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Endring- og omstilling. Er du klar for utfordringene?

 Næringslivet 2015 er preget av endring- og omstillingsprosesser, fusjoner, oppkjøp, nedbemanninger og permitteringer. Dette er prosesser som oppleves som krevende.  Er du som leder klar for å møte disse utfordringene?

Samtidig utløser disse endringene nye og kanskje mer positive prosesser. Energi skapes, og behovet for innovasjon, nytenking, samarbeid og effektivisering gjør at nye konstellasjoner vokser frem. Nye team dannes og nye ledergrupper etableres. Dette vil utfordre både medarbeidere og ledere, og spørsmålet er altså om vi er klare til å møte disse endrings- og omstillingsprosessene.

De som skal lede gjennom omstilling er ofte usikre på hvordan de skal håndtere prosessen, reaksjonene, medarbeidere og krav som stilles. Kunnskap og kompetanse om disse prosessene er derfor viktig. Men, et godt grunnlag og en god forståelse av hva endringsprosesser er, og hvordan vi kan styre dette rent teknisk, er ikke nok. Til syvende og sist er det deg selv, og hvordan din personlighet takler dette, som avgjør om du er i stand til å gjennomføre disse nødvendige omstillingene. Du kan gjerne være kretsmester i endringsteori, men det hjelper deg lite den dagen dine personlige egenskaper stritter imot med all sin kraft.

Kunnskap om hvordan du som leder, med dine egenskaper, vil takle endring og omstilling vil derfor være avgjørende for hvordan du opplever og forholder deg til disse endringene.  Om du er for eller mot. Om du kjenner at dette skaper positiv energi, eller tapper deg for energi.  Samtidig vil  kunnskap om hvordan dine medarbeidere er skrudd sammen, og hvordan de vil takle dette, bli kanskje  det aller viktigste for hvordan strategien for endring skal implementeres.

Kunnskap på individnivå, hvordan vi som leder og medarbeider individuelt reagerer på endringer, blir dessverre ofte oversett i mange organisasjoner til fordel for strategier og metoder for hvordan dette bør igangsettes.

Hvis vi ikke har nok kunnskap om hvordan våre ledere og ansatte vil reagere på de planlagte endring- og omstillingstiltakene, vil vi på organisasjonsnivå stå ovenfor en formidabel utfordring den dagen vi skal gjennomføre dette.  Den logiske konklusjonen vil være at når en organisasjons fokus flyttes fra ett felt til et annet, må nødvendig vis også medarbeidernes fokus flyttes i samme retning. Dette er en enorm ledelsesmessig oppgave. Organisasjonen må ofte flytte folk fra de prosessesene og de oppgavene som de føler seg mest trygge på, til nye oppgaver og fokusområder som for de mentalt er forbundet med usikkerhet og utrygghet, og hvor de kanskje ikke ser muligheter for utfoldelse og selvrealisering.

Mange vil altså oppleve at motstand mot endring oppstår som en konsekvens av våre personlige egenskaper, og videre at dette må utfordres bevisst. Den som har kunnskap om dette og vilje til å utfordre sine egne adferdsmønstre vil også være de som lykke best.

Bli derfor ikke overrasket over den motstanden som oppstår blant dine medarbeider, eller hos deg selv, den dagen strategien endres og skuten må seile en annen kurs.

Avoid hiring the wrong person - or thinking that you are the right person for the wrong job

How do you know if someone is actually creative and innovative? Are Swedes really better team-players than Danes? And, should women be more self-assertive, offensive and aggressive to become better leaders? Dr. Finn Havaleschka, founder of Garuda Danmark A/S, a leading Danish firm offering HMR tools and consultancy services, shares the lessons of his 30 years of research within human competences, teambuilding and organisational development.

You are sitting in your office waiting for someone, someone who could possibly, but only possibly, be your next sales manager. You know their background, experience and interests, but the one unknown factor is: who is (s)he going to be i.e. will (s)he be the person(ality) you need for the job?
In most cases, it only takes two minutes, before you know if the candidate in front of you is the right person. But even if your intuition says, no, you still perform the full interview as planned hoping that the candidate will be able to change your first impression, partly because you are a polite person and partly because you need to fill in that position now. But in the end the candidate does not change your first impression, and you feel that you have wasted your time. Or, in worse cases, you find something in the person to give you hope and decide to give him or her a chance only to find three months later that your first impression was right. People do not change personality, and you have wasted time, money, and hours of worry, and now you have to start all over again.

It might always have been that way, but it is not the way it will always be or, according to Havaleschka, indeed, has to be today. “I concluded that what we needed was to change the approach so as to avoid interviews with candidates that will never make it and ensure that, when we got a promising candidate in front of us, we had an interview tool that would help us sidestep our intuition and instead ask scientifically proven relevant question insuring that we would always chose the best of the best,” stresses Havaleschka.
The Head-Heart-Leg model
Before founding Garuda, in 1982, Havaleschka worked for one of Scandinavia’s largest recruiting consultancies. Here he was introduced to psychometric testing but was not impressed by the old-fashioned approach. “The tests weren’t developed for exploring the difference in personality between a successful leader or a salesman or accountant or any other relation between the requirements of the job and the successful candidate’s personality. They were solely developed for research purposes,” he explains. The tests’ inadequacy made Havaleschka think and he soon realised that, while the existing tests provided a good platform for discussing candidates’ personality and ambitions, what was lacking was the evaluation of whether they had the personality-based competences needed to fulfil their ambitions. “I decided to turn it all around – face down, asking: what do we need to know about work conditions in different positions, and what are the key personality requirements to becoming successful. But remember: we are not talking about level and line of education, professional skills or experience, only about what I call personality-based competences,” stresses Havaleschka.
One late night in the early 80s, Havaleschka came up with a model which would become the foundation of Garuda’s success in years to come, the Head-Heart-Leg model. The method takes into account that a candidate needs to fit an organisation three-dimensionally: With regards to intellectual work (Head), social skills (Heart) and execution (Legs). Today the model is used by leading Scandinavian companies, organisations and leaders including IKEA and BoConcept as well as the coach of the Danish handball, world- and European champions, Ulrik Wilbek.

Good leaders have always been the same – whether male or female.
The Head-Heart-Leg method revealed four significant personality archetypes whose characteristics can be weighed against the competences required in a specific role, team or organisations. The evaluation of these archetypes led to, among other things, Garuda’s Focus Model, a model for successful leadership. “Thirty years of research tell us about the difference between leaders and non-leaders, and the difference between the people who are future leaders and will become successful as such, and people who won’t. And you know: the picture, the structure of the successful leader’s profile, hasn’t change or developed during these 30 years of research and experience. Professional competences yes, level of education as well as the content of the study yes, but not the structure of the personality profile,” says Havaleschka.
The extensive data gathered through the model also reveals some interesting facts about the differences between male and female leaders. It shows that the further up the organizational latter, the more similar the structure of the personality profile is no matter whether male or female.  “If you cannot cope with a high degree of complexity, if you cannot communicate in an understandable and sympathetic way, and if you do not have the stamina, the achievement motivation and robustness to complete the task or pursue the strategy, then it doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman,” stresses Havaleschka. There is, however, one area in which top-level female managers differ – in general – from their male colleagues. And that is, perhaps not surprisingly, when it comes to the Heart work in which women tend to be a little more observant and considerate. The subject of female versus male leadership received much attention recently, as CEO of Facebook Cheryl Sandberg in a newspaper interview claimed that women needed to become more self-assertive, offensive and aggressive. Havaleschka does not agree: “I understand her point to a certain degree, but at the same time she is promoting some of the traits that are scientifically proven by empirical data to first and foremost promote bad leadership. Instead of telling us that women should internalise some of the worst characteristics that a manager can possess, she should start by telling us what qualities she would like women to contribute to the board of directors.”

Yes, Swedes are better team-workers
Used all over the world, the model also shows some interesting cultural differences, even between countries as alike as Sweden and Denmark.  In a comparison of Focus Profiles taken by Swedish and Danish professionals, the Swedes scored higher in the blue and gray corners of the model (representing the self-controlled and detail oriented baser and the understanding and considerate integrator – se model) while the Danes had a comparatively higher score in the green and red corners (representing the intuitive and innovative developer and the energetic and impatient result maker – see model). “This comes as absolutely no surprise for those who have worked in both cultures; our prejudices are not prejudices; they are perceptions of realities – a real difference,” says Havaleschka adding: “In Swedish companies people are more disciplined, seek consensus more often and have an easier time accepting authoritatively given rules than in Danish companies.  Consequently, a Danish leader in Sweden has to meet the employees where they are, and a Swedish leader in Denmark has to meet the Danish employees where they are.”

The right person for the right job
Garuda’s newest tool, the online operating system JobMatchProfile, is the result of 30 years of experience with recruitment and candidate profiling. Applying the Head-Heart-Leg Model to the recruitment process, it is probably the company’s most revolutionary tool to date in terms of cutting costs and time associated with recruiting and not least handling unsolicited applications. This is the pre-selection tool helping recruiters to avoid interviews with candidates that will never make it. It is, says Havaleschka “science with a human touch and your guarantee that the candidate fits the job, the team and your organisation.” Used by some of Scandinavia’s leading, international companies, the tool has saved recruiters up to 85percent of the time and cost normally associated with the recruiting process. “The best thing is that we have positive responses from thousands of applicants thanking the JobMatch process for a smooth and easy process,” Havaleschka says adding. “That’s great employee branding, in my opinion.”