I continue the examination of working with anchor points as a crucial leadership competency for thriving in change. I have been asked if anchor points are like values. Indeed, they are related, and some may overlap. Anchor points are also different from values. If you look at the last two blog posts, you can likely get a sense of what anchor points are, and that a person can have a personal set of values as one of their anchor points…and will have additional anchor points.
A leader we once worked with was clear about his own anchor points. They included:
- His personal values and what he would not compromise on because it felt to him that his integrity was tied to upholding these personal values.
- His faith in God and in the power of prayer.
- His belief in using evidence to make any decisions, always asking for tangible evidence to study before making a decision.
- His family and their special times together.
This man was responsible for a complex organization with staff in many countries. We participated with him while he went through the task of re-orienting the staff to a new vision and new strategies for performance to achieve a totally different goal than the organization had originally aimed for. This re-orientation change required people to form in different functional teams, to revamp their job duties, and to be subject to different performance measures. A significant number of the staff, who had previously had job duties related to their dominant talents, were now required to improve their less dominant talents in order to perform. The environment and expectations had shifted and the leader needed to lead his organization to thrive in the change despite everyone feeling like they had lost their footing, their stability.
We had already worked with this organization previously in changing the way that they conducted their meetings so that the meetings were more participatory allowing space for creativity and solution focus with everyone’s perspectives taken into account. During the process of dispensing with their traditional meetings that were considered to be time wasters, and developing their skills in leading useful participatory meetings, they had come to trust us as consultants.
The organization had a strong set of values that were well communicated and enacted throughout their more than 100 year history.
I tell you all of this because it assists in understanding what the people in the organization turned to as their anchor points so that they could maneuver through the change, remaining effective while the organization was in motion. The leader we were working with drew their attention to these anchoring points, and had the competency to use them to assist his organization. The anchor points that were used, effectively, were:
- The leader himself and his consistency throughout as he used his own anchor points to hold steady.
- Ourselves as trusted consultants to provide guidance throughout the process, in a way that respected the people and what they were going through.
- The values of the organization, which included valuing its staff.
- The highly participative Whole Person Process facilitated meetings that they had come to love as a way of finding their way to solutions.
If your organization was experiencing re-orientation change, what anchoring points would the people be able to use to hold steady?
If you are interested in figuring out anchoring points for your organization, please consider taking our upcoming on-line workshop combination Path to Organizational Health and Balance (May 17, from 9-4 EST) & Achieving and Regenerating Organizational Health and Balance (May 22 and 24, from 9-4 EST).