Don't Wait to Talk Straight

Organisations can’t change faster than the pace at which hard conversations are had.

If people don't talk in a direct, open and honest way, then complacency or worse still, fear of change and challenging the status quo must exist.

Hard conversations like these need to happen often;

  • Is doing what got us where we are today, still relevant?

Microsoft has greatly evolved from its original purpose of a “PC on every desk” and Apple dropped the word computer from its name reflecting the change of purpose that made the iPhone its biggest source of revenue and profit.

The hard conversations that question or challenge the relevance of your organisation’s “reason to be” are key. 

  • Should we do fewer things better? 

Steve Jobs attributed Apple’s success to “saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much”.

Hard prioritisation conversations and saying no to good ideas is an essential aspect of staying focused and executing well. 

  • Do we have the right people in the right roles? 

There is a saying that a person was “a square peg in a square hole but the square turned round”. 

A tough reality of change is that people who were once well suited to the business can become unsuited to the role the business needs fulfilled. 

Organisations don't change unless people do, some make it, some don’t, some can and some can’t.   

Failure to confront people performance issues undermines change efforts and the credibility of an organisation’s leaders. That’s because good performers know who the poor performers are. 

Encouraging and making it safe to have the hard conversations is the one big thing that must happen for success in a fast changing world.

If you enjoyed this read you may be interested to view my previous posts: