October 11 2015
By: Terry L. Mathis
Industry Week just published an article by Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor at Stanford School of Business, which points out that while the amount of leadership training is increasing, organizational effectiveness is at an all-time low. It seems what gets leaders rewarded and advanced is not what helps workers become more productive and satisfied. This is a classic case of misaligned or missing inside strategy. Organizations tend to have strategies that aim at outside customers and markets but don't use the same thinking to address internal issues.
Although most organizations for whom we consult want employee engagement, they don't have a strategic approach to make it happen. You don't get customers to buy your product without marketing and sales. Likewise, you don't get your employees (who are your internal customers) to "buy in" or feel a sense of "ownership" for your internal programs and processes without any marketing to them. Leaders who depend on command-and-control tactics simply don't get the best from their workers and don't form cultures with strong teamwork and synergy. Sadly, leaders tend to focus their strategic thinking outside their own organizations and ignore the need for similar thinking inside them.
Perhaps business leaders should take a lesson from professional coaches who realize it is not enough to hire great talent and pay big salaries. You also need to build a team which has bought into their internal strategy for winning, and give a lot of pep talks.
Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.