WANTED: Courageous Decision Makers

Where are the brave?

The brave decision makers in the corporate world who are not afraid of taking calculated risks for the benefit of their people? Where are the early adopters? The pioneers? The ones who put the money where their mouth is?

Whether it is on social media, at networking events, in conversations with stakeholders, clients, colleagues or friends – the comments addressing pressure at work, mental health problems, challenges linked to a hybrid/remote workplace or questions around becoming a (more) sustainable business, are countless. So many people, leaders and organizations are struggling, not knowing how to tackle the new paradigms that are emerging in the world of work.

These challenges are saddening, yet, they are not my frustration. My resentment is rather rooted in the fact that there are solutions – yet they are not taken up! To be clear, I am talking about corporations and employers here, not about individuals who may struggle to find or afford support. I am talking about decision makers who ask for help from expert vendors or express their interest, who confirm that the solution offered to them is “exactly what we need” – and yet fail to commit.

Where are the brave?

The ones who have the courage to implement what their workforce actually needs? Solutions that help them establish a better balance in their life to be able to perform their best at work. Solutions that support teams to navigate the challenges that come with a hybrid or virtual workplace. Solutions that equip leaders with the behaviors and mindsets to truly lead with authenticity, inclusion and courage.

Again, these solutions exist. So, decision makers, stop saying that you strongly resonate with a solution and then there is no action. Sure, sometimes a proposed approach is not relevant, I understand. Then have the courage to say so. Stop wasting time tweaking a proposal if you already know it is not going to land with you.

Sometimes organizations who say they want something different may not be convinced of a proposed concept, mostly because it would be a new path for them. Fair enough, well then say so and be clear on what can be done to alleviate the concerns. For example, ask for success stories, bother to read testimonials, or talk to the references offered.

Where are the brave?

Those who have the courage to admit that if you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep receiving what you always got. And that what you have always done is not solving the contemporary challenges we face – as people, as leaders, as corporations, as world citizens. We need to do a lot better instead of reproducing more of the same!

Again, there are solutions out there. So, decision makers, stop saying that you wish you could do something for your people, your valued talent, your high performing leaders, and then don’t do anything or more of the same old same old. Sure, sometimes the timing is just not right. “We love what you propose but we cannot commit to it right now…” So, what that really means is that there are other, more important business priorities than your people. Well, do you have the guts to tell them that? Or has it ever occurred to you that there is no such thing as “the right time”? There is only now.

Sometimes, a proposed solution may be too expensive. Understood. Well then, provide vendors with a budget for crying out loud. Stop wasting our time trying to shoot an arrow in the dark and play hit or miss with your budget. And please recognize that quality, expertise, and sustained impact have a value. A value that organizations should be willing to reframe from a cost to an investment in people and the future of their business!

Oh, and this is one of my favorites: “We love what you do, but our organization is just not ready for it yet…” So, what that really means is that you cannot sell the idea internally to other stakeholders because the key decision makers do not see the sense of urgency or do not understand why new solutions are required. Apparently, they are ready to lose talent though. Odd.

Which brings me back to: Where are the brave?

If you are a decision maker in the corporate world and you are willing to take calculated risks for the benefit of your people, if you are willing to pioneer new solutions and invest in the future of your business, if you are courageous enough to deviate from mainstream measures and truly want to offer learning and development innovation to your talent, I would love to hear from you.

Anybody out there?

Authored by Martina Mangelsdorf, Chief Strategic Dreamer at GAIA Insights.

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