The more I grow older, the more I see it all for what it is. I see people doing everything to protect themselves. Their very being is based on how they can keep the questions about them, what they doing or what their part of the organisation is delivering. They work to keep the questions to a minimum.
They use many tactics and deflection techniques to protect themselves, and they can be highly skilled or laughably obvious.
What drives it all is self-preservation or fear… it is instinctive. I have always thought, how would you combat that if you were the leader of an organisation with this culture? What would you do to ensure the environment supported the best outcome and people felt hugely motivated to think differently?
Do you pay enough money, so they feel secure?
Do you layer in the golden handcuff’s to lock people in?
Do you build in bonus structures and reward schemes?
That might be part of an answer for a different question but for purely answering the question about self-protection. It’s not the answer. Throwing money at it is never the answer.
Of course, it is not the answer – the answer is that you build a safe environment where people feel secure in what they say and do. They know that mistakes can be resolved, and invention becomes a part of the culture because it’s recognised and celebrated.
Generating a free and safe environment so the team’s innovation becomes the thing that drives the success in the business is the right thing to do.
Compliance is secondary, and in actual fact, compliance is more adhered to because people want to ensure the complete success of the organisation because it is such a joyful place to be.
One drives the other. A sense of belonging, drives a sense of innovation, that drives a belief in compliance and produces a successful and aligned business.
The other way about. Starting from a belief in compliance… blah, blah, blah, does nothing but build people that are good at self-protection.
Don’t do that. Don’t build yourself for protection.
Build yourself for innovation and for changing the world.
It is more fun.