I recently attended a wonderful charity evening. The room was filled with those who donated their time and money to programs that supported disadvantaged people within a particular community group. Ranging from the long term unemployed to sufferers of domestic abuse, hearing the stories and knowing this is happening around the corner from many of us was beyond a humbling experience.
The General Manager of the charity spoke eloquently and respectfully of the hardships that live within our midst. He referred to Charles Dicken’s “A Tale of Two Cities” as an analogy to enlighten us as to what was happening in our own back yard.
As always, these events are truly an eye opener to situations we know are occurring but manage to block out from our view.
While not trying to minimise the poignant message of his A Tale of Two Cities reference, this same concept can be applied to many organisations.
The story that is being heard and lived at a management level compared with what is really happening to your employees across the group.
In an interview about Hillary Clinton during the Presidential campaign, a political commentator suggested that Hillary had a “Chorus of Enablers” around her. He said that she was not getting the “real messages” of what was happening outside her world.
If you are leading or managing an organisation, it is crucial to check in on who is feeding you your stories.
Have you been getting your information from the same group of people for a long period of time?
When was the last time you refreshed your communications input systems?
Who is conveying the messages from the broader parts of your company?
When was the last time you visited one of your customers with a Sales Representative or sat on the phone with someone from your Customer Service Department?
Have you ever invited a new employee to present at your Executive Meeting to hear their perspective of the induction program?
There are so many ways to “hear the truth”. You just have to be brave enough to do it.
Your Small Act that is sure to have a Major Impact is to invite three new people into your office and have them feedback what they would do if they were GM for a day.