Parachuting in help is daily life in the leadership of organizations. It may take the form of sending leaders from outside the division, or internal consultants, experts, or external consultants. Or combinations.
Sending the ones with the answers is relatively easy. Fires are extinguished, anxiety is back to normal levels and the collective sense of accomplishment rules the waves. Crisis over. Next. Until next time?
If you need to send someone, send a builder. The one who takes the opportunity to rebuild something for the long term, to build capacity, to leave the scene not with a problem solved but with a root cause dealt with and fixed.
- If you are in ‘change management’ (whatever that means these days) make sure your change project does not only change something but creates conditions for lasting change-ability.
- If you are intervening in a dysfunctional division, make sure you declare a sell-by-date and let the parachuted go back to base not a day later than needed, leaving in place a much stronger leadership team.
- If you are dealing with a specific crisis, make sure that the ‘crisis management team’ helps to solve the crisis and leaves the place with the lowest possible probability of a new one.
Builders are the heroes, solvers are the commodity.