I’ve lost count of the number of long-serving employees at client companies who’ve told me that my programme has been the first time they have really been involved in creating the future for themselves and for their employer.
The main restraining factor is fear on the part of the executives: scared of wasting time and money; scared of “it” not working; and scared of being held accountable. My message to executives is be careful what you wish for. If you think engagement won’t work, then it won’t. Your mindset will be totally wrong.
The other fear factor, mixed in with a bit of ego, is the fear of losing control. There are quite a few executives who at least enjoy the illusion of being in control and it is this illusion that prevents them from allowing anyone else to possibly outshine them. After all, it IS their job to come up with all the good ideas isn’t it…?
The problem is, that unless an organisation is really ready for an all hands meeting it will not be able to digest the outputs from the meeting in a constructive manner. Best not to do it then? If I couldn’t add 1% of sales to net profit as a result of an appropriately designed all hands meeting, I’d be sorely disappointed. What is it costing your organisation, not to do this?
The coach has two roles here, to assuage the fears of the executives whilst creating the environment for the success of both employees and executives. One big tip: include all the disciplines, particularly purchasing. Like engineers, these guys are uniquely placed to evaluate the costs and benefits of ideas on the spot.