Human Capital Transformation; Learning From Failure & Leveraging Your Smart People

Following a thought leadership piece recently given by Liz Wizeman, author of Multipliers, I had an informal conversation with a participant during a coffee break who wanted to contest the “all of your people are smart” theory.

He proceeded to share with me how he had previously entrusted staff to carry out simple instructions only to be disappointed with the outcome. He had now, at times, determined that certain work just couldn’t be done as well by others as it would if he just did it himself. Liz’s Multipliers philosophy would call his perspective one of a Diminisher, and even though he was now aware of this new vocabulary, he still wasn’t convinced. I shared with him my own belief that we are all born with the same potential, and that later external factors & influences are responsible for holding us back from reaching our true potential. I’m indeed convinced that that all people are truly smart, it’s just that most have been damaged (in one form or another) along the way. Somewhere along the way, someone has failed and the answers lie in learning from these failures.

I share in greater detail within our Community the delicate intricacies of these processes & how you can immediately put them to work within your own organization. I like practical processes so I’ll even leverage a common day non-business methodology such as the original Twelve Steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous to express my perspective.

Having worked with people all-over the world during change management engagements, I’ve often been faced with people who have been cataloged as  unrecoverable or unmanageable. Let me state for the record that in reality, no one fits this category. Rather it’s just whether you have the time, patience & are willing to invest the necessary resources to turn these situations around.

When I’ve encountered such situations, I first get under the surface to understand which life influences have brought this person to the stage they’re at. Sometimes it’s as simple as a communication issue within an organization. These are the quickest to fix, but require a dedicated effort on all sides, including accountability, courage & trust.

Then you have the more complicated issues which arise in their simplest forms through maltreatment of either party during the time of employment. In these cases it’s a matter of first understanding whether one or both of the parties are willing to accept responsibility & commit to the needed adjustments. Second, evaluating whether the affected parties are willing to give the other a second chance. If in either case the answer is unclear or a flat-out no, then it’s best for both entities to part company immediately.

To spell it out simply, it’s all a process of learning from mistakes or failures and then acting upon our new knowledge base.

Courage; to face the fears what you might not want to admit. To be authentically honest with yourself and internalize the true motive of why you failed to succeed. Only then are you prepared to reverse the order of your results.

Trust; in yourself and others that everyone can go beyond current limiting beliefs. Trust that others might have to help you get through the barriers for which you may not yet have answers for on your own.

Accountability; to the continual development & growth that you’re signing up for. That you’ll set S.M.A.R.T.E.R. metrics to measure real improvement, and that employers will hold staff to the same standards that they themselves are willing to be held accountable to.

Dedication; is the art of persistence, an undeterred force that perpetuates you forward when you might initially think to stop because you’ve reached your maximum. Dedication to yourself, and jumping over the chasms of confidence that we all face if we’re truly honest with ourselves.

Don’t limit your growth by just reading this post! Share it with friends, colleagues & add your comments on how these points can immediately transform your own organization, people & productivity.

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