Week 9 DiscussionCOLLAPSE
Building a Growth Culture
In his article, Schwartz lists four individual and organizational components needed to build a growth culture at an organization. Pick two of the four components that could be improved at your workplace. Explain what is missing or ineffective in those two areas at your organization. Then, describe some specific steps that HR could take to improve those two components over the next one to two years.
Post your initial response by Wednesday, midnight of your timezone, and reply to at least 2 of your classmates’ initial posts by Sunday, midnight of your timezone.
RE: Week 9 DiscussionCOLLAPSE
Schwartz’s article ties in very well with what Simon Sinek calls the infinite game. According to him, performance culture has leaders with finite mindsets, based on metrics that are defined by the leaders and not a reflection of what business actually should be. According to him having an infinite mindset unleashes the potential of the employees much more than the pressure of meeting targets that leaders conjure up with no logic (1).
The two components that jumped out at me are “a feeling of safety” and “continuous learning.”
Component 1: A feeling of safety
Our organisation is relatively small. Every little action is unfiltered from the top, and therefore if the actions are negative, it has a big impact on the organisation. In our case, our CEO has not created a safe environment for firstly her executive managers and as a knock-on effect, the rest of the employees. The main reason I have identified is that she sits in an ivory tower, and decisions are made based on her opinions and very little consultation. According to the lecture notes of this week, trust is a key element to the successful culture of an organisation (2). It’s evident that our CEO does not trust her management team, and the result is that three top managers over the past three weeks have resigned. The lecture notes continue to explain that up to 75% of people resign because of their boss, and in this case, it’s evident (2).
There are three:
- Trust – Our CEO is relatable on a social level, but extremely removed in the workplace. She needs to start trusting her managers’ expertise and allow them to make decisions for their team, based on their insights.
- Vulnerable – The CEO and then the executive managers should make themselves more vulnerable. Admitting their mistakes, not hiding behind it and not blame-shifting. If our CEO would engage with the employees and sincerely admit the challenges we’ve face during this year, it will go a long way
- Available – Even though the executive managers are available, the CEO is far removed from the organisation. This can be overcome by a simple walk of the floor and casual discussions with team members, instead of “hiding” in her office.
Component 2 – Continuous learning
Judgement, gossip and lack of transparency are rife in the organisation. According to Schwartz, this is the antithesis of what continuous learning is (1). Lack of transparency and inter-departmental rivalry causes rifts amongst people, which has not been addressed by leaders. Rumours spread regularly and especially in this period after the three executive managers have resigned, there is speculation over why etc., which has not been addressed by the CEO. There’s a real lack of communication on her behalf, and that has led people to worry about their own future and that of the organisation. It stifles learning and innovation because people are too afraid to share their thinking or ideas.
Schwartz says inquiry, curiosity and transparency is the right approach (2). Our organisation should start with transparency which will go a long way to thwart the rumour mill. To do that, constant communication by the executive managers should happen as a follow on by managers. A quick email from the CEO that looks cold and clinical does not do the job. Discussions should happen, and feedback on matters should be encouraged. This is something Satya Nadella implemented at Microsoft when he took over the CEO position. According to the London School of Business, Nadella said that they needed to prioritise innovation that is centred on their core values of empowering users and organisations to do more (3). The way he wanted to do that was through instilling a growth mindset in his organisation, by doing that he turned Microsoft around and innovation soared. Empathy, transparency and the openness to learn from failures were are the forefront of creating a safe space for employees to thrive. Through that Schwartz exclaims that you can liberate an infinite amount of energy from your employees (2).
- Sinek, S. 2018. New York Times Events. The Infinite Game. From the website https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tye525dkfi8
- Schwartz, T. 2018. HBR. Create a Growth Culture Not a Performance-Obsessed One
- Herminia Ibarra, Aneeta Rattan & Anna Johnston. June 2018. Satya Nadella at Microsoft: Instilling a growth mindset. London Business School
RE: Week 9 DiscussionCOLLAPSE
Pick two of the four components that could be improved at your workplace. Explain what is missing or ineffective in those two areas at your organization. Then, describe some specific steps that HR could take to improve those two components over the next one to two years.
Pick two of the four components that could be improved at your workplace.
I chose continuous feedback and feeling safe.
Explain what is missing or ineffective in those two areas of your organization.
In our organization, they both are missing consistency in the two items. They often start continuous feedback about a topic and never really care what the response is, and there is no change. The only thing we hear is a promise of change and then get no answer. The feeling safe part comes with particular limits. There are unspoken rules in the office that you must do to feel safe. There is a lot of tiptoeing around people to make sure you feel safe in my book. That is not feeling safe at all. The employees use to use the union to feel safe, but now the union is not very strong as they use to be.
Then, describe some specific steps that HR could take to improve those two components over the next two years.
The steps I believe they can do over the next few years could be having meetings quarterly and have people do more forward feeding (1). The more you look at the past, the longer the company will point fingers and do nothing. Instead, there need to be more hard examples and action to show what the goal should officially be. The plan needs to be very tangible and measurable for every one (2). The more people see that the upper management cares, the better it will get all over the office. The more you include the employees in the solution, the more the improvements will happen.
For the office to do better on feeling safe, I would show the employees that they are safe in voicing the candid opinions. The more forthcoming the employees are, the better they would be to improve the office’s problems. They can also show that management is actively listening. They can make their employees feel safe by reuniting the union and having the union, and there are diversity and inclusion in everything they do (3). The sense of belonging makes people feel safe.
- Jack Welch. (2008). Winning.