Building Fearless Organizations

When we think about great organizations – those that seems to last decade after decade and reinvent themselves to respond to changing markets, technologies, competitors and other external conditions, we find that they share some fundamental characteristics that shift their ability to respond instead of react, to take bold action instead of delaying yet another quarter, to collaborate and innovate instead of guarding territory and hunkering down.  As we have looked at companies, or even divisions or project teams, who create extraordinary results over the long-term, we notice that these groups have fundamental characteristics that together we call the “Fearless OrganizationTM“.

Let’s face it, today’s world is changing more rapidly than ever, and individuals, families and organizations have a lot to manage just to keep up with all that change.  Most humans are not very good at managing change.  Change threatens our ability to control or even predict what will happen next, and our genetically programmed first-line response to that is… FEAR.  What if (something bad) happens?

When our organizations or our leaders indulge in this kind of fear-based thinking, we retreat to a reactive survival-mode in all that we do, where the one thing that really matters is “making it through”.  What does this look like?  You’ve most likely seen many of the symptoms, as all organizations have some of this, at least in pockets – competing organizational silos, demotivated employees, slow decision-making, erratic changes in strategy, lack of accountability from either individuals or teams, excessive consensus building and an overall feeling of surviving rather than thriving.

What would it feel like to change that – to have a corporate culture that encouraged and focused on every person’s strengths? To have leaders in all aspects of the organization, whether they lead a process or a small team or the C-suite, equipped with a clear vision that others could follow? To have processes and systems that prevented the “worst” thing from happening while allowing innovation, experimentation and meaningful decision making in every role, yet remained flexible enough to meet challenges not yet known?

A Fearless OrganizationTM is not one that acts recklessly, but one that embraces uncertainty and makes both considered and intuitive decisions to propel them forward to greater success, even in times of rapid change, ensuring long term growth financially and culturally.  To identify Fearless OrganizationsTM, we have developed the Fearless Organization AssessmentTM that shows you just how fearless your current organization is, and where you could build a more fearless and resilient organization to get better results.

Becoming a Fearless OrganizationTM is not a destination.  It is embarking on a voyage to build greatness and stay the course in spite of the many changes and challenges you are bound to encounter.  At Transcend, we are committed to being your partner on that fearless voyage.  We have put a short form of the Fearless Organization AssessmentTM on our newly launched website at www.leadfearlessly.com, where you can test-drive the tool and see where your organization currently sits on the your fearless voyage.  We look forward to hearing from you and sharing our work with you!