In my work as Organization Architect, I have dealt with clients of many sizes, shapes and colours over the years. I cannot survive, let alone cutting edge lead, without a true inquisitorial engine running all the time. I have one. I claim no credit. I need one like an astronaut needs a special suit.
I know that as soon as I land in a corporate environment, anywhere, on my own or with my team, I will be inundated by answers; some of them waiting for me, ready made, sophisticated, tried and tested, declared as the truth, beautiful, ugly, poor, rich. The issue is not the abundance of answers but the quality and relevance of the questions.
I find myself frequently asking the same questions (to myself). Studying my own list is one of the healthiest things I do to keep me fit. My gym.
Here are my Frequently Asked Questions to myself (the list will self-update from time to time!):
- How on earth did they get to that position?
- How can this multibillion company be run with this leadership team?
- How brave would they need to be to declare ‘enhancement of being human’ as a goal for employee engagement?
- How could we counter the epidemic of bullshit?
- Why is there an epidemic of lack of self-confidence here?
- Does anybody here realise that they are successful despite themselves?
- Do they know their true hidden leaders?
- Does the top leadership really know what is going on at floor level?
- Has anybody, ever, bothered to find out what motivates people in this organization?
- Can leaders here spot those marvellous pockets of commitment that I see?
- Why are there no women in the leadership team?
- Why are they asking this question? What is the question behind the question?
- What is the question nobody is asking?
- What are they not saying?
- What is this group desperate to hear?
- What could give them comfort?
- Where are the natural leaders?
- Who is a hero in this organization? Why? What does a hero person look like here?
- What’s the chattering around the corridors?
- What’s in people’s minds now, which may have nothing to do with what we are supposed to focus on?
- What does occupy the airtime in this organization?
- Who would I take/not take for dinner?
- What are the most common alibis used here?
- What do they really, really, really care about?
- Who is their enemy?
- What are the internal tribes?
- Where are the humans? See the robots.
- Who would I put in charge?
- What are the buzzwords and memes repeated a hundred times in any conversation?
- What would happen to the business if half of them went on holiday tomorrow for four weeks?
The mapping of your own FAQs is far from anecdotal. It tells you about your ability to hear, to sense, to feel, to not accept the reality at face value. It also helps you uncover your own worries, your own sensitivities.
Have a go?
‘A BETTER WAY’ WEBINAR SERIES
Join me for a series of webinars, as my team of organization architects and I, explore the future of organizational life. We will explain how the 3 Pillars of The Chalfont Project’s  Organizational Architecture – smart organizational design, large scale behavioural and cultural change and collective leadership – work together to create a ‘Better Way ‘ for organizations to flourish in the post-COVID world.
- Webinar 1: “A Better Way to…Design your organizational structures to create a Remarkable Organization for the future.”
27th May, 1730 BST/1830 CET
The new Promised Land of the so-called ‘future of work’.
We know that the new organization has to be very adaptable and flexible, beyond what it has been in the past, but what are the organizational principles that can lead to that? Is there a singular best model? Or, more importantly, can several possibly competing models coexist in one single organization? And, if so, what kind of management and leadership are to be reinvented?
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- Webinar 2: “A Better Way to…Create sustainable large scale behavioural and cultural change across your organization.”
3rd June, 1730 BST/1830 CET
The right Organization Operating System can host change, transformation, deployment of values and leadership, mobilization of people, reshaping of a culture, employee engagement and any other day to day need of the organizational architecture.
Viral Change™  provides that platform – creating the behavioural DNA for the organization. With that DNA and the appropriate mechanisms of scale up, change is possible. But change is not a project or a programme, it’s a way of life.
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- Webinar 3: “A Better Way to…Build and enhance your collective leadership capabilities.”
17th June, 1730 BST/1830 CET
At The Chalfont Project , we prefer the use of the term ‘practicing leadership’ to ‘developing’ it to emphasise the real life essence of leadership. So much has been written that the world is full of recipes and techniques, examples and role models. The rich plethora of available answers obscures the need to have good questions. Reflection and introspection seem like logical ingredients for being a good leader, yet our business and organizational life treats them as luxuries that have no place in our ubiquitous ‘time famine’. Busy-ness has taken over business and leadership has been commoditised to a series of ‘how to’. Yet, there is hardly anything more precious in organizational life than the individual and collective leadership capabilities.
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