It is said time and time again in many organizations, “people are our greatest asset and our people are what matter”. While I truly believe that leaders and executives have all the best intentions behind these statements, the reality is actions may at times leave the people (the very ones claimed to be so invaluable) disengaged, confused, and frustrated.
My experience inside many highly successful, highly respected and well intended organizations has led me to observe some interesting factors as to what contributes to or detracts from an organizations greatest asset being engaged, self- motivated and self-accountable and what allows for some to build successful cultures and teams while others struggle.
Organizations, no matter how advanced it’s technologies, processes, products and services, have one thing in common… people. People are varied, diverse, unique and at times unpredictable. Each of us has our own special blueprint (very much like each of our own fingerprints… not one of us is alike). At the same time each of us want to feel respected, valued, and connected to a purpose and to others. In other words, we want to matter, but what drives one person towards action may differ from another, what leads to engaging someone may be the very thing that disengages another.
The dilemma, as I have seen it, is well intended organizations want to tap into the unique individuals while at the same time have a common approach, focus and goals. All while needing to make a profit and/or produce some service or product in an increasingly fast paced environment.
Unlike sports organizations where most of the time and energy is spent practicing for “game time”, most other places it is game time all the time with little time for practice (developing, growing and learning). However, it seems, those organizations that take the time to know and develop their talent, who take the time to communicate effectively and assure people fully understand the why and what and how they fit, who invest in the relationships between one another and allow for understanding motivations and leveraging all of the abilities, styles and behaviors in a manner that supports the common mission and goals, are the ones who thrive.
So the question is…. how much time are you giving to practice?