What do I mean by Challenging?
I’m defining challenging, as when the organisation and its leadership are constantly questioning the status quo in the quest to achieve the organisations objectives.
This is about people collectively being prepared to break from the past in order to improve performance, being catalysts for change. The maxim, “if it ain’t broke” does not apply here! In fact, there may even be an intolerance of existing ways of working and those that hold the organisation back from change.
How is this Change Capability manifested?
People that are involved in the implementation of change:
- Are not afraid to push boundaries or challenge conventions to break new ground
- Are encouraged to ask difficult questions of the organisation
- Take a critical approach when assessing options
People that are impacted by the change:
- Are comfortable being challenged and to challenge the status quo themselves
- Will openly express their dissatisfaction with unproductive or ineffective ways of working
- See and are able to articulate a clear ‘burning platform’ for major change
How is the capability supported?
Again this is by no means an exhaustive list – more of a starting point. However, Challenging is supported by:
- Case for Change: Highlight unacceptability of status quo and the need for change to create a ‘burning platform’
- Facilitation: Consult employees, use structured methods (such as Lean) and questioning to give voice to their sources of pain
- Communication: Be a catalyst and be prepared to ‘pick at wounds’ in playing back unwanted practices
What happens if you overplay this strength?
- Antagonising: The need to challenge becomes more important than the norms or rules that help people work together, leading to unhelpful levels of conflict
- Criticising: The organisation overly-negative and finds problems with current ways, but lacks the creativity and openness to find solutions
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