Do you know who the change makers in your organization are? Take a minute and see. Often these are lower-level supervisors and or mid-level managers, not the top-level executives, VPs and other high positioned leaders. Change is often generated and lead by those you might least expect to make huge differences.
Last week, I conducted a six hour Strengths Training session for yet another Health Net department. Thanks to the input and generosity of one their Supervisors, Diane Baxter, the training turned out to be most effective. The rate of learning went beyond the VP's and even my own expectations. Diane started the Strength Finder test and training for herself and her staff less than two years ago. Due to her initiative and passion for this very effective training, Health Net has trained many department heads and team members and gained more effectiveness and team cohesiveness. Diane leads a team of about 16 people and with her busy schedule she offered to provide input to make my latest training for Health Net, which was for a completely different department than hers, much more focused and effective. To emphasize her strong belief in the Strengths training, with excitement in her eyes, she said, "Manijeh if the training has tangible results, it will take on like wild fire. All departments will see that they would work so much more effectively together and will bring you in."
Here is How to Identify Change Makers in Your Organization & Leverage Their Talent:
The first step is identification. If you are a top level executive, take time to look below and across the chart. As teams and departments are tasked with deliverables and specific goals, they also must come up with effective ways to achieve them. Many teams often find ways to do it faster, better, with higher quality and least amount of waste or stress. Unfortunately, many of these ways go undocumented and unshared.
(Don't tell, Ask)- Ask questions about what extra curricular activities are going on in each department. What mid-level managers are doing to motivate and engage their people to do better and reach their goals. Bring a few of them in and ask what their secret to success is. You may be surprised to find that the secrete to their success may be an adjunct to what the organization prescribed.
Evaluate if the kind of training or method they are using is duplicable, such as the Strength Finder training in Diane Baxter's case.
Ask if they are willing to make themselves formal agents of change and promote the implementation of their findings to other departments, like Diane has done. This may be done as formally or informally as possible. If you decide to announce the change and have the whole organization to implement it, have the person who tried it first and made it work to be the voice for it. For, she has proof and feels confident in the change.
And finally, if you are mid-level managers and supervisors, do make friends with others at your level in other departments, even if you do not directly work with those departments. Find out what they are doing that makes their work higher quality, faster or creates Trust, Compassion, Hope and Stability for their team. According to Gallup findings Trust, Compassion, Hope and Stability are the top four needs followers have from their leaders to fulfill.
Always, do your work with curiosity and openness.
Dr. Manijeh Motaghy, PsyD. OMC