“People bring ideas to life. People execute strategy. People rethink what’s broken and make improvements to things that need to be fixed.” Lawrence Bossid.

During the School of Practical Business at Harvest Institute, Worship Harvest Ministries under the Strategic Leadership and Strategic Management Module, I had the opportunity to share the assignment for the business leaders to work on that spoke into leading people.

Below is the assignment I share. Can you examine yourself on it and see how you would fair?

A friend of mine who I will call Maya, is a young business owner with a background in tech startups. The world has become increasingly VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous), hence her company changing from the rigid hierarchy and outdated strategies of leadership. Maya knew that a time like this would come and had been preparing herself by reading books that spoke to her foreseen problems.

These books included Team of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal which suggests that organizations should move away from traditional command-and-control structures and head towards more collaborative and interconnected teams to navigate the modern world’s complexities. With this understanding, Maya has created cross-functional teams with members from different departments.

Through the above, she hopes it will break down communication barriers and foster a shared vision among her team members. This is an idea inspired by Patrick Lencioni’s “The Advantage” which speaks to the importance of organizational health and how it can provide a competitive advantage. In the book, Maya found Patrick’s model to focus on four disciplines to achieve organizational health: Developing a cohesive leadership team, Creating strategic clarity, Communicating that clarity throughout the organization, and Reinforcing strategy through systems and ways of working. However, there has been resistance. Members are expressing feelings of fear of losing their jobs and others are struggling with collaborating effectively.

Remembering the importance of trust in Lencioni’s “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” Maya plans to host team-building exercises that encourage open communication and vulnerability. She tells me that she will emphasize psychological safety first, where team members will be led to feel comfortable sharing ideas without fear of judgment. She believes that with this, walls will begin to crumble. Maya is now strongly invested in the dysfunctions Patrick mentions as she prepares for team building which include Absence of trust, Fear of conflict, Lack of commitment, Avoidance of accountability, and Inattention to results.

I am praying and believe that Maya will have a solid team after the team building which is built on Listening, Understanding, Trust, Empowerment, and Refinement.

As a business owner and leader in a VUCA world,

1.      From Maya’s story, how are you fostering a culture of trust and psychological safety within your teams?

2.      How do you assess whether your team members share a sense of accountability for achieving company goals? If there is a lack of involvement, what methods could you implement to enhance their engagement and communication about these goals?

3.      How do you empower your team members to make decisions and take initiative? Is there encouragement for healthy debate and diverse perspectives to foster innovation and adaptability in a changing environment?

4.      How do you promote a continuous learning culture within your organization? What opportunities do you provide for your team members to develop their skills and stay ahead of industry trends?

Patricia Kahill

Patricia Kahill is a multipotentialite Christian entrepreneur, Content Marketing Coach and founder of the Content Marketing agency, Kahill Insights that helps business owners create engaging and interactive content items for digital platforms with a focus on returning a desired outcome. Patricia was the producer of SlamDunk Basketball Talk a show on House of Talent online TV, a former fellow at Harvest Institute for leadership and now an assessor there, and an alumnus of the YELP class of 2017. A member of the BNI Integrity chapter and African Women Entrepreneur Cooperative. She is driven by passion and curiosity, been taking every opportunity that has been given to her with an ambition of stamping her footprint on the world.

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