It is not easy to get people conditioned to follow, conditioned not to expect to be included, or listened to, to start openly participating.
It is not easy to get owner’s /ceo’s / chair’s to change their ways, to dare to trust!
Nor is it easy for the ‘underlings’ to give trust having probably been let down before.
All this said, the optimum of inclusion and connection is difficult – “people, live up to or down to expectations is a truism across various levels of thought:-
You about me
You about you
Me about you We all get conditioned and condition ourselves throughout life – these hurdles take some getting over
Me about me How you see me compounds into how I see myself – it all becomes self-fulfilling
Others about me
Me about others
One way of everyone being able to practice new behaviour and thinking is through acting is to break away from the usual communications, the usual conversations, the usual practices –
“I ask, you answer”
“I tell, you accept”
“You contribute, I don’t expect much, I disagree then I tell you what I think” These are just some of the habitual ways people work/don’t work ’together’
“ I ask for your contribution and you hold back”
Introducing Intelligent disobedience (ID)
Obeying all of the established rules of communication (between you and me – different between you and others) rarely generates breakthrough performance because it does not generate new approaches. Breaking the rules randomly does not work either. This is where intelligent disobedience comes in; knowing when and how to break, bend or invent new rules to get better outcomes.
Espousing a higher form of ethics, intelligent disobedience seeks to surface hidden truth and produce actions that are of higher integrity, to yield superior results. Surface new behaviours and expectations.
But it does need to be introduced, the group rules are explained and agreed upon.
“People, live up to or down to expectations’ – so new expectations need to be set all around and applied consistently – as in all things, the implementation of this strategy is imperative to its success.
People – that is ’the boss’ and ’the worker’ (for want of better terms), will actually be low on positive expectations of success and will undoubtedly fall back into old behaviours and expectations as the process settles.
The amazing benefits that come from Intelligent disobedience are profound in connection, self-esteem, self-worth, productivity, positive mental well being, team, inclusion, problem-solving, change introduction ……
In a recent client situation I had, the MD complained that his exec group were low in energy and initiative. After sitting in on an exec meeting we discovered that the MD did almost all the talking, put up all the suggestions, moderated any conversation and demonstrated low approval or even respect.
In the installing Intelligent disobedience as the style of communication going forward, it was decided that
The MD would apologise for always being the main speaker and that from now on, meetings were for everyone and he gave the approval to be reminded – to agree objectives, seek input
The use of ID meant that no one could agree with anyone. This was a rule. DeBono rightly says, “there is always more than one answer, don’t go forward on important topics until there are at least three options – work to find them” – (or words to that effect)
That because this is now the rule, everyone would be expected to contribute and everyone was to be on guard to defensiveness – that is “you have made your statement, now clear your mind to add thinking to
the next thought”. There are no winners or losses, there is just clear and expansive thinking.
One of the outcomes to this type of communication is that through the number contributing anon one just shoring up their idea, the object could well change as more useful thinking was brought to the table and so, that became the secondary focus – no one agrees (at first) with anyone else, and ‘let’s keep in mind, have we even got the right objective?’
The culture took three meetings to change as people were really expecting the MD not to change and certainly not to maintain any change if there was any. After three meetings and he was consistent, then the feeling inside the business was amazing – the exec slipped the concept down to their line managers and they to their supervisors, leading hands.
Absenteeism lessened thought the business, people came up to the various levels and engaged, people learnt how to talk to each other and listen, not take over, not amend but listen and encourage.
Three months now, consistent change has occurred, new habits and expectations are being born into the environment, new sentences and words are being used – ‘people are living up to new expectations!
Intelligent disobedience is amazing – families feel the benefit of the enlivened spirit.
General comments that will assist in gaining a view of change and opportuntires to engageCUTZPAZ – Bravery that borders on rudeness? supreme self-confidence : Nerve, gallRudeness; that can just be someone who is floundering for self recognition, tends to see disagreement as personal attack and is defensive, looks to take the higher ground by unsettling the interlocutor.To me it is a behaviour that would need to me moderated depending on the audience or it could be perceived negatively and hence close the other off.Command & Control – it still permeates through most dialogue any where, dialogue and thinking, where ever the word manager is a prefix, as in your last two slides and managers not being able to be sure of timetables etc – their time tables, their ownership, their hiarachal position.A few of the ticks to help managers morph over are“I (CEO) am the facilitator, not the solution”“Lets make sure we include in our deliberations, our planning, or thinking, those people we know are negative to what we are currently saying”.It so often occurs that those sought for input are those that we know have similar values, experience and objectives – preaching to the converted as it were.This is why change management is so often difficult, because we exclude until to comes to the doing and then it doesn’t get done, because we excluded the doers and hence their ‘pay-off’ is proving it can’t be done, at last not within scope.“Understand that the initial thinking is probably faulty and if not faulty, not yet owned or developed through contribution and negation”“Let’s get everyone on board with this” is definitely command and control naked for all to see and experience.“We have thought about it, we the clever people have found the solution now all you need to do is go and do it”Really everything is about implementation I say – a half good strategy implemented well will sing.An amazing strategy disconnected will fail, the budget will be lost, the energy of the people expended and the opportunity stalled.We all have a huge responsibility, we all ahve enormous stakeholder interactions and as a community we need what we do as a group to be the best possible, we are all getting older and health is getting more expensive and out of reach for so many, to say nothing of the pressure on all of the practitioners.We need to gain better stategies and impoleemnt them so they work!