Let’s now focus on the role of an executive, manager or leader:
“The boss is dead, long live the leader”, said Jean François Zobrist, the pioneer of free enterprise, with whom I had the honour of working with 25 years ago for several years.
The boss is the authority with status, the leader is the authority with competency and direction.
This role of leader has fascinated me for 30 years, as a manager, leader, leader of leaders and coach of leaders. I have observed that most of the time, the starting point for any successful “Permanent Reinvention®” is based on the ability of a leader or a team of leaders to integrate this fourfold role:
- Knowing and identifying the major challenges facing your organisation is what I call the “Essentials”. They are factual: they may be economic, it may be about rejuvenating an organisation, it may be about making savings. They are, by their very essence, small in number. The efficacy of “Permanent Reinvention®” is the result of concentrating on the essentials, working on these essentials and ultimately in the choice of what is essential. It is the leader’s biggest responsibility to know his essentials.
- Changing from being an authoritarian boss to a true leader means identifying what, essentially, lies in the values of the organisation, in its culture. Acting within the culture of a group must be the leader’s no. 1 objective to lead the group into “Permanent Reinvention®”.
- Absolutely refraining from acting on the “how”, leaving your teams and players to get on with it, and providing them with the tools, means and resources to foster decision making, responsibility and the capacity for innovation. I dream of the day when, for example, the government will put unions, regional government officers, teachers, business leaders, etc. together in the same room, in a single, relevant and simple area (in one region, for instance) and say to them: “We want to reduce the percentage of young people dropping out of education from the current 15% to 3% in 2 years. We are giving you this responsibility for action, no reports, no studies …. just do it!”
- Finally, don’t let it go. It is vital to adopt this triple attitude:
- An absolute requirement for action – There is no room for postmen and complainers, only players count.
- Kindness for everyone, the men and women who have chosen to be players, because the results will ultimately depend solely on the encouragement they receive – Encouraging them is a key factor in success.
- Finally, observe, compare and follow up all experiments carried out so that everyone can benefit from the information and good practice found here and there, measure, help to reproduce or transfer and promote each other’s success.
This crisis is a fabulous opportunity to change our views of the world.
We are a country of 65 million, there are hundreds or thousands of us in medium-sized companies, millions in our SMEs, this is why setting up #Permanent _Reinvention means taking the happy risk of multiplying players, it is taking the happy risk of an unbelievable energy.
It is trusting others and trusting ourselves.
Dare to try “Permanent Reinvention®”.