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Home » Leadership

Broken Arrow!

Submitted by on Wednesday, 23 October 2013No Comment

This recent post over on Forbes Inc. highlights a problem many companies have but are unaware of – namely that the competency model that most these companies use is broken, and, perhaps worse, actually counterproductive to them achieving their goals.

We’re going to go as far as to say that for many companies, this is now a broken arrow situation. Allow us to explain…

Broken Arrow

broken arrowIn the 1996 movie starring John Travolta and Christian Slater, the bad guy (played by Travolta) absconds with 2 nuclear warheads. This leads to a Broken Arrow situation being declared by the US military.

Travolta’s character is a rogue element actually working against his employer.

In today’s companies, employee disengagement has reached such epic proportions as we have seen previously that as many as 20% of company employees in the US are actively disengaged – or working against their employer. One in 5 of employees is a John Travolta! Except their talents are being used against the company’s mission.

Now we’ve seen before the importance of achieving organisational alignment. But a competency model is not the way to deliver that. As Mike Myatt has argued in his Forbes Inc. article, this model is broken!

That  is because it is top-down, command-and-control, and in short…

not permission-based.

How to ‘unbreak’ the broken arrow

Now we can almost hear the chorus of disapproval from HR departments, CEOs and academics… ‘if not a competency model, what then?’

Here are 3 powerful ways to build a robust leadership development model that is permission-based (i.e. built  follower up).

1. Use a scientifically-proven talent assessment

People want to do what they are born for – let them! This scientific talent assessment is a great start in helping them do that. You can then build a strengths-based organisation. The goal of effective management being not to motivate, but to liberate (see this post here for more on that).

2. Use a permission-based leadership development model

Research conducted by Kouzes and Posner has found that organisational values and top-down leadership development is an illusion.

Instead, choose permission-based leadership development that starts with the employee perspective and works up, like our leadership development model here, for example.

3. Create and follow an employee engagement discipline.

On an organisational level, you need to create and follow an employee engagement discipline. We explain exactly what employee engagement is here.

What you can do now

If you want to enhance leadership in your company then be sure to have a look at our Leadership Challenge Workshop. This powerful session equips you, and your colleagues, with the key skills for leading others based into global research into what followers expect of their leaders.

Just follow the link below for more details…


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