When I encounter organisations that are in regulatory trouble or under some kind of governance supervision I am often struck by the lack of concern for and focus on getting the basics right.
You’re an organisation, company or body that does something. Why are you in regulatory trouble? Because you (the organisation) haven’t been doing what you are supposed to. Perhaps the management eye has gone off the ball, the leadership has failed or the bod at the top may claim to have vision but lacks the sense and ability to remain focused on the basics. Whatever the reason, there’s a supervisory body watching intently.
It isn’t rocket science. Really. It doesn’t take an MBA, Dip. Ed, MSc, PhD, MCSE or any other qualification to see this. All it takes is common sense.
You’re in the mire, being watched from above by people with the hatchet and the power to swing it. You are the leader, the one on the front line expected to turn things around or help turn them off. What do you do?
Your first answer should be “Get everyone working together on a common goal”
How do you do this?
Your first answer should be “Provide clarity of purpose. This is where we are, this is where we want to go and this is how we’re going to get there.”
Your second answer should be “Keep things clear, keep things simple, focus on the basics.”
Your third answer should be “Providing leadership by example”
Remember, it isn’t rocket science.
Clear leadership does not involve taking ideas from anyone who might know a thing or two about your sector and dropping them on colleagues as fait accomplis.
Clear leadership does not involve bringing so many people in and giving them titles so the chain of command (who does what and who is accountable for what) becomes distorted.
Clear leadership does not involve trying new ideas just because you read them in the dentist’s waiting room or heard about them at the pub.
Clear leadership does not involve refusing to admit when a new idea was fouled up and putting another idea on top of it rather than going back to the original.
It really isn’t rocket science.
Clear leadership is about providing clarity. Who does what, who has what authority, who is accountable for what and how the final goal is to be achieved.
Clear leadership is about clear thinking, clear structures, clear responsibilities, clear requirements and a clear way forward.
Clear leadership achieves a workforce committed to achieving the final goal.
If you don’t concentrate on your basics then you won’t have a clear structure for improvement. You won’t get out of whatever supervisory regime you are in. You will fail.
Just for the record, I have been there. I have been part of pulling an organisation out of the mire. Damned hard work. We got there through clear leadership which provided focus and clarity.
It’s not rocket science but it seems to be beyond so many leaders.