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How One Person Can Change the Conscience of an Organization

Making a difference

Corporate transformations can happen from middle managers, and even first-line supervisors, if their vision is combined with determination and helped by the right mindset, leading to support of their superiors and peers.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How One Person Can Change the Conscience of an Organization

How One Person Can Change the Conscience of an Organization

https://hbr.org/2019/12/how-one-person-can-change-the-conscience-of-an-organization

hbr.org

6

Key Ideas

The Conscience of an Organization

Certain organizations have the capacity to transform themselves, if the leader who is in charge, has the vision and the will for it.

It's not very often that short-term profitability and a selfish mindset is kept aside for the greater good.

The Power of One

A leader with clarity of conscience and a readiness to speak up can make a difference, and contribute to the greater good of humanity.

Cultural change can be made possible even if a middle-level or lower-level manager puts together a radical vision and gathers momentum from his peers.

Sequential skill development

Taking challenges continuously, big or small, contributes to your 'challenge taking' skill-building, preparing you for bigger milestones in the future.

The skills that are built, eventually operate in different areas, sometimes in unplanned and unanticipated situations. 

Sustained Focus 

Normally, these though may appear in a leader's mind:

  • This work is going to take months maybe years, so it's better to postpone it for a later time.
  • This plan, though helpful for a lot of people, will be potentially dangerous for my career.
  • It is not worth all the trouble and convincing others.

The real challenge is to get past these mind traps before the problem starts to appear ordinary.

Helping the underprivileged

If a transformation helps the underprivileged, it becomes all the more imperative.

If a leader's vision is contributing to benefiting the poor or making a positive impact on the environment, it becomes a moral duty and not just a task to carry out.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Leo Tolstoy

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

Leo Tolstoy
About change

Organizations don’t change. People change. Many companies move to change systems and structures and create new policies and processes but fail to address the underlying mind-sets and capabilities of the people who will execute it.

A new strategy will fall short of its potential if they fail to address the mental attitude because people on the ground tend to continue to behave as they did before.

Looking both ways

Companies that only look outward in the process of organizational change, and dismiss individual learning and adaptation make two common mistakes:

  • They focus solely on business outcomes and fail to appreciate that people will have to adapt to implement it.
  • They focus too much on developing skills. 

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Before remote rebooting your team

... consider:

  • More than 70% of leaders say their teams do not collaborate on their most important business problems, and 70% say their teams are conflict avoidant.
  • 2...
Strong virtual teams
  • Virtual and traditional teams can only succeed if all the members of the team feel like they can be candid.
  • Everyone on the team needs to be accountable, not only to results and to their superior, but to each other.
  • They proactively foster strong relationships (caring, trusting, supportive generous) among members.
  • Teams thrive when they have ambitious goals that have been collaboratively created and jointly owned.
Creating a new culture

Leaders and team members can make a virtue of this global situation and new world of work: you have an opportunity to introduce a totally new meeting culture, one that values candor and accountability.
It's not going to be easy, given the uncertainty we face. But now more than ever is important to work together.

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Outlining types of future problems
Outlining types of future problems

There are different types of problems that we will face now and in the future.

We need to evaluate the degree of “alarm” with which those problems should be treated.

Known problems with known solutions

Known problems with known solutions include the following:

  • Global warming. It is partly caused by excessive emission of carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 emissions come from energy generation and can be replaced by nuclear power.
  • Declining freshwater reserves could be tackled through greater use of desalination and recycling wastewater.

Once the gravity of these problems becomes apparent to a critical mass of humanity, solutions would be put in motion.

Known problems with solutions within reach

Known problems to which solutions are not only imaginable but (probably) within reach include:

  • Malaria: Like smallpox that was fully eradicated in 1980, it is not much of a stretch to think that Malaria will be defeated through a combination of genetic engineering, insecticide-treated mosquito nets, vaccines, and drugs.
  • Superbugs or deadly viruses: Crispr technology allows for easy alteration of DNA sequences and modifies gene function. Crispr could be used to turn bacterium or viruses machinery against itself.

These problems are bound to cause suffering until an appropriate solution is found.

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