The Mindful Leadership Blog

Just In! The Future Belongs To The Smart, Agile And Engaged (Part One)

February 28th, 2019

What’s hot?

You don’t need to be well read to know that we are in the midst of a significant organizational shift driven by technology that includes everything from big data to artificial intelligence.  The employee, leader and organization of tomorrow needs to be smart, agile and passionately engaged or connected.  Complex theories about what that entails, intensive organizational strategies, and expensive “fixes” are on the rise. This series of three blogs provides help that parallels what we need in our organizations – simple, powerful easy-to-implement approaches that make a difference.

This blog is one of three with a focus on building SMARTS.








So what?

What does it take to be smart?  It is the capacity to a) think on your feet, b) learn from your environment (others, experiences and cues), c) learn from your mistakes and d) be curious.  It does not require extensive training in critical thinking, an MBA or formal schooling. Organizations already feel the pinch of providing new hires with basic organizational life skills.  Teaching people to think provides the next challenge. And providing them the opportunity to learn, excel and reach for high-levels is a key motivator that makes them less likely to quit (according to a recent study by Leadership IQ).

What to do?

Build organizational smarts by asking every manager in your organization to do two things:

  1. Hold semiannual “let’s get smart” meetings – where people are asked to come prepared to discuss two things:
    • What’s going on in the industry or with stakeholders that we should be curious about?
    • How can we pay attention to that in ways that are simple, effective and will keep us informed?
  2. Lessons learned sessions to explore those things that don’t work out – new products, services, proposals that didn’t turn into work, meetings, process, practices, etc. Add these questions:
    • What should we have known earlier in the process? What signals were there that we missed or ignored?  Why?  What do we need to do so that it doesn’t happen again?
    • What were the signals that things weren’t going to pan out as we did the work, i.e. before we finished? How did we respond?  In hindsight, should those signals have caused us to shift our approach and/or stop the effort entirely? What do we need to do differently in the future based on this analysis?
    • Who were the outliers that saw what we didn’t? Why didn’t we hear them or give their voice credence? What will we do differently in the future?

Want ready access to microlessons that help managers and their teams to be smart, agile, and passionately engaged? Look to instantaccess for microlessons that include Get Unfrozen to Act in The Moment, Be Inquisitive to Be Brilliant, and Tap into Design Thinking to Do Things Better, Faster, Cheaper. Better yet, sample one of those lessons here.

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