I felt inspired by working together in 2020 with the Leadership Team from NGO ‘Smile and Olive’. As a ‘Culture First’ organisation they have embraced their mission statement and culture as a second nature. Remember: ‘A good team survives a bad product. But a good product doesn’t survive a bad team.’ (Michel Akkermans)
VISION BUILDING BLOCKS
Any team (‘meso’) or organisation (‘macro’) can benefit now by ‘slowing down to go much faster’. It’s one of the principles I adopt in everything I do with groups, teams and individual coachees.
Or do we continue ‘being busy by being busy’?
‘Slowing down to go much faster’ from the perspective of different vision building blocks:
- mission => sample question: ‘how has our reason of existing changed as an organisation / as a team?’
- strategic goals => sample question: ‘what are audacious goals we should be focusing on the coming x months?’
- roles => sample question: ‘who will be doing what differently?’
- processes => sample question: ‘how will we improve our meeting efficiency?’
- interaction / values / culture => sample question: ‘how can we create a culture of permanent feedback?’
The role of leadership, to some extent collective, is to ensure that the vision building blocks above are not only debated one-off, but continue to stay a team and organisational topic.
And: clear communication is not the same as meaningful communication. The mission statement of your department can be intellectually understandable to all (= clear). But that doesn’t mean by default that all team members want to jump out of bed every morning and contribute to the mission (= meaningful).
Finally: vision building together with teams and organisations, I warmly recommend to work on the building blocks ‘mission’ and ‘interaction’ first. Please send me a personal message to discuss why.
‘Slowing down to go much faster’ was precisely how the Leadership Team from NGO Basmeh & Zeitooneh – ‘Smile and Olive’ and I co-created change. Lebanon, Turkey and Belgium united in a limited number of online group sessions.
These leaders breathe the desire to empower individuals through working amongst the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in Syria’s neighboring countries.
I would like to call Smile and Olive a ‘Culture First’ organisation.
Making an analogy with a private organisation a gazillion of times bigger in size: IKEA. Some weeks after the start of the lockdown, the company boldly announced a Culture First statement:
‘In challenging times like these, we are guided by our culture and values and people remain in the heart of everything we do. This is why will we take a huge leap investing and supporting our +166.000 colleagues’. (…)
Fluffy? Powerful, if you ask me.
Credible? Yes, provided they try and persist to truly live up to their promises.