Zoom In and Then Backwards 
© Georgeta Dendrino, CMC; AMCOR; ICMCI 


Think about the following questions: 

  • What gets you out of bed in the morning? 
  • How do you/can you create meaning? 
  • How do you have freedom? 
  • Why are so many leaders unable to get the best out of their teams? 
  • How can I help people in my organisation understand and adapt to change better?

Maybe you know the sea stars (starfish) story: many years ago, there was an enormous storm. There were thousands and thousands of sea stars on a beach. An old man was walking on the beach and saw those sea stars. As he was walking along, he saw a man picking up a sea star and throwing it back in the water. Then, the man returned and picked up another sea star and threw it back into the sea. The old man went to that man and said: “What are you doing? There are too many of them, this is an never ending story, you can’t throw them all back into the sea. You can’t make a difference.” The man said:” it will make a difference to this one.” 
The question we ask HR people/leaders, is: “Can you make a difference?"

 Zooming in... organisations, processes, transformations...
There are many questions that keep people in organisations awake at night these days. In the last years I’ve seen a lot of organisations asking for training programs that would help people cope better with uncertainty and change in the environment. A lot of clients asked us to design programs that would transform people into more responsible, assertive, flexible, entrepreneurial employees. 

And yet we have been delivering chage and transformation pograms for years. 
So, what could be new? 
Whya is there a continual demand for such programs?

To do things differently, you need to do/ see things differnetly, you need to reframe your perspective, to change the angle...
What we have suggested, and was very well received in the past; is an orientation towards self-awareness. That implies discovering how our minds work, what are the hidden forces that prevent us from unleashing our potential; how to reposition thinking – reframing context, situations, perceptions – in order to function better and get along with others better, to be more adaptable to the new realities. 

In order for you to change you first need to know yourself better
To me, traditional leadership and change programs often provide band-aidsolutions. We believe in the advice written on the Temple of Apollo: "Know Thyself". That sentence is as true today as it was many years ago. 

In general, people are open to understanding themselves better, to scratch below the surface and go into deep introspection – wiith all the potential risks involved. They want to talk about themselves, their saboteurs, their strengths, their values, their deep needs, desires, anxieties, wishes. Only by looking in the mirror, can we discover areas where we need a face lift. Only by resolving our worries and cares, can we change direction. Only by pausing and reflecting on ourselves, can we become better individuals oursleves and then leaders of others. 

It is not about processes but about people
Why would HR and training responsible people care about that? 
Dysfunctional practices in an organization can cost a lot of money. 

HR is responsible for leadership development. When the results of a high-impact leadership program is good, it iimproves the competence of each participant, and each individual leader can make improved personal contributions.. When the result of a development program is bad, HR is usually responsible – the content was not good; the training company was bad; the consultant was not well chosen etc. 

Therefore, we believe that a lot of attention has to be given to an approach that challenges the individual’s personal perspective. Investing in self awareness, helping people understand the self and be more open to others and the changes around, would bring benefits for the individuals, for the HR people and the organisation in the end. 

We suggest therefore a return of the HR to its most critical role — focusing on people.

Leaders are also human, so I would ask them:
Our question to leaders is: How would you like to be remembered? 
As someone who picks up sea stars to make even the smallest of differences; or as a careless spectator in front of all scenary changes?

About Georgeta Dendrino 
Georgetta is on the Board of AMCO – the Association of Management Consultants of Romania. She is also Managing Director  and Co-owner of Interact Business Communications; Executive Coach