perplexed-manToday in Australia anyone who has roles in managing and leading organisations face many challenges; from achieving bottom-line outcomes in relatively short time-frames dealing with perpetual change to their respective environments and lastly but not least how to work with people. This is against the backdrop of difficult economic times both here at home and in overseas markets.
In such circumstances it has been traditional when confidence is low is to batten down the hatches that’s to say reduce expenditure and wait till the storm passes expecting normal conditions will be eventually restored. Unfortunately that strategy in today’s world may not be effective due to the competitive nature how business now operates, the key is to find new ways and strategies that allow the organisation not only to survive but also to grow.
In the case of people we have witnessed significant behaviour change and we can expect more in the coming years rather than using the word managing it will be replaced by the terms working relationship, collaboration and consultation. I am aware this statement will not necessarily be well received by some but to say otherwise would be misleading and a mistruth, we will never go back to how it used to be.
It is not to say accountability and responsibility will disappear but it will be negotiated in a different form which matches a new generational environment. The highest importance of respect, relationships and trust still must not be sacrificed, it is how we communicate it that is required to be reconsidered.
The winners in this race will be those who believe in building a sustainable organisational culture which they truly believe in, those who understand the changes to recognise how to connect with their people and once again develop a reasonable level of trust which is somewhat at a low ebb. These are simple principles but evidence suggests many leaders have not got the message as we watch our engagement levels plummet to an all-time low.
The losers will be undoubtedly be those who fail to recognise the need to form a new platform of relationships with their people. Being realistic we will not change the minds of such leaders in the short term. I am afraid there are numbers of the older generation who stubbornly believe that the status quo must remain and they can carry on regardless with no consequences.
In a degree of mitigation of the above leaders there are some issues which are totally out of their control, political instability and behaviours, a burgeoning social and news media which in a lot of situations causes them to act in a defensive manner rather than demonstrating the leadership qualities it warrants. A change in positivity within workplaces will not solely occur by speeches and statements by leaders unfortunately these have been somewhat damaged by the factors above and are falling on the seemingly deaf ears of their employees .It is clearly necessary to examine other paths, as always it will come about by action and clear will and intent.
It will come as no surprise to everyone that the emphasis on leadership is almost a daily topic of conversation and whilst it is acknowledged that we certainly need for that “call to action” it not only in business but in several areas of our society. The” hype” has overtaken the true facts that we are ignoring what we are being told and our speaking skills are overriding our ability to listen.

The dilemma leaders must make a decision on is quite simple.
A) Decide this is too hard to attempt in these tempestuous times and believe they can survive on their long held principles.
B) Make an honest appraisal what is needed, act now to improve your future prospects.

I wish everyone the best of luck whatever decision you make but if I was a gambling man all my resources would be aimed at option A. to achieve the best returns.
Ken Wood
People Specialist.
Ps I am not a gambling man
20th July 2015