Getting a Pro-active & Progressive Attitude Going

Visual Courtesy Scott Adams-Dilbert

Attitude, usually, is defined as our demeanour or daily behaviour. It’s part of the mix that defines our personality and is the key input for us to decide, on the spot, if we like or dislike someone.

In  organisational development a common objective of is to have efficiency within its work flow. Efficiency that enables the organisation to create a  competitive advantage.

Do all organisations succeed in doing this?

Yes & No!

Some organisations manage to successfully have in place work flow processes that enable individuals to, literally, operate like robots! Cost saving and some healthy margins are the rewards for such organisations. But for employees? Well, that’s another post for another day. Other organisations simply lurch on, day-to-day, using processes that resemble some form & structure but in reality it’s just a case of ‘this is how the work is done’.

For any organisation to be successful in achieving its business goals sustainably, year in and year out, having a well thought through strategic direction that is delivered through efficient processes, is vital.

Two key elements come into play :

  1. Clarity in strategic thought  
  2. Work attitude

Firstly, clarity in strategic thought involves clarity of roles and functions that the team needs to have within themselves, cross-functionally and with their leadership, in order to deliver effectively on the planned directions.

Secondly the work attitude, emanating from the culture that’s prevalent, would impact the processes where speed & quality of execution is concerned. Here, having clearly detailed processes, would aid the leadership of the organisation in ensuring deliverables are met. 

BUT these come to nought if the attitude is not a progressive and pro-active one. No matter how good the systems and processes are it all boils down to a human emotional trait called ‘attitude’. Without the individual, attitudinally looking to self-improve and set the benchmark bar higher, no amount of systems and processes can assist in obtaining the desired quality output.

So can an organisation get a pro-active and progressive attitude within its team? Here’s how:

  1. Listen: We hear but do we listen? The corridor chats, the lunch catch-ups and after office tea chats amongst colleagues are reflective of the pulse of the organisation. Catch your key executives off-line and spend a bit of time in listening and understanding what the organisation is feeling.
  2. Empower: We always have accountability and hand in hand with that the responsibility. Whilst these two twins often are the single most reason for acute stress in us, what is lacking at times, is empowerment of the executive i.e. being provided the authority to be a decision maker and be evaluated on that basis. Officially empower your best lieutenants and see the progress that occurs.
  3. Clarity: Check, then re-check and then again cross-check. We’ve all heard that when we have data to analyse or financials to present. Similarly, provide clarity to key people of their role and function and the purpose or reason why it’s them and not others. Repeat as necessary until the recipient is crystal clear on the message you are sending and the result you want.