Monday, October 26, 2015

What Positive Policies Look Like?

The positive policies make the right things easy to do by everyone and the wrong things hard to do by everyone.

Generally speaking, the policy is a set of principles for decision making or guidelines to drive behaviors. A policy is implemented via a protocol, process or practice, etc. When having positive policies, what do they look like, and how do they affect organizational performance and maturity?

Policies need to serve a purpose: Just because a policy exists, doesn't mean they will be effective or followed - that takes leadership and commitment. There are some organizations out there that have a plethora of policies and many of them are nothing more than that, just a policy. Stagnant documents filling a binder or a folder on a hard drive do not assist the organization in moving forward. Organizations need to do what their policies say or have the policies say what they do. If not, then the policy is more than likely not needed.

We do need to not just develop positive policies and align actions and attitudes with them: Policies are communication from the top. Owners and Management need to take responsibility and take their leadership position seriously with the educated intention or step into the background out of leadership roles. The sticking point is "not focus on energy on those that don't fit"? Avoid the misleading simplistic view of the corporate culture. It is much more complex than that and problems with culture are driven by many more things than any human "Host." The other sticking point is the misinformation that the problems of the organization are because of one person or one department and if we just surgically remove or extract that culture-killing virus, the organization will be cured and everybody can just go back to normal/status quo. But often the problems that catch our attention in organizations are symptoms of a deeper problem, so just treating the symptom doesn't get to the root cause of the problem.

Culture is the policy: We have to shift gears and mindsets to see the culture of an organization as a collective whole living breathing, a human system composed of uniquely diverse people who have much to offer to grow and develop the culture and the organization. If leaders, do not care about positively growing and developing the people within the organization and act in alignment with that, then no amount of writing positive policies will cure the culture; and the organization will continue to be unhealthy. Band-aids/quick fixes never cure a virus. The cure comes from within the people/ organization- the collective whole, whether individual or a group that we want to change from how they are working by appreciating the right things they are doing and during any discussion maintain the self-respect of the individual and their opinions irrespective of how much we disagree with it. Instead, ask how it will serve the purpose that we are trying to serve. By focusing on the issue instead of the individual, we become a team, an ally to solve a problem. And focus more on the right people and not to waste energy on the wrong people who are contaminating and polluting the true culture. In other words, along with containing/eliminating the virus, our major focus should be more on the health promoters.

What do positive policies look like in action- they look like making the right things easy to do by everyone and the wrong things hard to do by everyone because everyone is on the same playing field despite differences in roles/job titles and such. The policies when based on the purpose of what value the organization delivers to the customers and supported by appropriate systems, technologies, and support to the people, it thrives.


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