Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Candid Culture

A candid culture is not built in one day, it takes innovative leadership, decoded human psychology and collective corporate habit. 

Culture is the collective mindset and habit, it is invisible but powerful to either “eat” your strategy or disrupt your execution. It is fundamental to influence on “who you are” as a company, your brand, and reputation. Today’s digital age is full of uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity, how to enforce clear communication and accelerate execution by cultivating a candid culture?

The innovative leadership: The effective leaders are the creative disruptors to break down the status quo in pursuit of clarity and simplicity. So as leaders, if you are not getting what you want from others, the first question you need to ask is, "What hand do I have in provoking the very response I don't want in others?" "How do I have to shift the way I see it and be it?" The leaders should be motivated enough to walk that extra mile and work towards change. Many leaders create barriers through their behaviors, verbal and nonverbal communication. Many leaders struggle with remaining in status quo. In many cases, it appears that the reason for the change was the outcome of "desperation with the present and hope for a better future". Does it mean that change can only happen when somebody reaches an extreme point? The effective leaders will build the habit of continuous improvement, enhance the cross-functional, candid communication, and make things as simple as possible, not simpler, as the substance of leadership will directly impact the business cultural agility.

 The psychology of human brain: This aligns with the organizing principle of the human brain. We experience threat and reward and neuroscience has shown us that bad is stronger than good. If someone has done you a "bad" thing, it's going to take between 3-5 "goods" to begin to mitigate the bad effect and begin to move toward the approach or reward side. The workforce had a history of experiencing threat from the empty words and aggressive behaviors of the past; they are not easily forgotten by the emotional brain and long-term memory. The thing about the emotional brain is that you can't command it to feel something like safety. The emotional brain learns by experiencing something over and over again....good or bad. It then stores that memory. The more you have a good experience with someone in a certain situation, the more that gets wired. The more that new way of feeling and seeing a certain situation or person in that situation gets wired for "approach" or "safe" the more that will be what the person feels. 

The atmosphere of candid communication: It is so important to develop an atmosphere with effective and candid communication. It is important to foster an environment where feedback and communication is based on reality and not simply what senior management wants to hear. This could be Principles based leadership with a lot of importance to the leader as role model and real benchmark to subordinates. Of course, this path would be difficult. It is worth. Which also means the leader is self-reliant and will make his/her subordinates also self-reliant. Though being candid doesn’t mean being rude or lack of empathy; it means to point out the issues or share the insight, but also be thoughtful to apply the good communication style and business manner skillfully.

A candid culture isn't built in a day; it takes innovative leadership and long term strategy. Change the culture is the mindset though you can’t impose the desired culture to your organization, surely you can follow the principles and mechanism listed above to transform your culture, and make candid communication and continuous improvement as the right attitude, cultivated habit, and your brand.


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