Management 101:common sense dictates that leaders model the right values. Managing culture change is heavy lifting made even more difficult when leaders aren’t actively modeling transformational behavior and innovative thinking.
If you search the phrase “leaders modeling values”, you get MILLIONs of hits. This well researched, foundational concept is pervasive in business publications, leadership literature and coursework…so why don’t more leaders have success leading culture change?
If you draw the distinction that transactional leadership focuses on a short horizon and bottom line results and transformation includes innovation and a longer term adaptation…you really need both to effectively lead today? That’s the rub.
Pressure for productivity focuses on transactional behavior. Transactional activity revolves around fine tuning the system. Transformation, or culture change is different because it focuses on adaptive challenges. Adaptive problems are rooted in behavior change. Managers who only model transactional priorities reinforce the unstated reality that behavior change is a nice to have, but not fundamental to new solutions.
Modeling Culture Change
Urgency drives transactional behavior. If you spend 90% of your time reacting to urgent priorities…even if you are concerned about the future…you are not modeling behavior that supports change or transformation.
Managing Culture Change Defies Easy Metrics
Bottom line metrics are tied to transactional results. Transactions are easier to measure. There’s generally not a metrics box for transformational leadership disciplines. If you want innovative thinking, how are you personally modeling culture change?
- Are you cultivating outside sources for new ways of thinking?
- How are you supporting a learning culture?
- Is your influence directive or inspirational?
- What are you doing to reach beyond today?
You can effectively balance transactional and transformational priorities…but you may need to make personal changes to do it effectively.
Transformational leadership styles incorporate processes that are unique to innovative thinking.
This is one of those times when intellectually knowing how to lift 200 pounds isn’t the same as doing what it takes to accomplish it. Find a transformational coach who can help you accelerate your innovation fitness.
Someone who will spot you and be that neutral sounding board as you incorporate these additional disciplines.