In my work as Organization Architect, I deal with clients of many sizes, shapes and colours over the years. I cannot survive, let along cutting edge lead, without a true inquisitorial engine running all then 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 is my Frequently Asked Questions to myself (the list will self-update from time to time!)
- How on earth did he 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 here an epidemic of lack of self confidence?
- 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 commitments that I see?
- Why are there no women in the leadership team?
- Why is she 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 then corridors?
- What’s in people’s mind 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 tribes inside?
- Where are the humans? See the robots.
- Who would I put in charge?
- What are the buzzwords and memes repeated 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 as face value. It also helps you uncover your own worries, you own sensitivities.
Have a go?