The leader releases energy, unites energies, and all with the object not only of carrying out a purpose, but of creating further and larger purposes.Mary Parker Follett
All Organisational Performance is a Function of System Energy. (Unless you know how to break the laws of physics.)
Every organisation is driven by exactly the same laws of physics that drive the rest of the universe.
The three horsemen of the universe. Energy. Entropy. And Evolution.
Exactly the same horsemen that drive successful transformation.
What exactly do we mean by transformation?
This is a deeply complex question. Given that most organisations in trouble start talking about transformation, frankly I have no idea what they may really mean.
However if they are thinking scientifically and systemically they could mean the following.
- that system energy drives all performance
- that if they don't increase their energy they will go out of business
- that conventional 'HR speak' will have no impact on increasing system energy
- successful strategies need new levels of system energy
- they have no knowledge or experience of actually increasing system energy. They recognise that they are in fact novices in a chaotic and complex world.
- they know that leadership actions and behaviour determine organisational performance.
- that the only way to increase organisational energy is to either change leaders' habitual actions or change the leaders.
Measure and Generate new System Energy
The first two measurement steps to drive successful organisational transformation are the following.
- Measure the current energy level of your system. If you want to manage it you have to measure it.
- Take a hard look at your strategic objectives. Decide on the system energy level you will need to meet these objectives. This is not a game. You cannot achieve outside your 'energy envelope'.
Remember if your business strategy sits outside of your system energy envelope, you can stand on your head and whistle Dixie - it can never be implemented.
Once you have your energy target you can then customise your energy generation strategy and execution plan.
This will be based on generating carefully customised new leadership insights and behavioural actions that have the inherent capacity to transform the system's cultural DNA and energy level.
Key elements on system transformation
Traditional 'wisdom' has often suggested that change starts at the top and that somehow this 'hallelujah moment' will magically cascade through the system.
This never does.
Changing system energy requires a change in the thinking and behaviour of every single leader in the system. This cannot be done piecemeal. Every leader must be taught the critical leadership behaviours that we know drive energy and performance. At the same time. This is not optional.
Those that cannot or will not adapt to the new high energy behaviours must be removed from the system before they block the arteries of change. This too, is not optional.
Then execute your new system energy strategy and remeasure your system energy on a regular basis to analyse and assess progress.
Take ruthless action where you may need to.
Remember. Your primary goal is to drive system energy to new levels.
And nothing else.