Create awarenes, get commitment
Or how to lift your enterprise energy to the next level
Understanding your enterprise and constantly analysing its results is important to operate at your most successful. But what’s even more important and crucial for fully grasping your business and improving it, is seeing things as they really are. Are you able to capture your business without blinders? And can you act upon its actual opportunities and challenges? Accepting reality (and its shortcomings) is the one and only starting point to build true commitment, the fuel of your organisation.
Companies may perform poorly for a variety of specific reasons, such as lack of leadership and alignment, bad management and the inability to execute, poor strategies, talent or resource shortages and ineffective communication. The result of all the former is a top of mind issue for many enterprise leaders: a fundamental lack of commitment that is hard to identify but which is slowly but surely eroding your business strength.
When you as a leader don’t have the buy-in from your employees, even your most elaborate plans to reorganize your business are bound to fail. Without commitment, it gets really difficult to make people stick to a new vision, get people to break out of traditional roles, let alone to properly execute their daily tasks.
The cure for loss of dedication and inability to progress is creating awareness. To create awareness, as a leader and your team you need to be ready for some vulnerability and a lot of self-reflection. The aim here is not to expose weakness as such, but to build strength: as soon as awareness arises, you have breeding ground for new commitment.
What do we mean with awareness?
Creating awareness is all about creating clarity. It means making the foggy cloud you’re currently operating in transparent. This is done by visualising the gaps that lay ahead of you. There is always a distance between your professional goals and your actual day in the workspace, between what should or could be in the future and what is today. Becoming aware of the space between your dream and reality and making achievement gaps apparent is paramount to move forward. Closing these gaps requires taking a step back for better jumping. Only when we can look at things from a distance, we get a better perspective. Only when we have the tools to call things by their name, we can become fully aware of our activities and their true impact (if there is any).
Consciousness is a bridge between the past and the future
This requires a whole lot of talking and discussing in a language that is understandable to all, and putting the right heads together, to ask critical questions like: Why are we doing what we do? And for whom? What’s going well? What needs to be different? What needs to stop? Very often however, people get so stuck in their routines they are no longer capable of any self-assessment. Often, ‘a stranger’ needs to pull the carpet from under our feet, blow the dust off our eyes so that we can see. The first questions that arise often reveal the emptiness. The limits. The ignorance and the inexperience. Creating awareness indeed can be very destabilizing. People sometimes get scared, often they get angry when they find out that the work they have been doing was insufficient, maybe even meaningless. Ask yourself: how do you react when facing a harsh reality?
What do we mean with commitment?
Awareness is an inevitable precondition to create commitment. Creating commitment means building a path towards a common goal, by strengthening relations between people so they can move forward again, together, in a way that feels logical, ideal, best to them all. But there is a middle step to take: acceptance. Depending on the setup and situation, it can take months, weeks, two days or half an hour for us to become aware, and consequently, to accept. Sometimes we need to return to nature and grasp some fresh air, go home or spend time with our family and friends to see what lies beneath the surface of our fixed beliefs, to realise there is a different truth than the one we always have imposing on ourselves.
But as soon there’s acceptance and recognition – of the failures, the judgement, the emotions, the attitudes, we are no longer burdened by the past, and space is created for new beginnings, renewed commitment and solution building. Re-starting from this mental reset point, new questions can be asked like: Where are we going indeed? What impact do we envision? What efforts are therefore needed? What do we do first to make it happen? The more dialogue during the rebuilding process, the more leaders and their workforce will connect, the faster they will move between thinking and acting, the more workable plans will become, the more acceleration in the execution process, and the more everyone will be committed to reaching a common goal.