Let Go! Mistrusted Leader

The mistrusted leader does the opposite to the doubted leader.

When a leader ‘says’ to employees that they can self-manage, make decisions, innovate, experiment and create but I will not tolerate risk, they are sending mixed messages.

When a leader ‘says’ you are autonomous but I will not tolerate risk, they are sending inconsistent messages.

Read More
Let Go! Doubted Leader

When a leader ‘says’ that they are risk tolerant and will encourage innovation, experimentation and creativity but have low or no surrender of control, employees get mixed messages.

Employees are constrained due to a leader maintaining control over what they can and can’t do. They have no freedom to make decisions as decision making is retained by the leader.

When people receive mixed messages they are emotional confused and conflicted. Conflict happens when we think a message is going one way – good – but turns out to be going another way – bad. 

Responses to mixed messages are commonly frustration and anger. Other reactions can include withdrawal and shutting down until there is clarity of message – which might never occur.

Read More
Karen FerrisComment
Resistance to Change – It Can Be a Good Thing!

This is a response to the #ChangeBlogChallenge. This quarter's topic is 'Resistance'. I wrote this article 3 years ago for the service management community. I think there is still some merit in it although these days I prefer to focus on building #resilience rather than managing #resistance.

Read More
Karen FerrisComment
Let Go! - Feared Leader

When leaders retain control and are intolerant of risk, their management style is that of command-and-control.

I should call them managers rather than leaders because managers manage tasks whilst leaders lead people. However for the purposes of this post, I will refer to ‘leaders’.

The attraction of being a feared leader is observant, compliant and obedient employees.

Read More
Karen FerrisComment
Mary Poppins Returns - Lessons on Resilience

I have just spent the most magical 2 hours and 10 minutes watching the awesome “Mary Poppins Returns.” I am not going to spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it but highly recommend that you do. 

I was 3 years old again and the magic of Mary Poppins from 1964 was most beautifully honoured and revered 54 years later in the 2018 sequel. In Mary’s words it was “practically perfect in every way”.

Apart from my inner child, there was another voice talking to me whilst I watched mesmerised by every scene.

I could sadly hear myself saying “note book, note book” as I heard quotes that I just wanted to blog about as they related to resilience! 

Read More
Karen Ferris Comments
Let Go!

In this series entitled ‘Let Go!’ I discuss how leaders need to get out of the way and let go of the control.

Organisations can only be responsive when they flatten the structure, remove the bureaucracy that slows them down and give employees autonomy. Decision-making is distributed, communication flows easily throughout the organisation. Employee innovation, creativity and experimentation are embraced. Employees can self-manage. They decide what to work on, how and when.

Read More
Karen FerrisComment
Kill the Hierarchy! Leaders Coach

This post in the series “Kill the Hierarchy” I explore how a flatter organisational structure requires leaders to coach.

Flat organisations give management a great opportunity to develop their people and empower them to make decisions. Manager must become leaders and coach their teams into becoming leaders themselves.

Read More
Karen FerrisComment
Kill the Hierarchy! Principles Management

In this post in the series “Kill the Hierarchy” I explore how a flatter organisational structure requires principles management or decision–making guardrails.

Guardrails on a road stop drivers ending up in dangerous areas and they are often placed in the most problematic areas where it is easy to do the wrong thing.

Just as guardrails help make drivers safe and keep them on the road, they can also do that for an organisation. 

Read More
Karen FerrisComment
Agility - Five Things It Isn't - The Video

This week I joined some eminent colleagues the ITSM Crowd to discuss the Agility article that had gone crazy on LinkedIn.

At the time of writing the article had 3.736 views, 124 reshares, 563 likes and 61 comments. You can read it, along with the comments, here.

Watch The ITSM Crowed, hosted by Claire Agutter.

Read More
Karen FerrisComment
It's With The Editor!

My second book should be published before the end of the year. Titled “Game On! Tactics to Win When Change is Constant” it uses a soccer analogy to describe how individuals and organisations can not only survive but thrive in a world of volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous change.

Read More
Karen FerrisComment
Kill the Hierarchy! Information Accessible

Accessible information and knowledge is a key factor in productivity, competitiveness, employee engagement and growth. It is not enough to make information available; it needs to be accessible – and accessible by all.

In a flat organisation, knowledge and information flows freely and employees are enabled make decisions and drive change as they have relevant knowledge and information available to them.

Read More
Karen FerrisComment
Built on ITIL: digital transformation is an organizational challenge

I recently wrote an article for AXELOS about digital transformation..

“Like conducting heart surgery, leaders need to open up and look inside their organizations to see how they are going to help their workforce innovate, experiment and make decisions.

Though the traditional “command and control” structure won’t work for today’s organizational transformation challenges, neither will sending people on an Agile course alone.”

Read more.

Read More
Karen FerrisComment
Kill the Hierarchy! - High Trust

This post in the series “Kill the Hierarchy” I explore how a flatter organisational structure requires an environment of high trust and mutual respect. 

Without trust, things just wont get done as fast as they are needed. If we are removing unnecessary managerial layers we have to trust employees to do the right thing. Employees have to trust their leadership to do the right thing. Establishing trust is also a prerequisite to flattening the hierarchy in the first place. 

Read More
Karen FerrisComment
Kill the Hierarchy! - Autonomy

I love Tracy Maylett’s description of an organisation without employee autonomy. Writing for Entrepreneur, he says:

“Without it your workforce may become the “land of the working dead,” roaming endlessly in zombie-like fashion, waiting to be told what to do next.  Not an enjoyable workplace for employees nor managers, by any stretch”.

Employee autonomy is about giving employees the right to do the work they want, how they want and when they want.

Read More
Karen FerrisComment
Constant Change. Game On!

In a world of constant change, there are only three roles we need in order to create a resilient workforce - managers, coaches and players. A winning team that says "Game On!"

Watch this animation to find out more.

Read More
Karen FerrisComment
Kill the Hierarchy! - Everyone Leads

When organisations nurture leadership on an organisation-wide level, the entire organisation and every employee will prosper and grow.

Everyone has a significant contribution to make and their voices need to be heard.

More over, they need to be able to challenge the status quo, make decisions, initiate and drive change and be seen as leaders in their own right.

Read More
Karen FerrisComment
Kill the Hierarchy! - High Collaboration

In a hierarchical organisation, employees tend not to be engaged or committed to the work they do. There is limited collaboration.

More and more organisations are recognising that their structure is hampering effective collaboration. Its hierarchical and siloed structure obstructs cross-functional working, collective problem solving and decision-making located where best suited, and effective communication to support dynamic collaboration.

Read More
Karen FerrisComment