The end of the year is a time for reflection and in many ways, 2022 was an extraordinary year. In the first quarter we started to see in Singapore and in many other regions a rapid easing of pandemic restrictions and a new dynamic accelerated across many elements of life. In the summer period, travel has resumed for almost everyone. Then, in the second half of the year the business activities seemed to never stop! Indeed, a year full of change!
When I reflect back especially to the last six months, I was surprised that the same topics popped up across my clients at the same time. This gave me a feeling that these are critical concerns for business owners and leaders in the region. Let me briefly describe three themes.
Target Setting - in a number of engagements we started to look at how we can become better at setting goals. The exercise of defining objectives often felt unsatisfactory because the goals were vague and no process in place to regularly review them. One key question to ask: what is the purpose of setting targets?! We need this clarity so we can create a journey that adds value and is effective. In my interactions the biggest benefit is when teams have frequent reminders and conversations about their objectives and key results.
Toxic People - the second theme arose in many conversations and this seems to be an experience in many organisations: a tiny group of people that are creating a negative atmosphere. Two interesting observations: sometimes people are not aware that this is happening in their organisation; and, even seasoned leaders feel overwhelmed by toxic people. Why is this important? The negative vibes are creating stress, blocking creativity, and are dragging down the performance of the entire team. What can we do? In my eyes, three things: a) highlight what are toxic behaviours; b) agree that we don't tolerate this; c) jointly work towards a high-performing team.
From Inertia to Ownership - a last - almost evergreen - theme is that business owners struggle with people that are very comfortable with where they are, happy to follow instructions, hide their ideas and opinions, and don't feel excited about the company's ambitions. And often this is not a small group within an organisation. I like to call this inertia and address it with the concept of impermanence; the world is continuously changing and if we don't follow the change, we will eventually become irrelevant. What is the antidote to this? Develop ownership! Create small spaces (job scope, physical areas, etc.) and give teams the responsibility to improve them with their own ideas and efforts. This is a great way to develop leaders on all levels in your organisation.
Could we solve these themes this year? How will they appear again in 2023? As with any change, it is important to take the first steps and continuously move forward on this journey. Let's increase our focus on the right leadership qualities and strengthen our focus on people.
Wish all my friends, clients, partners, community members and
everyone on this beautiful planet
a joyful holiday season and a strong start into 2023!
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Tim is a change practitioner in the area of innovation and excellence. He is working with teams to accelerate innovation, collaboration and agility.