That People Thing is about to start working with a company that is doing really well.
Now, most of our clients are doing well - they are big companies with good reputations and usually well-known household names.
But this is different. Normally companies seek to change their culture and revamp their leadership when they are experiencing difficulties. Leadership is really being tested.
After all, leading during times of "peace" is relatively easy. But leading during times of change and disruption is a real challenge. Companies don't always recognise that they need to soup up their leadership ability until they are put to such a test.
But this client is leading during times of relative peace. They've already done their big culture change. They are making money. They've invested in leadership development (with us!) for the last 3 years. And now we have the opportunity to work with the pretty healthy board.
This creates a challenge for us. While leading during times of peace may be relatively easy, coaching during times of peace is much, much harder than coaching during times of change and disruption. Helping to clean up a mess delivers results fast. Any improvement is easy to see. But in a situation where all is relatively clean already, how do we add value?
It turns out that companies who chose to do something new when they are at their peak get more from the new activity than companies who only do something new when things are starting to go bad. According to Charles Handy the best time to start a new 'curve' is before you reach the peak of your existing one! That way you will be starting something new when you still have the resources, and the spirit, to take it to new heights. In contrast, most people think of doing something new only when they have reached the bottom of what they are presently involved in.
This is good news for us and reassuring too. We don't have to find problems in this company to fix. We can focus on how to take them to new heights. And it is good news for them too. The wise decision to invest now in developing themselves will deliver far greater return than waiting until things start to go wrong.
So it turns out you are never too healthy for help.
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