team?
Disrupting talent management is key to a companies development and helping inexperienced managers. Read our HRreview feature article here.
What do you want from a leadership culture? Read more here.
Picture this: Your studies are behind you, you’re now years into your career and decide to apply for a new role. When interview day finally comes around you feel like a student all over again as you’re prompted to complete a series of psychometric tests to decide your suitability for the role. This is a scenario many jobseekers – who perhaps now work for you – have found themselves in at one stage or another.
Of course, not all employers elect for psychometric testing or assessments as part of their recruitment process or even as part of general development initiatives – you may well be one of them who doesn’t. But the general idea behind these tests is that the employer and the employee, can learn a range of things about how they work that wouldn’t necessarily be revealed in a good old fashioned face-to-face interview. Needless to say, that’s a topic of much debate.
Whether your experiences of psychometrics or assessments are as part of the hiring process or even part of some one-off developmental training, in an effort to build self- awareness, there is often a feeling of confusion as to what you’re supposed to do with this information after you’ve finished. The results are filed away in a drawer or computer folder never to see the light of day again. So, what’s the purpose? After all, in terms of recruitment specifically, it’s been proven strong psychometric results won’t always translate positively to outstanding performance once someone has been employed.
How you see yourself or how others see you can lead to some hugely valuable insights and personal breakthroughs, in terms of your own performance as well with your interpersonal relationships. Making these breakthroughs stick has often been difficult in the past. They tend not to be sustained and built in to new behaviours and patterns of thinking. This is the way executives work with leadership coaches, ensuring that these realisations and valuable pieces of awareness are directly linked to structured and long-term development.
The need and demand for this sort of informed, continuous development was evidenced with a recent CV-Library study of 2,000 UK professionals. When asked what their career priorities over the next year are, the top answer at 44.6% was to learn more skills while 43.5% wanted to receive more pay.
It’s clear there’s an opportunity here. What if your organisation provided ongoing opportunities to develop new skills, but in a way that was linked directly to insights they can leverage from these assessments?
This is a movement we’re promoting with CharacterScope – the chance for your leaders and people to understand and develop themselves on an ongoing basis. We want to make this process the norm.
As a psychologist and executive coach, our founder Mark has seen first-hand the usage of psychometric tests throughout his career and knew there was a better way. The value your people can take from doing these assessments, need no longer sit locked away in a drawer.
A leadership culture that sets direction
Leadership culture is formed from the top down. Culture is effectively a self-supporting web of beliefs and behaviours. Over time these become leadership practices and eventually create an environment that attracts people who share their values. It is essential that an organisations culture aligns with their overarching business strategy: if the two are at odds, leaders at the top must recognise that change starts with them.
With a clear shared purpose, culture and values, the entire dynamics of an organisation become much more connected.
A leadership culture that drives development
Leadership development revolves around recognising and unlocking potential: identifying our natural talents, having a vision of ourselves leading, and working to turn that vision into a reality. It is rooted in the mentality that each one of us already has natural strengths of character and that becoming a good leader is driven by service in the area of those strengths.
Organisations that have a culture of leadership development use these principles to create a widespread understanding of each individuals’ value and unique contribution. This is not dependent on the time or money invested in tools: it is dependent on a culture that provides the right commitment, focus and environment.
Leadership capability needs time and space to grow and people must feel their growth is valued. They also need to be able to openly discuss and reflect on their progress and the obstacles they face and be able to experiment with new ideas. They must feel that management and their peers understand the importance of devoting time to development and have the freedom to do so.
A leadership culture that drives performance
Building a leadership culture goes beyond investing in and mentoring the next generation of high performers. Organisations that prioritise leadership development lead in attracting, retaining, and nurturing the best talent.
Top level leaders that have the self-awareness and put the time and energy into harmonising their organisational culture and their business goals create a more driven and connected organisation.
A developmental mindset empowers that talent to go beyond their comfort zone, with an awareness of their natural strengths. A culture that embeds these principles inevitably drives a company to high performance. It tends to adopt core values. It inspires employee and client engagement. It aspires to lead in its industry. It organically fosters innovation and collaboration while recognising and unlocking potential.
Imagine an organisation full of people that understand their own value, the strengths of their peers and their potential. Where every team functions at peak performance, understands the organisation’s overarching business goals and has a true sense of purpose and direction. This is the catalyst for business transformation.