In its most recently published article – commissioned from the internationally known writer on business-related learning and development issues, Bob Little - Engage in Learning examines problem-solving techniques that can prove effective, notably with regard to three key issues for leaders: change, teambuilding and communication.
“Today’s rapid pace of change means that organisations are altering their strategies, structures, systems, boundaries and expectations,” Bob Little explains. “This contributes to our uncertainty about the future and poses problems for those charged with introducing, maintaining and/or leading change within their organisations – and ensuring that it’s successful.
“While uncertainty provokes fear, anxiety and a sense of loss, those in leadership positions must face their own fears and find ways to enable people in their organisations to co-create new ways forward and to let go of old habits and identities.”
Bob advocates removing blame-centred approaches to problem solving, supporting leaders in feeling less ashamed about ‘not knowing all the answers’ and enabling them to either reach for help or experiment with more connected ways of behaving. He believes that, “One of the benefits of uncertainty and change is that they can provoke active engagement, enthusiasm and highly creative responses from people.”
In Bob’s view, those leading and managing the change must balance three key dimensions:
- Developing and delivering business outcomes,
- Enabling people and the organisational culture to adapt emotionally, and
- Mobilising influence, authority and power to achieve the desired result.
He explains that there are four schools of thought when considering getting individuals to change:
- The behavioural approach - changing behaviours through reward and punishment.
- The cognitive approach - achieving results through positive reframing (goal setting and coaching to achieve results). So, it’s our brain-controlled view of the world, not our behaviour, which determines our approach to change.
- The psychodynamic approach - understanding and relating to the inner world of change.
- The humanistic psychological approach - believing in development and growth and, so, maximising potential. It emphasises healthy development; healthy authentic relationships and healthy organisations.
Each of these approaches has advice for those leading organisational change, says Bob:
- Get your reward strategies right (behavioural)
- Link goals to motivation (cognitive)
- Treat people as individuals and understand their emotional states as well as your own (psychodynamic)
- Be authentic and believe that people want to grow and develop (humanistic)
“To lead and manage change successfully, other things need to be in place too,” adds Bob. “You need a team, with well-thought-out roles and committed people who’re ‘in for the duration’ – not just for the ‘kick-off’. Moreover, the timing must be right and followers must accept the leader’s vision.”
Bob’s article goes on to look at how to build effective teams – and how to develop the communication skills that are required to do this.
Kate Carter, Engage in Learning’s Operations and Marketing Manager, commented, “Bob possesses a wealth of business experience – and writing talent. His articles are both informative and thought-provoking. We’re delighted to have him writing for us.”
The full article is available at: https://blog.engageinlearning.com/blog/leadership-and-problem-solving. Further details about Engage in Learning’s growing portfolio of e-learning materials are available at: https://www.engageinlearning.com/