When providing transformational leadership there are certain key conversations essential for the future. Not all these conversations need to end in a commitment to action.
When you take the perspective that an organization is a network of conversations, there are five conversations fundamental to attend to when you set out to create a new culture.
They are conversations designed to:
- Build relationships
- Open new possibilities or insights
- See new opportunities
- Generate effective actions
- Uncover and resolve breakdowns
In previous blogs we highlighted the power of taking this view of organizations and specifically the first of the five key conversations—building relationships. Establishing relationships lays the foundation for all accomplishment and culture change.
Once relationships are strengthened through understanding each other’s concerns and commitments, you are ready for the second creative conversation. This one focuses on exploring and opening up new possibilities and insights.
This conversation becomes particularly crucial when you see potential disruptions looming in the landscape of your industry, especially if you are stuck in “business-as-usual”.
Transformational leadership allows sufficient time for the creative generation of a new future.
When done in an unhurried way that fosters creative thinking, conversations for possibilities and insights lead naturally to the emergence of new directions and opportunities.
For example, one organization was facing evidence that their industry was going in a surprising direction. Although current bottom line numbers were good, it was predictable that within five years their organization would not be competitive if it continued in the current direction.
Enterprise Transformation Actions
Here are some actions they took which you might find valuable when having conversations to explore new possibilities and insights:
- They speculated for months on the most bold, inspiring future they might commit to, without committing.
- They invited representatives of all parts of the business to engage in exploring what might be possible.
- They consulted people who would be impacted by the change in order to understand and include their concerns.
- They paid for new market reports and studied the data closely.
Toward the end of this period of talking, reading, and exploring divergent ideas and possibilities, a common theme and a bold new direction became clear.
This new future became the foundation for a new strategy that positioned them to leap ahead of the competition. Once the new strategy was implemented their numbers began to reflect this in a strong upward swing.
Using transformational leadership to explore new ideas and possibilities is equally powerful when you are making smaller changes like a minor adjustment to a product or taking on a new client.
The heart of these conversations is being creative in thinking and perspective. This opens you and your colleagues up to new ways of viewing the world and the business.
What challenge are you facing which might benefit by engaging in a conversation for possibilities?