Five birds sit on a phone wire, one is going to fly away. How many birds are left? Eva Eliasson answers the question here in the blog, where she tells us more about when her interest in leadership took off.
Can't they just be happy? "It's hopeless" ... our otherwise lean CEO sighed heavily. The numbers on the last row were bright red and the charismatic CEO had to go. Despite great visions and growth strategies. Everything had gone so well, the company had grown at tremendous speed - one company after another was acquired at a rapid rate. The employees did not really stick to the turns "but when they start working together it will resolve by itself" the management thought.
But the intended cooperation ended most often in mutual conflicts and tug of war for the customers. This led to the employees loudly expressing their dissatisfaction with management.
"It was a hell of a whim about goals and direction - can't they just be happy and work on" one of the management members moaned. If it had been so easy anyway ...
The ability to change is completely dependent on the leadership There and then, at that meeting, my burning interest in leadership took off with full force. My interest had also been getting water at its mill when we had just gone through the sales figures and the customer I was responsible for had doubled sales from the previous year!
How? When I came in as the Customer Manager, the customer was upset about late deliveries, incomplete feedback, misunderstandings about content etc. The roles in the project team were unclear, it was unclear who was responsible for what, things fell between the chairs. The employees in the internal project team were consistently young and inexperienced, but skilled in web design and programming. Their attitude was that "the customer does not understand what the internet is about" and they did not hesitate to "rather rebuke" when the customer came up with their own suggestions and ideas.
I was new to the role of digital strategist and was appointed to restore confidence and develop one of the company's largest clients.
For me, it was crucial that the employees change their attitude and that the team could deliver! However, developing teams and creating a clear and concrete framework was not the management's focus. But there was an openness to try new initiatives so after discussing a few laps with the HR department, I got OK at taking the group to a teambuilding conference. There, we jointly agreed on what goal we had, what was important to think about in relation to the customer and, above all, to clarify roles and how we would best work together. This became the basis for a successful team where we together managed to double the revenue from the customer.
The key to successful change is action and the power of action lies in the employees' ability to participate and influence. In order for the employees to be "happy and work on" it is necessary:
Focus - employees need to know where the company is heading and why. And the vision must be set forwards - too many companies are trying to run into the future with the help of a rear-view mirror!
Meaning - the importance for employees needs to be clarified. Meaning needs to be broken down - every single employee needs to feel that they have a clear role and are involved in contributing to something bigger.
Activity - as a leader, you need to jointly define with the employees what to do and "roll the ball".