The Autonomous Collaboration Paradox

The Autonomous Collaboration Paradox

In today’s world, we are faced with changes and problems that require massive action – not incremental adjustments to the way we work.  But whatever your mission impossible, make no mistake you can push through with a team of autonomous individuals working collaboratively. The Autonomous Collaboration Paradox draws together the conditions needed to enable individuals to operate at their highest levels in collaboration with others.  Like a fine Swiss timepiece, achieving autonomous collaboration requires the full integration and alignment of the individual, teams and organisation. The Autonomous Collaboration Paradox  Organisations achieve greatest individual engagement by ensuring the individual’s roles and responsibilities tap into their passions and demand full use of their strengths.  The most productive, synergistic and creative teams emerged from genuinely collaborative interactions and supported by empowering organisational structures.  But to make the transformational shifts that are needed to thrive in this new world, individuals, teams and organisations must display enormous courage.  Today is not the day to be risk averse, and sit back hoping that things will settle down. They won’t; and they never will again. The world cannot afford passengers; humanity cannot afford indecision; action is needed now.  To unlock the power the Autonomous Collaboration: 1.    Be empowering. 2.    Practice enabling management. 3.    Establish empowering organisational structures. 4.    Foster collaborative...
Change their minds: Change their behaviour.

Change their minds: Change their behaviour.

One of the core elements of my change management programs is a mindset. If you understand what people think of the change and the emotions the change is evoking, you can design a change program that will help them make the transition. There are a few reasons why focusing on mindset works: Making time to understand what it means to them demonstrates a genuine interest in them – we know that empathy leads to engagement. Gaining a good understanding of what they value about the current situation will tell you what evidence you need to provide to convince them that the change is worthwhile (and if you can’t find this evidence, then you might question whether in deed change is needed!)  Finding out what they are worried about will help you design strategies to deal with their concerns, providing them with the assurance they need to move forward. Their worries also provide you with great material for your risk management strategy. So how do you delve into their mindset? Here are a few ideas that have worked for me: Create a transition space. This is a regular forum that is short and can be part of an existing meeting that provides everyone with the opportunity to reflect on the change.  Engage your people in defining the problems that the change is intended to fix. This allows them to discuss what they value and what the change will need to deliver for them to get on board. Allow them to discuss their concerns and come up with strategies that will address these – put these in your risk management strategy....
Role Clarity – Seek First to Understand (Thy Job…)

Role Clarity – Seek First to Understand (Thy Job…)

Whenever I am asked to mentor a manager who is struggling in their job, the first question I ask is: “Do they understand what the job is?”  In most cases this where their struggles start and stop. A position description rarely provides the level of detail needed to fully grasp what is expected on a day to day basis. But the problem is, the only person who can really clarify the expectations of the job is invariably busier than the incumbent – and that is their boss. Until role clarity is achieved, the manager (or anyone for that matter) cannot be expected to operate at their highest levels – and until that occurs their boss will continually be picking up the pieces. This is in fact the first step in empowering others to operate at their highest levels – delegation. Make sure they fully understand the dimensions of the their job. But it is a two-way conversation. If you are not clear on what is expected of you, or not clear about the priorities in your work, then take the initiative. Set up regular meetings with your boss focused on: Developing a shared understanding of what is important and what is not in your job, and What you need to do the job...
TIME & TRUST- Rare Management Commodities

TIME & TRUST- Rare Management Commodities

The less time we have the more trust we need if we are to make an impact as managers.  “…even senior managers spend little time on planning or abstract formulation, are subject to constant interruptions, hold short face-to-face meetings which flit from topic to topic and respond to the initiatives of others far more than they initiate themselves…the conclusion…the notion of the manager as strategist, planner and thinker is a myth (Mintzberg, 1975) and that even senior managers allow themselves to be diverted from their ‘real’ work by constant interruption and capricious interpersonal contact…the office is not place to work…the only effective way for an executive to make sure he (sic) is not interrupted is to be out’. (1963, pp.113-4).  People Management Then and Now 50 years later, has anything really changed?  Do you still find yourself flitting from one meeting or crisis to the next?  Dealing with other people’s problems; getting sucked into the minutia of your team’s work and interpersonal issues?  Well over 50 years ago, one way of dealing with the increasing complexity of production (and the industrial revolution was pretty complex compared to what came before), was the production line – separating the whole job into smaller tasks. In this way, managers could employ less skilled people, teach them to do one small thing all day long (so they became specialists in that thing), and supposedly it was easier to manage these people – but you had to have a lot of managers to do it.  In essence, this management paradigm was built on total mistrust in the employee.  Mistrust that the employee had anything...

Accelerating The Transition From Clinician To Health Manager

Many clinicians will aspire to roles that involve some element of managerial responsibility. In order to plan a successful transition, it is important to first understand not only what motivates individuals to become a manager, but to also consider what sort of skills, attributes and competencies one needs to manage a team of 2 or 20 plus. The ACHSM Health Leadership Symposium titled: Accelerating The Transition From Clinician To Health Manager, April 11th 2014, to be held at the Rydges on Swanston, will provide delegates the opportunity to hear individuals from diverse backgrounds come together to discuss and ‘unpack’ what the key priorities are for a successful ‘transitional phase’ from clinician to health manager. The symposium will provide delegates the opportunity to: Learn how others have ‘transitioned’ into management roles and the secrets to their success Understand how competency development can act as a catalyst in an individual’s career  progression Learn about the essential skills and attributes for health managers Listen to real-life Mentor-Mentee relationships and the important role of a Mentorship Meet other like-minded individuals that are keen to identify management strengths and understand weaknesses in order to progress in their careers A fantastic professional development and networking opportunity The transition from clinician to manager is not just about learning new technical skill such as finance or industrial relations; it’s a completely different mindset! With two very different skill sets, two very different perceptions of roles, and a journey that can be best described as a ‘life changing career experience’ – how does one make that all important transition from clinician to a health manager? For more information and...
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

This is a question posed to Face Book staff every day according to their Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In).  And it is a question I believe we should ask ourselves everyday as leaders.  Because it is my fervent belief that nothing gets in our way more than fear. As leaders, whether we lead a team or an organisation or whether we are thought leaders, we need courage.  Courage is not the absence of fear  quite the opposite.  It is “feeling the fear and doing it any way”.  Susan Jeffers wrote a book of the same name in which she categories our fears into those things that are external to us (such us fear of illness and death), and those things that are internal to us and are mainly driven by our ego (such as fear of appearing silly or ‘up ourselves’; fear of others not liking us).  Jeffers distills the whole thing down to fear of not being able to handle it. Now I am as fearful as the next person; in fact, according to Dr Brizendine, as a woman, I might be more fearful than most men, simply because of the way I am wired.  She is a prominent neuropsychiatrist from California and wrote the book on “How women think”.  In it she identifies the differences between how men and women’s brains are structured and how they work.  In essence, women are wired to protect relationships or worry a lot about them failing – our job is to maintain the social structures.  Men are less concerned about this, and when you think about it way back...