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Personal excellence is an interesting thing – mostly because it is not as personal as we think it is.
We all know that as individuals, each of us have a unique set of useful attributes. We know that if we develop and use these well, we can be more than OK – we have an opportunity to be excellent at what we do.
Now, there certainly is a lot to be said for introspection and self-development – most would agree that it is a worthwhile journey we should fully engage in for as long as we are able. Yet, thinking specifically about our work, most of us also recognise the influence a business environment has on our career path, potentially either limiting us or lifting us. It could be as specific as the impact of one person in a leadership position, or as broad as the general health of a business and the level of opportunities it creates for its people.
Clearly there is an important interaction between the expressed excellence of a person and the excellence of the business environment they function in. And clearly it is in the interest of both the individual and the business entity to have a positive interaction. Consequently we often talk about leadership, collaboration and teamwork, ultimately asking each individual to come to the party and contribute to something beyond themselves.
Why then, is it so difficult to achieve collaborative growth in excellence as the common modus operandi in any one business? Read any number of HR, Leadership or Management articles or talk to people in even a small number of businesses and you’ll notice this: there is still an incredible need for people to collaborate and learn together in the workplace – to interact supportively and achieve more through collaboration, so the whole is far more than the sum of its parts.
I have studied what I like to call an Effective Dynamic in small and medium sized businesses these past 8 years. I would define it as the group function in moving forward dynamically with relative ease and optimal enjoyment and impact. A business in stride. In this, I have come to appreciate the importance of a specific type of symbiotic relationship between a business and its people - beyond the obvious work/pay relationship and definitely beyond the expectation that a good relationship starts with the excellent contribution of the individual…the ‘show us what you got and then we’ll be good to you’ misnomer.
Creating an Effective Dynamic is a bit ‘chicken and egg’, but the basic gist of it is this:
And so it continues. A positive loop where collaboration and excellence grow with natural momentum – both the excellence of the business and the expressed excellence of the people in it. A business in stride. People’s excellence uncapped.
Cue vinyl record scratch…. But how do we start this momentum? How do we create a business environment where people can have the positive mindset and understanding to collaborate and achieve improved business outcomes to the extent where the business can lift them again?
Well now, I guess that is the million dollar question isn’t it? I have much to say on the topic, which is why I present whole training sessions on it. Although the answer doesn't fit in a nutshell, I offer you this as a starting point: We're moving into an era where our positive impact on that which surrounds us matters more than our success as individuals. Our impact is reliant on the nature and quality of what we do in the everyday. Our habits in our everyday is therefore where our solutions lie. If this is true, then we need to take a closer look at what influences a group's habits in an organisation.