Standing below an electrical transmission line, one can hear the crackle and pop of electrical power being lost to the resistance created as it flows through the semi-conductive wire.
Under ideal temperature conditions and utilizing optimal materials, power can flow in a way that is virtual without resistance and loss of capacity. Super-conductivity, when it becomes commercially possible, will bring about a foundational change to the efficiency and effectiveness with which electricity is delivered in our daily lives.
Applying it to the Workplace
When one considers our expectation for efficiency in other areas of our existence, such as the work environment, the point can be made that we are accustomed to a certain level of resistance.
In the daily completion of our work, we have developed an expectation for resistance, and therefore we tolerate it. Because organizations often operate without clearly established norms for interaction, shared values, objectives, behavior expectations, and goals, the resulting environment is predisposed to creating a significant level of resistance that may be entirely unnecessary.
Resistance is Optional, Not Required
In the observance of high functioning teams, the piece that is immediately obvious to even the casual observer is that the internal strife that is present in most organizations occurs at a very minimal level. Feelings are not hurt because there are established norms around interactions with peers and expected standards for personal conduct, to which all adhere.
Many of these teams have invested substantial time in understanding the strengths and complementary areas of support for their fellow team members.
In such cultures, the rewards structure is thoughtful and inclusive, thus the need for unhealthy internal competition is simply not present.
Your Role as the Leader
The role of leadership is much more than wringing a successful productivity result from the current work environment each quarter.
Raising one’s game to improve and positively modify the current work environment for those we lead and serve, is a primary leadership obligation.
Considering ways that time and resources can be invested in “reducing the resistance” that is experienced by team members on a daily basis provides the potential for a double win. Less resistance not only will improve the work environment and make it a much more attractive place to be, but it will also increase the efficiency with which the completion of projects occur and thus, positively impacting the level of overall productivity.
Unlike the dynamics present in the transmission of electricity, the ability to positively impact the existing culture within an organization is present and within our reach.
Just like the power company which invests regularly in new equipment that is more efficient, the leader of a team must be prepared to commit to ongoing investment in the health and culture of the team they lead. This may place one outside the conventional expectation that the business has for its leaders.
A Rare Leader
Many of those who have risen to roles of leadership have done so by effectively navigating the system as it currently exists. There is both a comfort and a skill set that is required for such leaders to continue to produce at the levels that are expected.
It is the rare leader, who by challenging the paradigm of an internal culture that currently exists, strives to remove the resistance from systems and bring about a level of performance that was previously unimagined.
A “super-conductive” culture that allows team members to be at their best through positive and supportive relationships, systems that serve and continual investment in the capacity of the team is possible. Your team members can work together well and perform their roles with a new level of efficiency.
The great gift of a highly functioning internal culture is the opportunity to move beyond what is expected, to what is truly possible.
To learn more about how culture can impact your own workplace, contact us here!
Tim, with his extensive background in education and management, is a great part of our Fired-Up team dedicated to inspiring teams and leaders. At Fired-Up, our work is dedicated to harnessing the power of culture to equip leaders, build amazing teams and align operation practices to delighting the customer and drive breakthrough results.