Are we nearly there yet?

Thoughts

Lazy Hazy Days of Summer

If, like us, you’re based in the northern hemisphere, I imagine we find you towards the end of the holiday season.

Perhaps you’re anticipating or looking back on a relaxing time on the beach or by the pool, a long cool drink in hand, the sun warming body and soul, and a gentle breeze bringing wafts of a mouth-watering meal to come.

Sounds idyllic.

How long can you hold that thought… in a sweltering car stuck in a tailback, a packed plane or an airport queue with the more traditional sounds of summer, cries of “Are we there yet!”… “I’m bored!”… “Waaaah!”

Whether they’re your own or those children two rows back on the plane, if anything is certain to make those hot sticky summer days feel longer it is the sound of frustration.

In the second of our blogs around the topic of Strategic Narrative we want to think about journeys.

Unpacking the Frustration

If we consider the frustration of the child in the example above, it will often include elements of:

  • a lack of understanding
  • discomfort
  • boredom
  • a lack of control
  • feeling constrained

All of which, in the moment, overcome any excitement at the joys of the desired destination.

Misalignment on the Journey

Organisations can be rather like that – people frustrated and even disengaged due to inconsistent communications; the use of imposition over participation; pressure for short term targets conflicting with individual wellbeing and strategic business goals.  This misalignment means employees fail to see – or worse still, fail to feel part of – something bigger.  In simple terms, for some it results in a mundane job with ‘seagull management’[def], sticking to the summer analogy.

Why an Aligned Strategic Narrative Matters

For protection from the heat and commotion, whether at work or the beach, you’re going to need more cover than the parasol in your cocktail can offer.  An aligned Strategic Narrative is the tale, the strand that binds together all the good elements which make that “something bigger” (we like to call those elements Caring Managers, Esteemed Employees and Organisational Integrity).

People will then appreciate the route and plans from current reality to a better place.  They know where they came from, where they are and where collectively the organisation is headingThey understand how they contribute.  They see the purpose in initiatives and in their role and they are engaged in making them a success, even if there are bumps in the road or screams of frustration.

The days of doing things, “because Head Office says so” were never good enough and are certainly not sufficient for engagement.

If you want to understand more about this topic and how it relates to Safety Culture development, have a read of our Strategic Narrative page or drop us a line.

Resilient People in Resilient Organisations

Our specialist culture change consultants work with organisations across the globe to create a culture of safety and wellbeing. We harness the impact of improved leadership & engagement to create organisational resilience and optimal health & safety performance. OCAID stands for Organisational Culture And Individual Development

Contact us to discuss your project or dig deeper:
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