Senior leaders looking to effect organisational change can serve as champions of that change, provided that they go system-wide and motivate people to learn and change, create the conditions for them to apply what they’ve studied, foster immediate improvements in individual and organisational effectiveness, and put in place systems that help sustain the learning. To make it work correctly, we need to acknowledge that an organisation is not simply an aggregation of individuals.
If you believe that, then, by that logic, you also believe that people must be selected for and developed with the “right” knowledge, skills, and attitudes in order to improve the institution’s effectiveness and performance. However, that model of development doesn’t acknowledge that organisations are systems of interacting elements. Roles, responsibilities, and relationships are defined by organisational structure, processes, leadership styles, people’s professional and cultural backgrounds, and HR policies and practices.
Together, all these elements drive organisational behaviour and performance. If the system does not change, it will not support and sustain individual behaviour change — indeed, it will set people up to fail.
How are you mitigating against such failure?