Achieving and sustaining high performance requires improving three aspects of the organization: the systems, the culture, and the individuals. Change that is imposed upon people seldom works. And, when it does work, it is often only for a short time. When people are involved in determining the necessary changes, there is a greater probability of the changes being implemented and sustained. But how do you get people to engage in determining the changes that are necessary to create a high performing organization that creates sustainable value for the multiple stakeholders? You have to create an environment of trust and teamwork.
Research suggests that successful organization transformations are led by individuals who treat all people in the organization with respect (Latham, 2013). Respect had a positive influence on trust which was a key characteristic of organization culture. The combination of respect and trust created an environment that encouraged collaboration and teamwork. Consequently, the changes that were necessary to achieve high performance were designed and developed through collaboration, giving the participants a sense of ownership in the strategies and solutions. This sense of ownership, combined with trust among the team members, created an environment for excellence in execution and customer service.
Great concepts, but how do you create trust and teamwork? In the short video below, Simon Sinek describes how leaders create an environment of trust and teamwork. He uses several examples including selfless acts of military heroes. In this video, he talks about how we give medals to military members who sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others and contrasts this with business, where we give bonuses to leaders who sacrifice others for themselves. When asked why people sacrificed themselves for others, Sinek found a common response, “because they would have done it for me.” How do you create an organization where people sacrifice themselves for others? Become a servant leader and put your people before yourself! Enjoy the video.
Latham, J. R. (2013). A framework for leading the transformation to performance excellence part II: CEO perspectives on leadership behaviors, individual leader characteristics, and organizational culture. Quality Management Journal, 20(3), 22. | Download