An organization, despite finding the “right” people, finds that those “right” people are moving on within a short timeframe. “We cannot find good people,” “they didn’t fit in” and “we are spending all our time on HR” are some of the comments I hear in this example. When digging deeper, I find that a strong company mindset has developed over the years that are not aligned with growth goals.
The mindset of one company, as an example, has been established based on 20-plus years of doing things a certain way. Some team members have been with the company for most of those years, so there is a very strong “this is the way we do it” mindset in place. When the “right” person is brought in – someone who is aligned with the company’s growth goals – their mindset may clash with the company’s mindset.
This often creates a clash, and when there is a clash of minds, usually the strongest survive. Too often I see companies developing their growth goals and strategies and implementing the people's needs to achieve these goals. But they find themselves unable to achieve their target and the comment “it feels like we are going around in circles” is an often-heard frustration.
The way to avoid this hamster wheel effect is to do the work to understand the mindset of the company from an “as-is” perspective and determine whether that aligns with a mindset that facilitates growth-oriented, strategic thinking.
Recently I witnessed a fantastic new team member coming in all energized and ready to implement new ways of doing things – which is what she had been asked to do by owners – only to encounter difficulties due to the very strong mindset of team members who felt that this threatened their position. Unfortunately, the result was that the new person decided this position was not for her and she left with a sense of failure.
Just as we need to change our own mindset when considering new ways of doing things, we need to consider the changes necessary to a “group mindset” when looking to facilitate team change.
I suggest when developing strategies that require a change in how an organization does things that a pulse check is done to establish the current mindset. As well, a plan of action should be implemented that ensures that the group’s way of thinking becomes aligned to new strategies. Help people to understand and appreciate that growth is good for all and that “new and different” doesn’t mean bad. Set your company up for success by setting your team up for success. Be transparent with them about what is needed in order to achieve success – help them to understand the need for new ways of thinking. Don’t just leave this to chance!
It is like when we decide to change our exercise regime. It is difficult to change the way we have always done things. Many times, we will revert to our old ways, and this is due to the way we have been programmed to think – it requires discipline and a strong mindset to keep going even when it can be challenging.
Great things never come from your comfort zone! Help your team to constantly challenge their own and the group’s mindset, and align both for growth and success – both theirs and the company’s.