My friend Doug Franks shared these thoughts some time ago:
In every organization there is system of thought and action that develops over time. It is guided by personalities, gifts & abilities, experiences, and circumstances. Sometimes all of these things work together in a very positive way to enhance the work that is done.
But, sometimes these habits can slow down or even cripple an organization. It is possible to find ourselves using an outdated play book without even realizing it. Often this is revealed when we undergo a leadership shift and the power to make big decisions now lies in the hands of someone new…someone who wasn’t here during most (or maybe all) of the events that shaped the organizations practices.
When a new leader steps into a team, they will have two basic options:
- Stick with the status quo,
- Declare “there is a new sheriff in town”
Neither of these will be obvious for new leadership to take. Instead, the answer can be found by asking an abundance of questions:
- Why do we do it this way?
- Does it makes sense to keep doing it this way?
- Is there a better more effective way to do this?
The answers to these questions will help the leader choose between a slight change in the direction of the ship and issuing a full stop, and reverse course.