Feb 21 2021| trust | Leadership
Creating a Culture of Trust - Tactics Part Four
Make it Feasible
by Phil Eyre Founder
Our series on trust continues with a discussion about feasibility.
Make it feasible
Feasibility is neither the absence of a vision or a greying of dreams. Having dreams and a vision are a part of what propels innovation, change and improvement, but they’re not the whole reason.
To build trust and for people to follow, leaders need the ability to evaluate a situation and chart a path forward for teams towards dreams and a vision.
- Trust-building feasibility is opportunity-focused.
- Tactics to strengthen feasibility skills are orientated toward testing assumptions and identifying a path forward, not to risk-managing away all opportunity.
Here are some suggestions on how to achieve this:
- Seek to test your beliefs with credible insights;
- Do the research, ask the questions, gather the facts;
- Check the facts, check the source of those facts;
- If you sense an inconsistency, dwell on it and don’t rush past it. Feelings and belief can be a good starting point for creativity but need to be supported with the proper groundwork. Haste and bravado (bravado isn’t the same as courage, it’s recklessness) are the enemies of trust.
- Evaluate progress when pursuing your objectives. Our susceptibility towards loss aversion can cause us to pursue an idea for longer than is objectively healthy.
- What are the guidelines that indicate whether you are on the right tracks or not?
- Pay attention to these and if you are under performing them, spend a decent amount of time understanding why rather than excusing or shrugging off the undershoot.
- Be willing to change your course if the evidence leads to that conclusion.
- Invite perspectives from people who are out of sight yet who can carry a helpful and different perspective.There will be people within your company that can see precisely whether something will work well or not, yet they don’t hold an executive position and might therefore not be asked.
- Create working groups within your company to consider specific issues and actively seek their feedback;
- Invite perspectives from external parties that are not immersed in your bubble and are independent in thought and agenda. If your non-executive directors are not doing this for you, find new NEDs.
- Actively seek diversity in your decision-making bodies:
- Appoint someone younger (or older) than you would usually look for;
- Pay attention to the experiences reflected in your board or executive team; are these varied enough? and
- Do they connect well with current and potential future customers and colleagues?
- Ask open questions more frequently:
- deliberately invite challenge to your beliefs and assertions. If you find yourself saying “surely it’s obvious”, use that as a catalyst to ask more questions; clearly, it’s not that obvious to everyone.
- Constantly seek out improvement:
- Look for mistakes and near-misses first as ways to learn and improve, rather than to blame and punish; and
- Invite feedback in the hope of learning ways to improve, not just to affirm and applaud good decisions.
- Make deliberate time to think. All of the leaders that we work with are smart people with the capacity to evaluate opportunities and risks. Yet many find themselves chasing immediate tasks and make little time to think ahead. This activity can be seductive in the short term, it can be rewarding solving problem after immediate problem. Yet without time to think, leaders can lurch from one issue to the next.
Final words of advice - thinking ahead is critical to the leader’s role – set aside time to think.
This week, schedule some thinking time, preferably somewhere other than your usual place of work.