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Take a moonshot

Take a moonshot

 4 Sep 2020  |    Jahnavi Gurjer

Are you a leader of an organization that wants to thrive in this post-pandemic world? If yes, then you have to turn mid-level managers into purpose-driven leaders. Without an option, you have to shed previously held delusional fantasies about igniting people through training, development, reward and recognition plans, and instead take a moonshot at transformation.

Overwhelming evidence shows that most organizations are unable to transfer employee learning into changes in individual and organization behavior or improved financial performance. Put simply, organizations are not getting the return they expect on their investment in doing business the good old fashioned way.

External environments are changing rapidly and many mid-level managers are failing to notice and see opportunities for leverage. Instead, they are continuing to look up at leadership guidance to direct their actions on a daily basis. Both business, as well as people development initiatives, are no longer textbook marketing strategies, rather they have to become a part of the organization’s unquestioning adaptability. The reality is that mid-level managers are simply not prepared for imagination — especially so, since they ape and apply their leaders — who might I add, are equally malnourished.

Therefore, if you are looking to navigate your battleship successfully across impending storms, you need to infuse hardcore moonshot thinking resorting to changing individual dispositions into enduring habits of the future.

A few tips you could consider:

Raising guardrails against the dangers of expertise of mid-managers

  • Taunt mid-managers to get over the protection of their ‘cognitive repository’ labels
  • Heighten the ‘sensitivity to actual situations’ antennae for mid-managers
  • Urge mid-managers to ask interpretive questions — recognize ‘new intelligence’
  • Nudge leaders to reward ‘beyond the sum of the parts’ thinking and doing
  • Develop system based re-imagining by challenging assumptions

Previously gained knowledge, skills, and attitudes are important today but not sufficient. Delusional fantasies are not unmanageable, they are simply dangerous. Distinctions between mid-managers and leaders could soon become blurred unless collective aspirations are free from mediocrity. The new world welcomes purposeful and bold managers giving leaders a brief respite.

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