Until we promote leaders through mindful transparency, unskilled bosses will continue to hold innovation hostage at the helm.
Too many organizations remain locked in time warps, while keen talents for innovative growth go ignored, and inept leaders move up the ranks without much challenge. It could also be part of the problem that Gary Hamel addresses when he stated that less than 25% of people like going to work. Or it could be why worker engagement swooped to an all time low. Perhaps it’s behind workers viewing their jobs as downers. Leaders are warned to adapt, and mindful transparency could lead the change.
Research affirms that people make decisions based more on emotions, than on facts. While people rationalize decisions based on facts, they tend to make decisions based on feelings. That cognitive discovery affirms also then, that leaders get promoted less for innovative abilities evidenced, than on emotional proclivities of those in control.
Unfortunately, too little innovative leadership talent gets promoted due to lack of mindful transparency. Furthermore, this disconnect between talent and promotion, holds entire organizations captive as unskilled leaders cling to ruts or demand tired and broken practices.
To promote leaders through mindful transparency could prepare entire organizations for a new world order. Think of it! An innovative workplace - where novelty advances more people, raises productivity and increases brainpower for a new era. All simply because leadership promotion aligns with brainpower, rather than against it. How so?
Start all leadership reviews with supportive evidence - from person being reviewed, rather than opinions made by overseers, whose feelings may limit talent growth. At the MITA International Brain Center, for instance, leaders respond to specific questions related to smart skills that show evidence of innovative leadership in action.
One question, for example asks: Do you improve outcomes through risk-talking. Person checks yes √ or no √. If no √. is checked, then that person is expected to design a plan to work on specific weakness that prevents them from taking risks for growth. If yes √. is checked, the leader being evaluated is expected to provide specific evidence of risks (or whatever smart skill is being evidenced) that others could affirm.
Only at this point, and after the person being reviewed has intelligence-fair opportunities to prove strengths and identify weak areas, being worked on (with evidence provided) do others enter of the review process. At that point, supervisors who are evaluating the leader can:
- Ask for more evidence of this strong or weak specific smart skill identified
- Disagree with review results – with supporting evidence on the other side
- File negotiated results – or areas of final disagreement for further consideration
In brain based transparency, the evaluation review forms rely more on articulation of the person reviewed, on the rigors of evidence for good or poor scores, and less on feelings or proclivities of reviewers.
Would you agree that a more transparent approach to leadership promotion, holds leaders accountable, while supporting genuine talent development at the peaks?
What about redefining advancement altogether and removing most/all of the management layers? Couple that with peer reviews instead of performance reviews and break out of the antiquated annual cycle.
In addition to the influence of the brain's emotional limbic system, there's also the Peter Principle to consider - people getting promoted for being good at their last job, not necessarily demonstrating competency for the one they are being promoted into.
Our hack on just-in-time teams tries to address a number of these issues: flatter, less hierarchical organizations, peer reviews and feedback, a reframing of advancement. Check it out at http://www.managementexchange.com/hack/just-time-teams and let us know what you think.
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