Teamwork at the top

Posted in Aktuellt, Executive Coaching, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Fact Based Management, Leadership / Ledarskap on July 29th, 2021 by admin

Creating an effective top team starts with behavioral improvement and teamwork in leadership.

The popular business press on both sides of the Atlantic is infatuated with chief executive officers who have drunk from the Holy Grail of heroic leadership. To be sure, a single person can make a difference at times, but even such heroic CEOs as General Electric’s Jack Welch emphasize the power of team leadership in action. As Welch himself said, “We’ve developed an incredibly talented team of people running our major businesses, and, perhaps more important, there’s a healthy sense of collegiality, mutual trust, and respect for performance that pervades this organization.”

Increasingly, the top team is essential to the success of the enterprise. Indeed, Welch is celebrated not only for increasing GE’s revenues nearly sevenfold in his 20-year tenure but also for building one of the world’s strongest executive talent portfolios, which has provided new leadership for many Fortune 500 companies besides GE.

So despite the obsessions of the business press, senior executives, shareholders, and boards of directors question the myth of heroic leadership. Merely bringing in a new CEO to reshape an organization will tend to show mixed results. In reality, long-term success depends on the whole leadership team, for it has a broader and deeper reach into the organization than the CEO does, and its performance has a multiplier effect: a poorly performing team breeds competing agendas and turf politics; a high-performing one, organizational coherence and focus.

Often, however, the leadership team is at best a collection of strong individuals who sometimes work at cross-purposes. What does it take for senior managers to gel as a team? Our work with more than a score of top teams, involving upward of 500 executives in diverse private- and public-sector organizations, suggests a straightforward process for enhancing their performance.

The most effective teams, focusing initially on working together, get early results in their efforts to deal with important business issues and then reflect together on the manner in which they did so, thus discovering how to function as a team. Formal team-building retreats are rare; behavioral interventions and facilitated workshops, though sometimes helpful, are not central to the effort of team building. Top teams address business performance issues directly but behavioral issues only indirectly and after the event.

A second myth of leadership, as pervasive as the myth of the heroic CEO, is the idea that seasoned managers slotted into an organizational chart can easily function as a team. In reality, top teams face many problems: finding the right people, matching the available skills to the job, and learning to work together without taking the time to craft roles. Teams don’t magically coalesce overnight. Their members have to be close in the professional rather than personal sense; they can thrive in an atmosphere of conflict if it is managed to increase creative output and to catalyze change. Becoming a top-performing top team must be one of the team’s goals.

To meet that goal, teams have to master three dimensions of performance. First, they require a common direction: a shared understanding of goals and values. Second, skills of interaction are crucial if the team is to go beyond individual expertise to solve complex problems and, equally, if it is to withstand the scrutiny of the rest of the organization, for people usually take their cues from the top. Finally, top teams must always be able to renew themselves—to expand their capabilities in response to change.

One reason for the difficulty of improving a team’s performance is that interaction, direction, and renewal are interdependent—teams need to go forward simultaneously on all three fronts to make real progress. It isn’t surprising, for instance, that top teams interact poorly when they don’t have a common direction. By contrast, enhanced performance in one dimension not only reinforces the improvement in others but also provides for the genuine personal development that builds success.

Suppose, for example, the team believes that it must build trust among its members. It rarely helps to have self-conscious discussions or “sharing” exercises about keeping or breaching trust, an approach that may actually be quite destructive. But by working together to sharpen the sense of strategic direction—and in this way experiencing successful interactions—the team can indirectly, but often dramatically, improve its effectiveness and thus the feeling of trust among its members. In effect, the team exploits its strong reasoning abilities to build trust.

Identifying real problems

Tolstoy wrote, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” The same can be said of underperforming teams. Nonetheless, there are typical warning signs in each of the three dimensions of team performance.

Confused direction

Many CEOs assume that they and their top teams share a common understanding of corporate goals and values. Formal descriptions of roles, expected conduct, and corporate strategies and plans all reinforce this assumption, but several realities undermine it.

Lack of alignment. Executives may nod their heads when the CEO propounds a vision, but the team often lacks a shared view of how to implement it. At one well-known energy company, the five executives of a top team were asked to list the company’s 10 highest priorities. Alarmingly, they listed a total of 23 priorities; only 2 appeared on every executive’s list and only 7 on the lists of more than three members; indeed 13 of the 23 priorities appeared on only one list. In other cases, the team doesn’t agree about how performance should be assessed, who the company’s top performers are, or how to motivate the organization to achieve its stated objectives.

Lack of deep understanding. In some cases, the top team agrees on plans, but subsequent actions are inconsistent with its decisions. This problem reflects the tendency of top teams to focus on making decisions without examining the assumptions, the criteria, and the rationales behind them.

Lack of strategic focus. Top teams without a common direction spend more time on business as usual and on “fire fighting” than on seeking out and doing the work only they can do—work that is important to the organization and gives the team as a whole an opportunity to add value. A focused team concentrates on developing talent within the organization and on driving major growth initiatives; an unfocused team second-guesses line-management decisions, reruns analyses, and immerses itself in detail. Half of the executives we interviewed believed that they failed to add value in much of their work.

Ineffective interaction

Many management teams pay lip service to the importance of interaction but foster a working style that inhibits candid communication and collaboration.

Poor dialogue. Although the members of a team may spend much time talking to one another, they can often fail to communicate, by withholding vital information, suppressing critical opinions, or accepting questionable strategies out of fear of retaliation. These games lead not only to frustration but also to hidden agendas—problems that may stem from mistrust if individual team members don’t know one another or organizational units have a history of conflict. According to 65 percent of the respondents in our top-team database, trust was a real issue for their teams.

Dysfunctional behavior. Often the most serious result of poor dialogue is an inability to capitalize on diverse viewpoints and backgrounds, thus reducing the team’s ability to work creatively and adapt to changes in the market. And like any group of people, top teams can fall into destructive practices—for instance, the public humiliation of team members. Such behavior understandably creates fear and defensiveness and can intensify problems by isolating and scapegoating individual team members. Because the top team’s conduct is mimicked lower down in the organization, this kind of behavior can come to pervade it.

An inability to renew

Although many top teams recognize the importance of organizational renewal, few of them institute processes that revitalize effort and commitment. Three problems can make it hard for members of a team to step back and honestly assess their own performance. These problems often have their origin in the team members’ experience as middle managers. Most executives have climbed functional silos and are accustomed to defending their organizational turf. It is often difficult for such people to make the leap to broad strategic issues that have a bottom-line impact. Frequently, executives also can’t adapt their leadership style to life at the top, where interactions tend to be shorter, more frequent, less prepared, and aimed at a wider and more diverse audience.

Personal dissatisfaction. Many team members, despite their apparently successful careers and enviable positions, have become frustrated or insufficiently challenged by their work. A quarter of our respondents said that their jobs didn’t stretch them. Collectively and individually, team members ignore new sources of insight, information, and experience that could push them out of their comfort zone. The teams we have observed engaging in destructive politics usually discourage their members from assuming new roles or taking risks. As a result, these executives ultimately become bored, and their performance declines; hence, the typical CEO complaint that once-solid team members no longer energize others or adapt to changing needs.

Insularity. Top teams rarely pay enough attention to information from outside their companies or industries—information that, digested quickly, could influence key strategic and organizational decisions. In addition, top teams seldom make the time to reflect on the information they do receive and to assess its future impact. Lacking structured processes to receive and reflect upon information from external sources, most teams don’t find the time to generate a real strategic focus.

Deficient individual skills. Most companies give the members of their top teams little mentoring or coaching about how to effect change. Unlike middle managers, who frequently get broad training and coaching, senior managers usually work without a safety net and, frequently, without a second chance. Among the executives we surveyed, 80 percent believed that they had the necessary skills to fulfill their role, but only 30 percent believed that all of their colleagues did.

Becoming a top team

How can a company set about improving the performance of its top team? Our research points to some useful strategies for promoting effective action, reflection, and cohesion.

How it works

Many behavioral team-improvement efforts fail because they don’t speak to the needs of top managers: programmed exercises, for instance, seem artificial. Our work with top teams suggests four ways to build their performance by replicating the way senior executives actually work together.

1. Address a number of initiatives concurrently. The top team must focus on the most pressing issues—work that only it can do. Achieving tangible outcomes in a variety of management challenges is essential. The activities most likely to foster team action and reflection include framing strategy, managing performance, managing stakeholders, and reviewing top talent. The team really needs to do these things whether or not its members are attempting to improve their own performance as a team. The action element of the cycle improves the direction of the organization and its ability to renew itself, while reflection makes it possible for teams to discover ways of improving their interaction.

2. Channel the team’s discontent. Only 20 percent of the executives we surveyed thought their team was a high-performing one. Successful teams invite external challenges, focus on competitive threats, and judge themselves by best practice, since comparisons with industry leaders or key competitors raise the quality of debate by putting facts on the table.

3. Minimize outside intrusions. It is hard for a team to execute an improvement process by itself; some form of facilitation is usually required. Consultants or coaches should observe top teams at work rather than lead meetings or presentations. They should never try to direct the team’s work. Finally, they should ensure that real work dominates the improvement process. Teams must discover what is effective for them. Merely telling a team the solution to its problems reinforces the poor quality of its alignment and interaction.

4. Encourage inquiry and reflection. More than 80 percent of the executives we surveyed said that they didn’t set aside enough time for analyzing the root causes of problems. These executives believe that instead of developing rules of thumb slowly and subconsciously, they should use their business experience to draw lessons. Most senior business executives took a decade or more to develop their business judgment, but with the tenure of CEOs becoming shorter as investors’ expectations rise, most top teams just cannot wait years to improve their performance. Facilitating team cycles of action and reflection—accelerating the pace of change and making the process of discovery explicit—can have a significant effect in as quickly as three months.

What it looks like

On the face of it, a top team going through the performance improvement process resembles any other top team at work. As usual, CEOs and senior executives address a number of strands of business, but they focus on major strategic issues and work together as colleagues rather than delegate tasks to staffers, consultants, or individual team members. At a minimum, the entire top team should spend one day each month together, without staffers, doing real work as a team. Subgroups of two or three members should work together a couple of times a week on every issue the team is addressing and should probably spend some time with a facilitator as well.

Teams rarely manage to improve their performance wholly outside their active working environment, so short-term workshops, no matter how attractive the setting or how heart-felt and candid the members’ exchanges may be, aren’t likely to change their mode of working. Structured self-discovery and reflection must be combined with decision making and action in the real world; the constant interplay among these elements over time is what creates lasting change.

Why it works

Teamwork is a pragmatic enterprise that grows from tangible achievements. The action-reflection cycle—supported by improved direction, interaction, and renewal—complements the work style of most senior teams. First, this approach pushes them to address their own performance just as directly and forcefully as they would address other business performance issues. By doing real work on important problems and applying business judgment to reflect on that work, top teams jump-start their performance and satisfy their need for visible progress.

Second, taking an oblique approach to sensitive performance issues allows top teams to address their behavior after the event, without personal confrontations. Team members discover that alternative points of view are valid, that the CEO doesn’t have all the ideas the company needs for success, and that the team can be both challenging and supportive at the same time. This paradoxical combination—the indirect assessment of team behavior through direct work on critical issues—allows top teams to manage their own performance. Before investing time and resources in programs to build the top team, leaders should ensure that such efforts deal with its real work.

Teams must assess their own performance regularly and honestly. Every senior team should also dedicate several working sessions a year to issues—such as technology, changing demographics, political and environmental pressures, and emerging themes from management literature—that have little bearing on the next quarter but could reshape the enterprise and the team itself during the next five years. Teams should also explore unexpected successes and interesting failures inside and outside their organizations. They ought to travel, both physically and intellectually, outside their own regions and industries to companies that have tackled challenges similar to their own.

In doing all this, teams should pay attention to the consistency of their leadership, the quality of their interaction, and their opportunities for renewal. They must also build into their work processes ample time to reflect on the deeper causes of problems, on the areas where they can add the most value as a team, and on the quality of their past decisions. It is the process of discovering the best way for the members of the team to work together that ensures the absorption of basic behavioral lessons.

The prize for building effective top teams is clear: they develop better strategies, perform more consistently, and increase the confidence of stakeholders. They get positive results—and make the work itself a more positive experience both for the team’s members and for the people they lead.



Så minskar du den farliga stressen i din vardag

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Executive Coaching on February 18th, 2021 by admin

”Åh vad bra, tips om avspänning och återhämning!” tänker du, men du inte hinner med det nu. Det får bli sedan – i kväll, i helgen eller på semestern.

– Det är lätt att skjuta upp återhämtning, men den måste ske helst ske flera gånger varje dag om du vill minska risken för stressrelaterad ohälsa, säger Niclas Almén, leg psykolog, som har skrivit en guide om hur vi kan hantera vardagens stress.

Stressen finns överallt i våra liv. Den är egentligen inte farlig, tvärtom är stress ett naturligt inslag som ofta behövs för att vi ibland ska kunna prestera bättre eller ta i lite extra.

Problemet är när kroppens stresspåslag kommer för tätt, håller i sig länge eller knappt går över alls. Det här kan leda till en försämrad livskvalitet och i värsta fall till ohälsa eller olika sjukdomar, som utmattningssyndrom eller hjärtinfarkt.

I sin kommande bok ”Återhämtningsguiden. Må bra trots stress och press” lyfter Niclas Almén fram vårt behov av återhämtning. Hans fokus ligger inte på att minska stressfaktorerna utan på hur vi återhämtar oss på mikronivå, det vill säga flera gånger dagligen i mindre doser.

– Självklart finns det situationer där faktorerna till stress behöver reduceras, men betydelsen av återhämtning lyfts nu fram allt mer i forskningen, säger Niclas Almén, som arbetar som KBT-psykolog samt forskar vid Mittuniversitetet i Östersund om stress och återhämtning.

I det program som Niclas Almén står bakom lär sig deltagare steg för steg att varva ned och lära kropp och knopp att återhämta sig.

– Tyvärr är det ofta när man är som mest uppvarvad och mest behöver återhämtning som det är svårast att få till den. Detta kallas för återhämningsparadoxen.

Begreppet återhämtning leder lätt tankarna till passiv vila och mindfulness-övningar. Det kan mycket väl vara passande lösningar, men Niclas Almén betonar att återhämtning kan vara väldigt många olika saker och att vi behöver variera den beroende på situationen.

Den som arbetar i en pratig miljö ska kanske inte gå till fikarummet under pausen. Då kan det i stället vara bättre att gå runt kvarteret eller att lösa ett korsord under rasten. För den som arbetar ensam kan det vara återhämtande att ringa en vän och prata i några minuter. Den som har ett stillasittande arbete kan behöva vara fysiskt aktiv medan den som har ett tungt fysiskt arbete kan föredra att sitta ned under återhämtningsstunden

Det är lätt att hantera återhämtningen slentrianmässigt och utan att notera om den verkligen gör nytta, att den får kroppen att varva ned ordentligt. Niclas Almén ger ett exempel från när han mätte hjärtverksamheten hos tre personer under några dagar. För två av personerna visade det sig att kroppen inte gav indikation på vila under deras fikapauser på arbetet.

– De trodde att de återhämtade sig då, så det här blev en väckarklocka för dem. De valde att ändra sina beteenden, den ena började lyssna på musik under pauserna och den andra läste en bok under vissa raster i stället för att fika med kollegorna. Båda kände att de mådde bättre av detta.

Om du inte känner att stressen rinner av dig, att du har blivit piggare eller revitaliserad efter vad du tror är en återhämtande stund kan det vara lämpligt att pröva andra beteenden, råder Niclas Almén.

Under pauserna i en rehabgrupp som Niclas Almén ledde satt de flesta kvar i rummet, på samma stolar, och pratade vidare med varandra.

– När jag i stället sade att vi under pausen medvetet skulle välja beteenden som skulle leda till en specifik återhämtning, till exempel att återfå koncentrationsförmågan, ändrade de sina beteenden. De interagerade mindre med varandra, öppnade ett fönster och några klädde på sig och gick utomhus en stund.

Niclas Almén tror att det bland annat var den sociala normen om att vara trevlig mot andra som begränsade återhämtningen under de första vanliga rasterna. Det kan finnas en rädsla för att verka avståndstagande gentemot kollegor och vänner om man inte längre gör som man brukar eller umgås med dem. Känns det så kan det hjälpa att berätta varför man har ändrat sitt beteende.

– Det kan vara bra att involvera andra i sin återhämtning. Prata med partnern, vänner och kollegor. Du kan fråga hur de gör för att varva ned och det är kanske någon annan som också vill förändra sitt beteende. Ni blir kanske några som börjar promenera tillsammans på lunchen, eller spelar pingis på rasterna i stället för att fika. Kan du få hjälp med återhämtningen ökar chansen att du får till en förändring som varar.

Om du ser återhämtningen som ett behov som skapar välmående och inte som ett krav förbättras oddsen för att du ska lyckas. Steg ett är dock att komma i gång och det är inte alltid enkelt. En orsak till att det går trögt är ofta ”Jag ska bara göra klart…” Återhämtningen fastnar lätt i ett sedan som aldrig kommer.

– Det där är nästan alltid en önsketanke, att får jag bara undan det här så kan jag slappna av efter det. Eftersom det hela tiden dyker upp nya saker är det ofta som det här inte fungerar.

Att annat möjligt skäl till att återhämtningen inte blir av är rädsla för att tröttheten helt ska ta över, eller att personen har blivit så van vid stressen är hen inte är medveten om att det behövs en paus. Andra skjuter upp sin återhämtning av oro för att kollegor ska tycka att man är lat eller smiter från jobbet – hur kan hen ta rast nu när vi har så mycket att göra?

För att freda återhämtningen kan du behöva sätta gränser och då helst på ett bekräftande sätt, framhåller Niclas Almén. Säg inte bara nej till att göra en viss sak, som att förhöra ditt barn på läxan, utföra någon extrauppgift på jobbet eller hjälpa din vän med något som inte är akut. Förklara för dottern att hon kan läsa på lite mer så förhör du henne om en stund. Säg till chefen att det inte är möjligt med fler uppgifter för dig, men att ni kan diskutera om ni kan lösa detta på ett annat sätt. Föreslå vännen att du hjälper till om ett par dagar i stället, i dag har du tyvärr inte tid eftersom du behöver din löprunda.

Enligt Niclas Almén kan vi se på återhämtning som att äta. Du blir hungrig flera gånger varje dag, men du tänker knappast att ätandet får skjutas upp till senare, som i kväll eller på lördag när du är ledig. Målet med hans program är cirka fem dagliga återhämtningstillfällen, spridda över förmiddag, eftermiddag och kväll. Om du skriver in möten och plikter i din kalender kan du även börja föra in tider för återhämtning.

– Prova gärna dig fram brett för att hitta flera olika saker som ger dig återhämtning och välj dem som du tror kan fungera på lång sikt. Är du inte alls är intresserad av att lägga pussel, titta på samma tv-serie som sambon eller att gå till utegymmet ska du nog satsa på något annat. Det kommer att kännas svårt ibland, men glöm inte att uppmärksamma dina framsteg och de positiva effekterna av återhämtningen. Då blir du mer motiverad att fortsätta, säger Niclas Almén.

Förslag på återhämtning

Det finns otaliga exempel på stunder av återhämtning som du kan få in i din vardag. Vad som har effekt varierar, här är några exempel på vad du kan pröva:

Öppna fönstret och stå där i några minuter.

Be om en kort axelmassage av en familjemedlem, vän eller kollega och massera sedan den personen på samma sätt.

Lyssna på musik som du tycker om.

Gör sudoko, lös ett korsord eller dylikt.

Ta en promenad runt kvarteret.

Motionera, i en form och på ett sätt som gör att du känner dig revitaliserad efteråt. Det ska inte vara kravfyllt eller inriktat på prestation.

Meditera, träna mindfulness.

Gå i skogen.

Sjung eller spela något instrument.

Titta på film.

Lek med dina barn.

Läs en bok.

Laga mat eller baka.

Spela familjespel.

Ta en fika med kollegor.

Ring eller träffa en vän via ett videomöte eller under en promenad.

Lyssna på en podd eller låt det vara tyst runt om dig en stund.


Källa:, 17 februari 2021

How to communicate effectively in times of uncertainty

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Executive Coaching, Leadership / Ledarskap on February 2nd, 2021 by admin

These five fundamental tools can help leaders effectively communicate with their teams and carry their organizations through uncertain times with a renewed sense of purpose and trust.

During a crisis, an employee’s most trusted source of information is often their employer. For this reason, a leader’s words and actions can have a major impact on the well-being of those they manage; they can help keep people safe, help them adjust and cope emotionally and help them put their experience into context and draw meaning from it.

But crises also present leaders with infinitely complicated challenges and no easy answers. Tough trade-offs abound, and with them, tough decisions about communicating complex issues to diverse audiences.

The good news is that the fundamental tools of effective communication still work. Define and point to long-term goals, listen to and understand your stakeholders, and create openings for dialogue. Be proactive. But don’t stop there. Superior crisis communicators also do these five things well.

1. Give people what they need, when they need it. 
People’s information needs evolve in a crisis. So should a good communicator’s messaging.

In a crisis’s early stages, communicators must provide instructing information to encourage calm; how to stay safe is fundamental. As people begin to follow safety instructions, communication can shift to a focus on adjusting to change and uncertainty. Finally, as the crisis’s end comes into view, ramp up internalizing information to help people make sense of the crisis and its impact.

2. Communicate clearly, simply, frequently. 
A crisis limits people’s capacity to absorb information in the early days. Focus on keeping employees safe and healthy. To convey crucial information to employees, keep messages simple, to the point and actionable.

People tend to pay more attention to positively framed information; negative information can erode trust. Frame instructions as “dos” (best practices and benefits) rather than “don’ts” (what people shouldn’t do, or debunking myths).

Also, communicators regularly underestimate how frequently messages must be repeated and reinforced. The study, “Inverted U-shaped model: How frequent repetition affects perceived risk” published in 2015, showed that an audience needs to hear a health-risk-related message nine to 21 times to maximize its perception of that risk. Establish a steady cadence; repeat the same messages frequently; and try mantras, rhyming and alliteration to improve message “stickiness.”

3. Choose candor over charisma.
Trust is never more important than in a crisis. Those who fail to build trust quickly in crises lose their employees’ confidence.

Be honest about where things stand, differentiating clearly between what is known and unknown, and don’t minimize or speculate. Give people a behind-the-scenes view of the different options you are considering and involve stakeholders when making operational decisions.

Judiciously share your own feelings and acknowledge the personal effects of emotional turmoil. Remember that what you do matters as much as what you say in building trust, and scrutiny of leaders’ actions is magnified during a crisis.

4. Revitalize resilience.
As the health crisis metastasizes into an economic crisis, accentuate the positive by sharing stories and creating uplifting moments to reignite resilient spirits.

Additionally, strengthen communal bonds to restore confidence. Helping others is a great way to improve well-being and reduce stress. It’s also important to rebuild a common social identity and a sense of belonging based on shared values, norms and habits.

5. Distill meaning from chaos.
The crisis will end. Help people make sense of all that has happened.

Early on, be clear about what your organization will achieve during this crisis. Establish a clear vision, or mantra, for how the organization and its people will emerge. Explore ways to connect the disruption employees face to something bigger.

While it’s important to shape a story of meaning for your organization, it’s equally important to create a space where others can do the same for themselves. Ask people what conclusions they are drawing from this crisis and listen deeply.

Relying on these practices will help team members stay safe and infuse understanding and meaning in communities, helping to carry an organization through a crisis with a renewed sense of purpose and trust. For further guidance, please read “A leader’s guide: Communicating with teams, stakeholders, and communities during COVID-19.”

Source:, February 2021

Har du rätt värderingar för att kunna få jobb?

Posted in Aktuellt, Executive Coaching, Leadership / Ledarskap on November 2nd, 2020 by admin

Värderingstester ska mäta om jobbsökande passar in.

Logiktester, personlighetstester och caselösningar. Många jobbsökare kan vittna om allt mer tidskrävande rekryteringsprocesser. Den senaste trenden ska mäta de sökandes värderingar – men metoden möter kritik.

Under 2000-talet har kulturen på arbetsplatsen hamnat allt mer i fokus. Men den senaste trenden riktar snarare ljuset mot de anställda.

Genom att göra värderingstester vill rekryterare kartlägga vad en arbetssökande tycker är viktigt och mindre viktigt, men också vad som motiverar dem och hur de skulle agera i olika situationer. När kartläggningen är klar matchas personens värderingar med arbetsplatsens kultur. Det kan till exempel handla om att leta efter anställda som lever upp till visionen om att vara ”aktiv, professionell och trygg”.

Resultatet kan presenteras på olika sätt beroende på vem som testar. Ibland anger en procentsats hur mycket den arbetssökandes värderingar överensstämmer med företagets. Ibland är underlaget mer utförligt och beskriver på vilka punkter kandidaten och organisationen är lika och på vilka de skiljer sig åt.

Enligt ett av testföretagens hemsidor har en person som matchar större chans att stanna på företaget. Om två kandidater i övrigt är lika, kan alltså värderingarna vara det som avgör vem som ska få jobbet.

Fenomenet är fortfarande nytt, och det är långt ifrån alla rekryterare som har börjat använda testet. Åsikterna går isär – även inom kåren. Anna Rydbacken, som ansvarar för fördomsfri rekrytering på rekryterings- och bemanningsföretaget TNG, är tudelad.

– Det är förstås jobbigt att arbeta i en organisation där man inte stödjer huvudsyftet med verksamheten. Men att sträva efter att alla kollegor ska ha samma fritidsintresse eller samma inställning till hur mycket energi man vill lägga på jobbet… där måste vi få vara lite olika, säger hon.

Att TNG inte använder värderingstester beror delvis på att många stora testföretag ännu inte erbjuder sådana. Men Anna Rydbacken säger att hon har noterat att det ”börjat bubbla” i branschen. Hon utesluter inte att de kommer använda värderingstest i framtiden, men just nu ser hon en risk att de kan leda till mindre fördomsfri rekrytering.

– Ja, i och med att du kan välja att ännu tydligare plocka in personer som är exakt som de andra i organisationen.

Och vad är risken med det?

– Då får vi en väldigt homogen grupp. Idag vet vi att organisationer behöver ha större olikhet i alltifrån ålder och etnicitet till var har vi studerat. På senare tid har det bara sprutat ut rapporter om hur mycket bättre organisationer presterar och mår om vi har större mångfald, säger hon.

Det kommunala bostadsbolaget Stångåstaden i Linköping säger sig ha varit först i Sverige med att använda värderingstester. Malin Wettre, HR-chef på Stångåstaden, ser tvärt om att testerna bidrar till mångfald.

– Tidigare tittade vi mer på om man har en viss kompetens och har jobbat med samma saker förut. Nu kan vi våga gå ut och titta bredare, välja människor från exempelvis andra branscher, men med rätt inställning och värderingar, säger hon.

Förhoppningen är att testerna ska minska antalet felrekryteringar. Reaktionerna från de sökande har hittills varit positiva, enligt Malin Wettre. En del menar till och med att organisationens fokus på värdegrund bidrog till att de sökte ett jobb på Stångåstaden. Att organisationen ska bli mer likriktad bedömer Wettre som osannolikt.

– Nej, för det har inte alls med personlighet att göra utan om de gemensamma värderingar vi har inom Stångåstaden, säger hon och pekar på att det snarare handlar om hur de bemöter kunder eller hur de agerar gentemot varandra.

Hon får medhåll av Sara Höglund, senior rekryterare på Adecco, ett rekryteringsföretag som sedan några månader tillbaka börjat använda värderingstester. Anledningen är att förmågor som att klara av förändringar och att leda sig själv ses som allt viktigare för att kunna möta framtiden.

– Test kan ge en indikation på om personen lämpar sig mer för bolaget i stort, vilket bidrar till att man kan hitta en person som har en motivation och engagemang som matchar just den organisationen, säger Sara Höglund.

Hon tror att det är minst lika viktigt för dem som söker jobb att ställa samma typ av motfrågor till potentiella arbetsgivare.

– Fråga vad de har för värdegrund och vad det betyder i verkligheten. Fundera över vad som är viktigt för dig, tipsar hon. Att värderingsstyrd rekrytering för tyska byråkrater hade kunnat förhindra Förintelsen är till exempel tveksamt

Hannes Landén, doktorand i sociologi vid Uppsala universitet, pekar på att värderingar inte är så ”neutrala” som många vill tro. De är inte heller jämnt utspridda i samhället utan hänger ofta ihop med faktorer som bakgrund och klass. Därför tror han inte att värderingstester bidrar till större mångfald.

– Om jag forskade på det här skulle jag ha som grundhypotes att man kommer få ganska styrda mönster av till exempel klass. Men det beror förstås på hur testet används, säger han.

I sin forskning har han noterat att det finns en tendens att ”egenskapifiera” det som egentligen beskriver en relation mellan arbetsgivare och arbetstagare.

– Att vara motiverad, engagerad eller driven ses som karaktärsdrag, men man skulle lika gärna kunna beskriva det som ett uttryck för en fungerande relation. Det finns ju ingen som är engagerad hela tiden om man inte får någonting tillbaka eller som är motiverad vad som än händer. Så i den meningen är det inga karaktärsdrag, men det görs om till något man tänker sig att arbetskraften, den som söker jobbet, ska leva upp till.

Att organisationer intresserar sig för mer än de anställdas personlighet, kultur och mjuka värden är ingenting nytt. Hannes Landén tycker däremot att det finns en paradox mellan att å ena sidan värdera en kultur som gärna ska vara familjär, rolig och gemenskapande, men å andra sidan utföra tester.

– I sammanhang som verkligen bygger på gemenskap, till exempel i ett kompisgäng eller familj, då använder man inte den här typen av test för personlighet. Att man vill testa någon bygger på en vilja att utöva en form av kontroll, man vill leda och styra en organisation, säger han.

Som sociolog tror han att människors agerande främst påverkas av situationen, av vilka spelregler som finns och vilken roll man tilldelas. Att värderingsstyrd rekrytering för tyska byråkrater hade kunnat förhindra Förintelsen är till exempel tveksamt, menar Hannes Landén.

– Så det finns anledning att vara lite försiktig med vilken betydelse man tillmäter värderingar.

Improve your leadership team’s effectiveness through key behaviors

Posted in Aktuellt, Executive Coaching, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Leadership / Ledarskap on September 29th, 2020 by admin
Having effective leadership teams can yield significant results across the entire organization. All leadership teams should strive for such results by addressing key opportunity areas and the behaviors most important to their success.

Delivers growth, innovation, and organizational agility and is an expert on culture change, leadership development, team effectiveness, capability building, and transformation

As investors cast a wider net to gain a more accurate view of a company’s prospects, most realize they should also look closely at the management team. Leaders can make or break a company transformation. In fact, 33 percent of failed transformations occur because the leadership team’s behaviors did not support the desired changes.

Consider one large insurance company. Discord among senior leaders led to low trust among team members, misaligned priorities, ineffective meetings, and struggles to make or adhere to decisions. The result was significant churn and rework. Employee engagement and accountability dropped, and the transformation slowed.

With so much riding on the leadership team’s performance, what can be done to improve its effectiveness?

Our experience, combined with scientific literature on organizational psychology, revealed 22 behaviors that contribute to effectiveness. These behaviors can be broadly condensed into four characteristics of effective teams:

  • They configure the team around a clear mandate and precise roles, understanding which roles drive the most value and securing the right talent for those positions.
  • They align on a value agenda, set of priorities, and way of working together, which helps forge a distinct identity.
  • They execute under a governance system that allows them to make decisions quickly and effectively, collaborate, and challenge one another.
  • They take time to renew—evolving, innovating, learning from the broader context, and investing in individual and team-wide development.

Bringing leadership together around critical behaviors

We studied 37 organizations to understand how frequently each behavior occurs in their leadership teams and which ones they believe are most important to their success. The results suggest that significant opportunity exists to improve behaviors associated with team effectiveness.

For instance, while leadership teams generally agree that aligning on their purpose is critical, only 60 percent of organizations’ team members reported that they were actually aligned. Similarly, while consistent communication is ranked as a priority, less than 40 percent of teams report practicing it. This failure to enact important behaviors is a missed opportunity: when leadership teams have a shared, meaningful, and engaging vision, the company is nearly two times more likely to achieve above-median financial performance.*

To design a leadership team journey, teams should align on their value agenda and vision; be thoughtful about which profiles are represented in the leadership team; structure the right cadence of interactions, focus on the most important decisions and areas where the team needs to collaborate; and identify and develop three to five behaviors that are most critical to delivering the organization’s value agenda. The initiatives taken to address these behaviors should be simple and results oriented.

It is easy for senior leadership teams to fall into a pattern of addressing all escalated decisions. Therefore, some leadership teams have improved their effectiveness by focusing their time and attention on the work only they can do and delegate the rest. Relatedly, some teams schedule fewer meetings with the core team and instead use committees to meet on topics for which the full team is not required.

Source: McKinsey. com, 2020

Leadership: How to demonstrate calm and optimism in a crisis

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Executive Coaching, Leadership / Ledarskap on May 26th, 2020 by admin
Six practices can help leaders build their self-awareness and guide their organizations through the challenges ahead.

When the path ahead is uncertain, people turn to leaders to help them gain clarity and a grounded hope for a better future. They want someone with a positive vision, who is confident about tackling the problems we all face yet courageous enough to confront uncomfortable truths and admit what they do not know.

What’s more, people seek community and safety. Business leaders can underestimate how much their employees look to them for information. To address these needs, leaders should act with deliberate calm and bounded optimism. Those who can visibly demonstrate these qualities help their organizations feel a sense of purpose, giving them hope that they can face the challenges ahead.

But that is hard to do in a crisis, since humans are biologically wired to have a stress response (fight, flight, or freeze) when confronted with volatile environments, unpredictable events, and constant stress

We’ve written about how leaders can shift their organizations to a crisis footing, from launching nerve centers to creating networks of teams. Here we focus on leaders themselves, and how they can prepare themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally to respond to the pandemic through the months ahead.

To stay calm and optimistic while under such pressure, leaders should practice what we call integrative awareness: being aware of the changing reality in the outside world and how they are responding emotionally and physically. This intentional practice allows leaders to shift from viewing challenges as roadblocks to seeing them as problems to be solved, and even learned from.

Leading and learning outside your comfort zone

In a crisis, leaders must continuously process large amounts of complex information, contradictory views, and strong emotions. This requires awareness of what happens in the outside world (facts on the ground) and in the inside world (body and mind). Concepts in neuroscience that are closely related to this are “exteroception” (sensitivity to stimuli originating outside of the body) and “interoception” (sensitivity to stimuli originating inside the body). Effectively connecting situational awareness with self-awareness, our outer world with our inner, is what we call integrative awareness.

In a crisis of uncertainty, this process helps leaders avoid overreacting to challenges or jumping to conclusions just to stop feeling uncomfortable. Developing integrative awareness helps leaders recognize these stress responses as opportunities to pause and reflect before acting, giving them the tools to lead with deliberate calm and bounded optimism. When they do that, instinctive biological reactions will start working for them and not against them. Not only will this practice lead to increased effectiveness but it is also essential to managing personal health and energy over a longer period of time. (Jump to the six practices here.)

Deliberate calm: how to steer into the storm

In crisis situations, leaders must make a deliberate choice to practice a calm state of mind. Then they can step back from a fraught or high-stakes situation and choose how to respond, rather than reacting instinctively. These folks become comfortable with discomfort and can look at adversity through a new lens. A leader who is deliberately calm realizes that fear, channeled from uncomfortable facts or emotions, offers potentially valuable information and so doesn’t get unhinged by it. Reframing a threat as an opportunity for learning and innovation turns an uncertain situation into one of hope and possibility. Stress can be good if you harness and frame it constructively ; it keeps energy levels high and positive even in a crisis environment.

We have seen many examples of entrepreneurial and innovative responses to the coronavirus. These run the gamut from local sports clubs that started delivering meals and universities that digitalized their courses to medical innovations related to ventilators and artificial-intelligence-enabled social services for the unemployed.

Compassion and acceptance for self and others is an essential ingredient for leaders who want to be deliberately calm. It is only human to react impulsively to stressful events. And we may regret this and feel ashamed about it. In these moments it is important for leaders to emphasize self-care and self-compassion. We need to remind ourselves that we cannot change the past, but we can change how we perceive it and how we look to the future. Self-care goes beyond making sure to have a good regimen of sleep, eating, and exercise. It is also about letting up on the self-criticism or perfectionism, to be able to connect with core intentions and purpose. Practicing this yourself also enhances your capacity to be empathetic with others.

Being deliberately calm can have a multiplier effect on communities. How humans are “wired” to share emotional cues has been researched extensively. Leaders’ emotions have a big impact on an organization: when a leader is impatient, fearful, or frustrated, people begin to feel the same way, and their feelings of safety diminish. On the other hand, when a leader is hopeful and calm, the group can face challenges more creatively.

After attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March 2019 killed more than 50 people, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern earned praise for leading her country’s response to the worst mass murder in its modern history with deliberate calm and compassion. She has exhibited the same leadership attributes in the current crisis: “I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong,” she has said.

Bounded optimism: How to mix confidence and hope with realism

In a crisis, people want leaders to fix things fast. However, in a complex situation like the coronavirus pandemic, familiar answers might not work and could even be counterproductive. Early on, leaders can lose credibility by displaying excessive confidence or by providing simple answers to difficult problems in spite of obviously difficult conditions. It is essential to project confidence that the organization will find its way through the crisis but also show that you recognize its severity. This is authentic confidence —“cheerfulness in the face of adversity,” as the British Royal Marines put it. No one wants to follow a pessimist, but they don’t want to follow a blind optimist either.

Optimism that springs from authentic values and trust in people’s capabilities can be the source of energy for everyone in the organization to move forward. By contrast, optimism without meaning or grounding may lead to disappointment and defeat.

Leaders with bounded optimism practice what we call “meaning making.” Meaning helps everyone remember that difficult times and long hours of work serve a purpose. Think of all those healthcare workers focusing on their patients even at great risk to themselves. Meaning builds confidence, efficacy, and endurance but can also serve as a balm if the outcome is not what was hoped for, because the striving in and of itself was honorable.

The crisis response by Mark Rutte, prime minister of the Netherlands, has won praise for being optimistic yet bounded by realism. In an address in mid-March, he told the Dutch that “My message to you this evening is not an easy one to hear. The reality is that coronavirus is with us and will remain among us for the time being. There is no easy or quick way out of this very difficult situation.” He outlined steps the country would have to take, before closing with this appeal: “With all the uncertainties out there, one thing is absolutely clear: the challenge we face is enormous, and all 17 million of us will have to work together to overcome it. Together we will get through this difficult period. Take care of each other. I’m counting on you.”

In times of crisis, a leader’s role in creating meaning only grows. Leaders should remember that they are always visible, even if they are not seen in person, and that their authentic role modeling of the organization’s purpose is essential.

Leaders with bounded optimism leverage meaning and personal stories to build connections. In this crisis, when many of us are isolated at home, distress is increasing. As human beings we need to connect and engage with others in a positive way to stay mentally and physically healthy. Employees want to hear a leader’s vision for how to respond to the crisis, and they also want to connect at a personal level. Video-enabled “town halls” offer a perfect opportunity for leaders to convey what’s on their mind to the broader organization and find out what is keeping everyone awake at night.

Putting integrative awareness into practice

As human beings, we can practice integrative awareness before, in, and after the moment. Beforehand, we can visualize the expected external event and our potential internal response. After the event, we can reflect and process the experience, let go of stress, and gain insight. In the moment, we can observe ourselves while having the experience and regulate our behavior at the same time.

Captain Chesley Sullenberger brought the process of integrative awareness alive when he landed his commercial plane in the Hudson River in 2009. After a bird strike cut both engines of his commercial flight soon after takeoff, Captain Sullenberger demonstrated the ability to stay calm while facing fear. Instead of returning to the airport as air traffic controllers were advising, he paused and assessed that he couldn’t make it, landing instead in the river and saving the lives of all on board. The balancing of emotions with a rational and deliberate thought process is something scientists call metacognition.

By practicing internal awareness on two levels (having the experience and observing it at the same time), you can catch early signals of distress, doubt, or fear without acting out a stress response. This is especially critical in times of crisis. While we can never be purely objective, we can try to reach that state as much as possible. Without objective awareness, signals of distress can trigger “survival” behavior, and we lose the ability to pause, reflect, and decide. For a leader during crisis, this survival state can present a huge risk, and in the case of Captain Sullenberger, it would have been fatal.

In a crisis, some leaders react to complex problems with polarizing opinions, quick fixes, false promises, or overly simplistic answers, often combined with a command-and-control leadership style. They lose their ability to be in dialogue, to continuously adapt, and to look for novel solutions. In a situation where their experience falls short, but without the ability to practice integrative awareness, they may be guided by their fear and resort to habitual responses, often unconsciously biased, to unfamiliar problems.

Another risk of not being aware of our internal world is found in “sacrifice syndrome”: leaders who face constant pressure do not find time to take care of themselves, leading to reduced effectiveness and exhaustion.

The Dutch minister for medical care, Bruno Bruins, showed this danger when he collapsed in Parliament in mid-March during a debate on the coronavirus. Bruins said he was suffering from exhaustion after weeks of nonstop crisis management, and later decided to quit his post.


Six steps for leaders

Here are six practices that leaders can follow to develop their integrative awareness. While they may seem straightforward and commonsensical, too often leaders don’t follow them, thinking they’ll worry about themselves after the crisis has passed. That won’t work in the current context.

1. Adapt your personal operating model

Your priorities, your roles, your time, and your energy are all elements of the way you operate on a daily basis. Create an operating model that can act as your compass, especially in a crisis that is expected to last for some time. As the coronavirus emerged as a threat, we saw that many leaders went into overdrive, working around the clock to respond effectively. It was only after some time had passed that most started to build more of a structure into their lives.

Ask yourself: How does your personal operating model align with the changes in your work life right now? What does this mean for how you operate with your direct leadership team? What does this mean for how you engage with your family? What are your “non-negotiables” in this model (for example, sufficient sleep, regular exercise, meditation practice, and healthy food)?

2. Set your intention

Take a few minutes at the start of the day to go through your agenda, identify high-stakes topics, and set an intention for what you want to accomplish and how you want the experience to unfold. Many people do this as a visualization exercise, like a Formula One driver imagining driving the circuit before a race. This enables you to predict “emotional hot spots” and provides a bulwark against reactive thinking. What challenges, curveballs or brutal facts might you have to face, and what possible opportunities can you expect? How do you intend to stay focused on what matters most? How do you intend to react emotionally? What are your non-negotiables and where can you give ground? Also reflect on the outcomes and experiences for others. How will your actions affect other people?

3. Regulate your reactions

While in a stressful situation during the day, observe your emotions so you can recognize the stress response, taking a pause to assess the situation and engage your “rational mind” before choosing how to respond.

Let’s say you are asked a question on a town-hall videoconference about a matter you had not prepared for. What do you do when fear takes over and your nervous system starts to react? The most natural (and counterproductive) reaction is to try to avoid the issue. But even if you pause very briefly to take in the atmosphere, you can respond effectively.

One leader recounted a situation in which she was passionately telling her top team where they needed to go but was met with confusion and resistance. Her immediate reaction was to explain again in a louder voice. Becoming aware of her irritation and shortness of breath, she took a long pause then told her team, “OK, I feel a bit desperate here—I think I know where to go but it’s clear I am not effective. I need your help.” Only then did the group begin to think through the problem with her.

Another executive told us about a helpful defusion technique he uses. If he is in a meeting and checks his phone to find negative voicemails or emails he can’t attend to right then, he tends to become distracted and anxious. So he visualizes a parking lot (or a cupboard, or balloons in the air). Each incoming message goes into one of the parking spaces or shelves or balloons. He imagines acknowledging the messages with a plan to address them later. That way he can focus on the meeting and avoid experiencing mental and physical stress in the moment. He then returns to each topic, addressing them one by one. At that point, some urgent matters have already solved themselves, and others can be calmly addressed.

4. Practice reflection

Reflection is a way to process what happened during the day and to create space to listen to your inner world (mind and body). For example, analogous to a practice in the military called “contemplation,” you can reflect daily about critical situations. What moments were difficult and why, how did you feel, and why did you respond the way you did? Reflection helps you with the big picture and your own reactive behavior and its drivers. It’s also helpful to ask trusted colleagues to give you feedback about critical moments where you had to respond under pressure. What are your blind spots and how can you address them the next time? People have many ways to reflect. Some use meditation, some reflect while running or walking the dog. The important thing is that you make it a regular planned practice.

5. Reframe your perspective

When we’re tired from stress, we tend to see negative messages and threats more readily than opportunities and positive messages. Keeping a balance and staying realistic is not easy. Knowing this, is step one. Handling these situations effectively, is step two. When facing a difficult situation, try to redirect away from the negative explanation and toward an exploration of other possibilities that could be true. Viewing the issue through different possibilities and scenarios—from the most positive to the most negative—can help in planning responses later.

When detailed scenario planning is not an option, choose to take a flexible perspective: this is integrative awareness in action. When faced with a difficult situation, ask yourself: Am I jumping to conclusions too fast? What else can be true at this moment? What is important to me and my team right now? With the information on the table now, make a conscious decision about the best way to move toward what matters most. Build time to revisit decisions regularly, with an open, curious, and learning mindset, building on fresh information coming in and at different stages in the crisis.

6. Manage your energy

One of the most difficult things to do in times of crisis is to balance work needs with your own physical well-being. In a crisis atmosphere, you will need recovery time, or at some point something will give—performance or, worse, health. Top athletes know this, and they make sure they build in sufficient time for recovery when they train for top performance. Apart from recovery time, which may be different for everyone, micro practices that are in support of healthy recovery can include meditation, breathing exercises, cardio sports activities, and even power naps.


About the mentor role at MSc Mentor Program, Stockholm School of Eonomics

Posted in Aktuellt, Executive Coaching, Leadership / Ledarskap on April 29th, 2020 by admin

Johan Mathson, founder at ARC Executive Advisory

“A program like the MSc Mentor Program is stimulating for everyone in a leadership role, not least in terms of learning what motivates and drives other generations.”

What made you sign up as a mentor in the first place?

I have worked for many years with executive coaching (mentoring with business managers). After having experienced how much it is appreciated, I thought it would be interesting to see how my experience could contribute to a younger target group as well. Of course, it also feels extra fun to have contact with my old school as an SSE alum.

What does mentorship mean to you?

I’ll summarise in a few words:

Interest, ask, listen, understand, empathy, support, challenge, accessible and have fun and laugh.

What is the best part about mentoring a student?

It is to help a young and ambitious student, to the best of my ability, develop towards finding a place in the business world that feels fun and challenging every morning.

Have you developed or improved any personal skills during the program?

As a mentor, one can always develop in the two essential tools: Asking and Listening. Hopefully, I have developed further, especially in these two areas.

In what way do you think the MSc Mentor Program will influence your professional career?

A program like the MSc Mentorshiup Program is stimulating for everyone in a leadership role, not least in terms of learning what motivates and drives other generations.

What advice would you give to future mentors?

I would suggest them to answer two questions first:

– What can you offer and how will you go about making that happen?

– What do you expect for your part of the program? How can you influence it?

Source:, April 2020

Nu prövas ledarskapet på allvar

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Executive Coaching, Leadership / Ledarskap on March 16th, 2020 by admin
Vi befinner oss i en exceptionell tid då på några veckor en allmänt god konjunktur och ett gott affärsklimat vänt till en global hälso- och finanskris.

Börsen rasade förra veckan mer än den gjort i modern tid. Rese- och hotellbranschen varslar om stora uppsägningar och regeringen har vidtagit extraordinära åtgärder för att motverka spridningen av coronaviruset. Pandemiklassificering är utfärdad. Evenemang ställs in och resandet har stort sätt upphört. Sverige och världen har aldrig upplevt något liknande i modern tid.

I denna tid prövas företag och organisationers ledare till det yttersta. Att leda i medvind och högkonjunktur är något helt annat än det man möter nu som ledare.

En mängd centrala beslut måste tas:
  • Hur leda verksamheten i denna situation full av oro, stress, osäkerhet och turbulens?
  • Hur prioritera mellan ekonomiska  och hälsomässiga intressen?
  • Hur hantera kunder, aktieägare och andra intressenter?
  • Hur prioritera mellan samhällets hållbarhet  och det egna företagets hälsomässiga och ekonomiska situation?
  • Hur hantera personalens oro och stress för både hälsa och eventuella uppsägningar?

Jag hade i slutet av förra veckan ett frukostmöte med en vd för ett stort svenskt företag och samtalet handlade till  stor del om denna kris och hur man som högsta chef skall agera. Han betonade bland annat vikten av att agera, vara tydlig och kommunicera mycket. Att ha både kallt huvud, is i magen och ett varmt hjärta. Att vara både ledare och medmänniska.

Nu är det upp till bevis att visa att man är en  ledare och inte bara chef. Under extrem press lyssnar medarbetare på den person som de har förtroende för och som förtjänar sin ledarroll och mindre på den person som formellt har ansvaret. Nu behöver ledare agera och visa att man är förtjänt av sin roll och ofta höga lön.

Ledaren måste nu se till att kommunicera och vara närvarande. Både internt och externt.

Ledarens uppgift blir att inge förtroende och trygghet och samtidigt ha en plan och vara tydlig med den.  Att se till att få ihop organisationen till en stark sammansvetsad enhet som tillsammans skall reda ut detta svåra läge, Att vara transparent ärlig och öppen med information för att så långt det går skapa lugn och ro för medarbetarna att fortsätta med sitt arbete.

Att se till att alla förstår allvaret i situationen, men också visa på att det finns en plan och en väg framåt. Att se till att inte organisationen blir handlingsförlamad och passiv och reaktiv. Det kan vara så enkla saker som att ställa in externa möten, ta dem via telefon eller video istället. Alla medarbetare påverkas olika av stress och press och det gäller nu att se till att ha med ”alla på tåget”. Att se till att medarbetarna kan fokusera på sina uppgifter och därmed säkerställa att företaget tar sig igenom denna svåra tid.

I kristider uppstå ofta rykten, spekulationer och att fokus hos medarbetare hamnar på annat än att utföra sina arbetsuppgifter. Jag tror att beslutsförmåga och att välja väg är viktigt. Beslut måste tas med begränsad information som beslutsunderlag samtidigt som besluten måste fattas rimligt fort. Det är då viktigt att våga ompröva beslut och att organisation har förståelse för det.

Med ett bra ledarskap från toppen och neråt i organisationen finns alla förutsättningar att navigera sig ut ur krisen och komma ut i ljuset på andra sidan.



Källa:, 16 mars 2020
Av: Jesper Olsson, Senior Consultant , Novare Executive Search

Anställda saknar förtroende för ledningens förändringsarbete

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Executive Coaching, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Leadership / Ledarskap, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering on February 27th, 2020 by admin

Få anställda i stora nordiska finansbolag känner tillit och förtroende till sin ledning i förändringsfrågorna – det visar en ny undersökning från konsultjätten Accenture.

Konsultjätten Accenture har i undersökningen “Nordic Transformation Readiness Study” undersökt hur anställda och chefer på företag inom bank, finans och försäkring arbetar med förändring. Det är första gången undersökningen genomförs i Norden med företag inom bank, finans och försäkring.

Resultatet visar att de nordiska företagen inom bank, finans och försäkring har relativt få anställda som är frustrerade eller otrygga över sin roll i förändringsarbetet, i en internationell jämförelse. De anställda upplever även att organisationerna har tillräckligt med personal för att driva förändringsarbetet framåt.

– Först och främst vill jag säga att alla de nordiska företagen vi analyserat är “on track” med sin förändringsresa. Däremot har de inte kommit lika långt i processen som önskvärt och har ännu inte riktigt fått utväxling för sitt arbete. Vi konstaterar att de har en del kvar att göra för att uppnå de bästa resultaten, säger Linda Håkansson, ansvarig för finansiella tjänster på Accenture.

De nordiska svagheterna identifieras till att få anställda känner tillit och förtroende till sin ledning i förändringsfrågorna. De anställda finner även att cheferna på avdelningarna inte gör tillräckligt för att stödja förändringsarbetet.

– Vårt resultat visar att medarbetare i Norden är redo för att skapa förändring och har alla förutsättningar som behövs. Däremot är det ledningen som här behöver ta kommando över processen vilket inte upplevs av de anställda i nuläget.

På internationell nivå är resultaten de omvända. Där känner fler medarbetare oro och frustration över sin roll i företagets förändringsresa. De upplever också i större utsträckning att företagen är underbemannade för processen.

– Internationellt är resultaten de motsatta. Där är det istället ledningen som driver på för förändring och de anställda som känner sig dåligt utrustade för processen. När vi jämför de nordiska resultaten med de globala konstaterar vi att internationella bolag har kommit längre i förändringsresan än deras nordiska konkurrenter.

Linda Håkansson tror att skillnaden dels beror på kulturella skillnader inom ledarskap. Andra faktorer som spelar in är företagens storlek och benägenhet till förändring.

– I Norden har vi en ledningskultur som önskar konsensus vilket stärker medarbetarnas roll i arbetet men i viss mån försvagar ledarskapet. Internationellt är det vanliga med toppstyrda organisationer och där behöver de istället arbeta med att förankra medarbetare i processerna.

Ser ni några skillnader mellan olika roller på samma företag?
– Det vi ser är de som arbetar på utvecklingssidan bättre förstår företagets hela förändringsprocess och känner sig delaktiga. Rådgivare, eller de som arbetar med slutkunden, är de som ser lägst resultat kring förändringsresan.

Vilken är er rekommendation till ledningar som vill driva förändring?– Det handlar om att förstå sina anställda, sitt företag och tydligt kommunicera vägen framåt. När du som ledare tror att kommunicerat tillräckligt behöver du ofta upprepa budskapen och målsättningen så att det verkligen går in. Det handlar om att skapa en delaktig “vi-känsla” som får dina anställda att nå sin fulla potential.

– Det är väldigt farligt att tro att du som ledning är färdig med förändring. Oavsett vilka andra problem eller utmaningar du som ledning har måste din närvaro vara tydlig och framåtdrivande. En öppen organisation som tillåter personalen att jobba mot tydliga mål.


Undersökningen gjordes under våren 2019 och innefattar anonyma svar från sex nordiska storbolag inom bank, finans och försäkring. 

– Syftet är att du som företag ska ha rätt information när du fattar strategiska beslut. Genom att kartlägga företagens förmåga och beteende inom förändring så att företagen bättre kan förstå hur de ska leda sin utveckling framåt, säger Linda Håkansson, ansvarig för finansiella tjänster på Accenture. 

Undersökningen görs via det Accenture-utvecklade analysverktyget Transformation GPS och kompletteras med djupintervjuer med personer i ledande roller. Sammantaget har Accenture fått svar från över 1 miljon anställda som enligt Accenture tydligt visar var företagen befinner sig i sin förändringsresa. 


Källa:, 27 februari 2020


How to beat the transformation odds

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Executive Coaching, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Fact Based Management, Leadership / Ledarskap, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering on February 26th, 2020 by admin

Three out of four transformations fall short!

Transformational change is still hard, according to a new survey. But a focus on communicating, leading by example, engaging employees, and continuously improving can triple the odds of success.

After years of McKinsey research on organizational transformations,  the results from our latest McKinsey Global Survey on the topic confirm a long-standing trend: few executives say their companies’ transformations succeed.  Today, just 26 percent of respondents say the transformations they’re most familiar with have been very or completely successful at both improving performance and equipping the organization to sustain improvements over time. In our 2012 survey, 20 percent of executives said the same.

But some companies have beaten the odds. We asked respondents whether their organizations follow 24 specific actions that support five stages of a transformation.  At organizations that took a rigorous, action-oriented approach and completed their transformations (that is, all of their initiatives have been fully implemented), executives report a 79 percent success rate—three times the average for all transformations. According to the results, no single action explains the difference; in fact, the more actions an organization takes, the more likely its transformation is to succeed. Still, the results suggest that some transformation practices correlate much more closely than others with success. These practices include communicating effectively, leading actively, empowering employees, and creating an environment of continuous improvement so organizations can keep their performance from stagnating (or even regressing) once a transformation’s goals are met.  By implementing continuous-improvement activities that enable the organization to look regularly for new and better ways to work, respondents’ organizations double their chance of successfully sustaining improvements after the transformation.

The power of action—and communication
To test which transformation practices correlate most with success, we asked executives about 24 specific actions that support a transformation’s five stages (see sidebar, “The 24 actions of transformation”). Indeed, the results indicate that when organizations follow a rigorous approach and pursue all of these actions during a transformation, the overall success rate more than doubles from the average (26 percent), to 58 percent. Among only completed transformations, respondents report a success rate of 79 percent—about triple the average success rate for all transformations.

While the results show that success links closely to a greater overall number of actions, they also indicate that not all 24 actions are created equal. Communication, specifically, contributes the most to a transformation’s success. At companies where senior managers communicate openly and across the organization about the transformation’s progress, respondents are 8.0 times as likely to report a successful transformation as those who say this communication doesn’t happen. Good communication has an even greater effect at enterprise-wide transformations, where company-wide change efforts are 12.4 times more likely to be successful when senior managers communicate continually.

It also helps when leaders develop a clear change story that they share across the organization. This type of communication is not common practice, though. When asked what they would do differently if the transformation happened again, nearly half of respondents (and the largest share) wish their organizations had spent more time communicating a change story.

Lead, don´t manage
According to respondents, leadership matters as much during a transformation as it does in the company’s day-to-day work. It can’t be delegated to a project-management office or central team—the presence (or not) of which has no clear bearing on a transformation’s success—while executives carry on with business as usual. Indeed, when senior leaders role model the behavior changes they’re asking employees to make (by spending time on the factory floor or in the call center, where work is done), transformations are 5.3 times more likely to be successful. Success is twice as likely when senior leaders and the leaders of initiatives spend more than half of their time on the transformation. In practice, though, only 43 percent of these leaders say they invested that much working time in the transformation’s initiatives.

But even if they’re involved, senior leaders face some potential pitfalls. First is the perception gap between them and everyone else in the organization. Eighty-six percent of leaders say they role modeled the desired behavior changes when transformation initiatives were being implemented, yet only half of all employees who were part of the transformation (but didn’t play an active role) say the same. Overall, senior leaders are also 2.5 times as likely as other employees to rate their companies’ transformations a success.

A second pitfall, in addition to outsize optimism, is overplanning. Few initiative leaders—only 22 percent—say they would spend more time planning the transformation if they could do it over again. Instead, these respondents most often say they would spend more time communicating a change story (49 percent) and aligning their top team (47 percent).

Choose the right people and empower them

An involved team of senior leaders is only half the battle. Executives report that for transformations to truly succeed, companies must think about the role that employees play as well as their people needs across the organization. If the transformation happened again, the largest share of executives say they would move faster to keep people resistant to changes out of leadership or influencer roles.

According to respondents, it’s important to define clear roles so employees at all levels are prepared to meet the post-transformation goals—a factor that makes companies 3.8 times more likely to succeed . Also key to an effective people strategy is allocating enough employees and the right ones—that is, the high performers and active supporters—to work on the transformation. One effective way to hold these people accountable, according to the results, is using transformation-related metrics. Executives who say their initiatives’ leaders were held accountable for their transformation work in annual evaluations are 3.9 times more likely than others to report a successful transformation.

Prepare for continuous improvement

Once initiatives are fully implemented, the change effort does not end; almost 40 percent of respondents say they wish they had spent more time thinking about how their organizations would continue to improve. Several specific practices that help companies connect strategy to daily work, deliver value more efficiently to customers, enable people to contribute to their best ability, and discover new ways of working all link to an organization’s long-term health—and can keep companies from backsliding on performance gains and support continuous improvements after transformation.

For example, in organizations where people understand how their individual work supports the company’s broader vision, executives are 5.5 times likelier than others to say the transformation has been successful . To achieve long-term success, that link must also be reinforced with a company-wide commitment to identifying opportunities for improvement—a practice that more than quadruples the likelihood of success. Likewise, executives report a much higher rate of success when their companies have a systematic process for developing people’s capabilities and for identifying, sharing, and improving upon best practices.

Of the eight continuous-improvement actions we asked about, one was an outlier: only one-third of executives say teams of employees begin their days discussing the previous day’s results and the current day’s work, compared with strong majorities of executives who agree that their organizations take each of the other actions. But respondents whose organizations had implemented daily discussions were twice as likely as others to report success.

Looking ahead

Focus on people, not the project. Transformations are about the people in the organization as much as they’re about the initiatives. The long-term sustainability of a transformation requires companies to engage enthusiastic high-potential employees, equip them with skills, and hold them accountable for—as well as celebrate—their contributions to the effort. Companies should, in our experience, take the same steps toward developing people throughout the organization. To build broad ownership, leaders should encourage all employees to experiment with new ideas: starting small, taking risks, and adapting quickly in their work. Doing so can create far-reaching and positive support for change, which is essential to a transformation’s success.

Communicate continually. When embarking on a transformation, executives should not underestimate the power of communication and role modeling. The results suggest that continually telling an engaging, tailored story about the changes that are under way—and being transparent about the transformation’s implications—has substantially more impact on an effort’s outcome than more programmatic elements, such as performance management or capability building. But the communication doesn’t end once the change story has been told. Leaders must continually highlight progress and success to make sure the transformation is top of mind across the organization—and to reduce the gap between what employees believe is happening and what they see.

Take more action. Transformation is hard work, and the changes made during the transformation process must be sustained for the organization to keep improving. There is no silver bullet—and while some factors have more impact than others on a transformation’s outcome, the real magic happens when these actions are pursued together. Overall, the survey indicates that the more actions an organization took to support each of the five stages of transformation, the more successful it was at improving performance and sustaining long-term health.


About the authors: The contributors to the development and analysis of this survey include David Jacquemont, a principal in McKinsey’s Paris office; Dana Maor, a principal in the Tel Aviv office; and Angelika Reich, an associate principal in the Zurich office.


Läs mer om förtroendet för ledningen avseende förändringsarbete inom nordiska finansbolag (27 februari 2020):