In today’s marketplace, disruption is something that’s playing on the minds of most business executives. The thought of a smarter, leaner, faster organisation coming in and stealing all your customers with an innovative new business model can no longer be ascribed to overly-competitive paranoia – it’s now a very possible threat.
While we may live in a world where disruption is now commonplace, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, in more cases than not, disruption causes organisations to evolve and adapt for the better.
But to cope with constant change and disruption, and to seize new business opportunities, organisations need to be agile in their approach. In many organisations, overly-complex systems and structures act as bottlenecks to greater innovation, agility and speed – yet the biggest hold-up we see blocking organisations from achieving success takes place on a cultural level.
Are your people failing to fear or fearing to fail?
Culture plays a huge part in how things get done in your business. It impacts how your people solve problems, approach challenges and respond to change.
And one of the main obstacles stopping people from being innovative, testing out new ideas and achieving success doesn’t stem from a lack of creativity – it often comes down to a fear of failure.
Failing is a part of life, and in a business environment, it’s an often-ignored step on the journey towards success. The ability to learn from failure, determine how to move forward and reach new heights is something that needs to be actively encouraged on a cultural level.
When a project or sales pitch doesn’t go to plan, does your organisational culture enable your people to learn from their mistakes and move forward, or does it stop them from going out on a limb in the future and, instead, opt for safer alternatives?
A recent Gallup survey found that less than one in four employees in France, Germany, Spain and the UK "strongly agree" that their company creates an environment where they can try, fail and learn from their mistakes.
Does your organisation encourage people to take calculated risks, or do you have a culture of fear?
Does your culture celebrate success?
In a busy business environment where things are constantly evolving, it’s easy to let success pass by unnoticed – but a crucial characteristic of an effective culture is one that recognises your people’s achievements.
So, while it’s crucial that you help them get back up when they’re at a low, it’s equally as important to notice them when they’re at a high.
It’s also important for organisations to analyse the reasons behind a win. What attributes led that person or team to succeed? Was it agility, or collaboration, or attention-to-detail? And how can you develop those traits in the wider team?
Having a culture that celebrates success will motivate your people to take calculated risks and, subsequently, invest in the future success of your organisation.
The key: know what you need.
While it’s important for all organisations to encourage their people to learn from failure and be motivated by success, it’s equally as important to be aware of the type of culture your organisation needs going forward.
For instance, if you’re a growing business, you may need an entrepreneurial culture for the next few years or so, but later down the track you might need a steady-state culture that’s focused on the long term, incremental growth of the business.
So, think carefully about the type of culture you are trying to achieve, because your organisational context plays a crucial role in the type of talent your organisation will need.
To help organisations find the right people that thrive in constantly changing business landscapes, our team are in the final stages of delivering a behavioural framework that’s centred around individual agility. This means we’ll soon be able to measure individual insight, personal performance and openness for learning, and provide unique information about the agility factors that may enhance or inhibit a person’s performance. And by assessing how people perceive the business world and how they behave in response to that thinking, we can better understand the pace at which an individual will reach their potential. Our organisational psychologists have also created a coaching offering that’s centred around agility in order to help maximise the time it takes for an individual to reach their potential.