From racial and ethnic diversity to an influx of "first generation" students and the challenges of being a low income student, most college and universities in this country have begun to recognize that the face of higher education is changing.
The real challenge is that we don't properly scrutinize our aspirations. Specifically, is every single person in your organization crystal clear on what success looks like? Do you actually have the capability to get there? Do you have the bandwidth?
A leader's use of fear inducing strategies can be as much a sign of limited leadership capability as it is a sign of genuine and urgent crisis. After all, it's much easier to scare the life out of people, than it is to inspire them with a compelling vision of the future.
Imagine a scenario in which teams from different hospitals within a single region competed to achieve the best health outcomes at the lowest cost, shared their experiences in virtual roundtables, and earned rewards for applying peer tested best practices.
The word 'organization' shares the same root with 'organism' and is no less a living thing. So in order to maintain flexibility, resiliency and top performance, your organization needs 'exercise,' too. Organizations need to stay "fit."
Corporate leaders have come to realize that titles and hierarchies can hinder company growth and competitiveness. Additionally, a younger generation of employees might not be as enticed to follow a corporate career ladder path.
When we succeed, change occurs subtly and without fanfare. It's not a program; it's a nudge. People adopt new behaviors, they forget old ones, and it doesn't feel like we did much. It's hard, in fact, to brag about it at all.
After working for a lot of leaders, good and bad, and taking leadership roles myself, I'm convinced that this is the one thing that makes the difference: You must be willing to turn towards fear, for the greater good.
Put yourself in your staff's shoes (if you're not there already!). If you are told what to do, but aren't told why and what's in it for you, what is the impetus to do it? Why is this program worth the effort and why should you add more work to your already full plate?
Whenever you change something, it's impossible to eliminate all of the unintended consequences. But the more you can anticipate the possibilities, and be ready to deal with them, the greater your chances of success.