TALES OF CONTRAST IN TWO COMPANIES: LEADERSHIP SUCCESS THROUGH OBJECTIVE COACHING CONCEPTS
By W. Michael King, Ph.D.
Dark economic clouds have gathered over the past several years, developing into a storm that has dispensed angst and turmoil throughout the business corporate world. Management, responding with a battle cry and often unprepared for the turmoil, resorts to downsizing, mergers, restructuring, and cutting overhead by reducing staff: all weapons of survival against the economic storm. These weapons leave in their wake confusion, mistrust, and undefined goals with often a loss of stability and lowered perceived value for the enterprise. Undefined goals signify an uncertain future.
Today’s world economy is in the midst of massive transformation at almost every level including labor utilization, productivity, finance, the structure of business organization, marketing, energy, the environment, and affordable housing; to name a few critical areas. Solving these momentous challenges will take new unconventional approaches and innovative “out of the box thinking” that might have been never utilized before to solve them.
Imagine the following economic scenario:
Managements are generally under increased shareholder and Wall-Street pressure to protect the share value. Declining economic liquidity causes a global bear market to develop. The company’s stock price has seriously declined. The pride and confidence that employees once had has crashed because their stock options are now underwater and hope for improvement is tentative.
Corporate Example #1: Philosophy “Survival: Save the Bottom Line”
Yielding to shareholder pressure, management becomes fixated with response to only the bottom line. Significant layoffs have cut overhead down to the bone. Any expense that does not translate immediately to the bottom line is prohibited, including new product development. Confused and in fear, leaders do not know what to develop for the future. Employees, already demoralized, live in fear of the next layoff.
Management praises itself for dramatically increased “productivity” and an improved bottom line, but in fact the “productivity” gain is an illusion. People are working long hours and are hanging on in fear. Employees feel trapped, bound to hold onto employment. Corporate leadership is challenged to improve their bottom line, holding costs as they struggle for continued growth. Growth requires investment, and in the short term investment subtracts from the bottom line.
The failures of leadership in this example are manifest: the top line is sacrificed to the obsession for the bottom line; communication with overstressed employees for goals and inspiration, even in management, is minimal; hope for growth in the future is muddied since survival is the only perceived goal.
The sum of all components of the business operation and organization are in effect, less than the value of the employees who are only trying to survive with their work-ethic confined.
Corporate Example #2: Philosophy “Opportunity: Prepare for the Future”
Management recognizes the challenge of the significant stress presented by both the top line and the bottom line. The economic decline is obvious to everyone and reports of layoffs and downsizing by competitors seems as ominous signs for the future.
Rather than jumping into a reflexive action to “save the bottom line,” the leadership in management senses the weaknesses in the market and the downsizing of competition as an opportunity. By analyzing the balance sheets and activity of each department/division, a concept of reorganization to promote the most efficient operation of the business for the future is developed. The leadership of this corporation embodies the principles of Gestalt!
A corporate-wide meeting is called for all employees. The harsh reality of the times is presented in terms everyone understands.Employees are notified of a reorganization plan that will avoid corporate-wide layoffs, position the company for the future, and this brings common-purpose and inspiration throughout the enterprise.
The reorganization goal positions staff to develop new products, services, and marketing strategies. The bottom line is reduced while remaining mildly positive.Because of the commitment to succeed, employees are motivated, and as they adjust to the new reality of their circumstance, they are inspired and work toward a common-goal. The sum of all components is greater in combination than the individual efforts.
Results: Fast Forward to the Future. Corporation Example #1
After the economy stabilizes and liquidity moves to the upside, the Example #1 Corporation experiences no growth in the top line. Management fixation only on the bottom line has left the remaining employees demoralized and unmotivated. The corporation has survived, but people have been worked into the ground and would jump to another company as soon as possible. The top line has suffered immensely, and now with economic recovery at hand, Example #1 has nothing new to offer – they are marketing the products and services of the past. The decline never recovers to the former position.
Corporation Example #2
Example #2 Corporation is on a roll to a great future. The top line starts to greatly improve since they are prepared for the new upturn with the right products and services at the right time. The bottom line soon follows up, just as promised.The expectations of growth are sensed by the analysts of Wall Street, and stock options are no longer underwater. Employees are jubilant, motivated, and inspired. The business achieves a new ramp of growth, and they use the growth to increasingly stay on top of market-customer directions with a parade of new products and services.
The corporation is moving forward as a whole with common-purpose, intact, and inspired with optimism. This positive motion, actualized, is the result of synergy. The pathway to synergy is through a process known as Gestalt!
The Role and Implementation of Coaching; Executive Confidant: Approach and Concepts
Integration theory holds that psychological, physiological, and behavioral phenomena are irreducible experiential configurations not derivable from a simple summation of perceptual elements such as sensation and response. Psychologists found concepts to be perceived as a pattern or a whole rather than merely as a sum of distinct component parts. The parts often derive their nature and purpose from the whole and cannot be understood apart from it. A corporation can be viewed as a purposeful cloud formed for inspired common goals put into motion by the inspiration of leadership, orchestrated in harmony through executive integration processes. Comprehensive leadership, guiding and navigating, offers a unique perspective and new leadership approach to frame today’s very complex business challenges, so that they can be most effectively solved with accountability. Similar to how Einstein’s simple mass-energy equivalence equation E=mc2 was conceived, only through new levels of thinking, breakthroughs and new understanding we call Quantum Physics were necessary to solve finally comprehend the magnificence Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity . So, by projection in today’s very dynamic technologically driven global economy, new approaches to leadership and management are necessary to prosper and be competitive. The success examples of entirely new industries and their leaders like GOOGLE, Facebook, Zappos, and Netflix happen because of inspired vision, creating businesses that did not exist before.
The same Leadership and Management approaches that worked successfully in optimizing vertical marketing and production organizations in the 1980’s-2000’s will be marginally effective in leading change when immersed in a social media cloud connected globally as wireless internet infrastructure of amorphously connected virtual entities and organizational structures.
THE PROCESS page describes implementation for your review.
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