Recapture The Excitement

Recapture The Excitement

I was in Georgia running a “Thought Leadership Pod” for a national technology company. We had mid-level managers from all the various departments. It is not usual that you find such a diverse group of business people at one workshop, however, during this event, we were asked by senior leadership to uncover the level of corporate entrepreneurship.

Designed A Custom Survey

As we normally do, we designed and sent out a custom survey with a variety of questions in order to understand their companies “Corporate Entrepreneurial Quotient.” What we found is that the level of excitement regarding their areas of business was almost non-existent. This surprised the leadership, since they stated that at their department meetings people seemed to be excited about their job and the company as a whole.

The Results Were Interesting

More than 75% of the managers that have been in their position more than 2 years had lost their excitement for what they do. They were just doing what they were told to do and found their excitement outside of work. The results were the same across the board, from sales to accounting. 60% felt that they had no ability to change the way things were done. 80% of the managers that handled virtual teams felt that their position was challenging and kept them motivated. 95% of the managers stated that the company says they want change, but when it comes to delivery, it falls short .

It Was A Tough Group

When the question came up in the thought leadership pod, as to how they planned on getting the spark back, some responded they would take a vacation and then it would be better (but only for about a week), but most of them had no response at all. Through our proven process of getting the participants to share their corporate wisdom we were able to stimulate some great conversation and uncover some very interesting underlying issues that that company had hidden below a layer of corporate politeness.

The Root Cause Became Obvious

After working through the department mind-maps. Discussing how various departments and their actions are linked to other departments. Then discussing concepts such as “fingerpointerosus,” comparison obsession, sub-optimized P&L’s and more, the 4 root causes were identified.

  • Senior Management expected change, but did not give the managers the time or training on how to make it happen.
  • They did not see how the change related to their goals or the goals of their teams. It was only for the company goal.
  • When a manager would try and change something, in many situation it would cause other teams and departments more work
  • Managers began to circumvent the companies technology infrastructure, causing lack of interconnected systems (i.e. using spreadsheets as programs)

Here Is How They Got Their Excitement Back

Once the root causes were identified, they had to develop a way to overcome these issues and implement change in a positive way. Just identifying the root causes created a sense of relief and then excitement about how to create a “real” culture of corporate entrepreneurship. This group of managers that started off with nothing to say, turned into a group of exited employees thinking outside the box, working together, and experiencing a mutual benefit culture that brought their excitement back to their work experience.

The Tools

They also needed to leave the two-day experience with the tools necessary and the knowledge how to use them when they got back to their daily activities. The following are some of the tools the left with:

  • Mind Mapping – Entrepreneurialway Consulting Group’s (ECG) unique approach to this decades old tool makes it easy for a manager to use with their team on large and small projects
  • SWOT analysis – ECG has customized this process improvement tool and made it an integral part of the creative approach to implement change and process improvement
  • Delphi Survey – this survey technique allows for team or department to have input into change and understand that it is a team decision
  • Conflict Resolution – a simple, but effective process for dealing with employees that are adverse to change
  • Corporate Wisdom – this is a way to get employees to share their best practices
  • Ongoing Thought Leadership Pods – ECG has created a quick hit POD, and a long term POD
  • Time Management – this is a tool designed to make sure that employees have the time and resources needed to implement and develop new processes or ideas
  • S.M.A.R.T. Platform Filter – this tool acts as a filter for all activities to ensure that all employees are aware and will engage in any change

I did caution the managers:

  • Don’t try to control the your team to do things your way
  • The only way to keep your excitement, is to give up control and not judge your teams actions
  • Enthusiasm is contagious…be the spark

It is important to remember what Corporate Entrepreneurial Leaders say:

We increase innovation, efficiency, profit, revenue and develop leaders through the culture we create. We and our teams, fear nothing, appreciate everything and know that what we need, we already have!

Marc Gilenson, author of “The Entrepreneurialway”

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