For most people a trip to Florida means fun and play in the sun. At Remarkable we like to be different. Who wants blue skies and beaches when you can be working on a prize which has the potential to bring sunshine to the lives of millions? Who’s interested in roller coasters when you’re developing ideas that will exhilarate and thrill? Who wants to be in the changing rooms of a shopping mall when you can be working on transforming the way we work?
The visa which permitted entry to this very special trip was stamped with the words passion and learning. Our destination, Alligator Place*, Venice, location of the Turn the Ship Around (TTSA) team and Captain David Marquet (retired).
Alongside David and team and two colleagues from Denmark, we worked relentlessly over three days with our US counterparts on the subject of Intent-Based Leadership.
David set the tone from the off reminding us why we were there: “I see real evidence that we are making a difference to people’s lives”. We all believe that there is a better way of working and that breaking the established norms that all organisations have leaders and followers is at the heart of the idea that people flourish when work is meaningful, rewarding and developmental, and it comes down to the choices that organisations and their leaders make which determine whether this becomes a reality or not.
And when it does, what a difference it makes to business. Live from Sweden we heard from Jesper Ek who had turned his department in a bank around to achieve record results by turning his back on the figures. If this sounds counter intuitive and a tad risky, Jesper explained that his team had their head so buried in the short term numbers that they weren’t looking around at what was happening to their team.
We all need stories to enthuse us but we also need the evidence to back up why the Intent-Based Leadership approach works and so another highlight was hearing from the TTSA resident academic, Professor Mike Gillespie of the University of South Florida. Along with research on how "group think" can be so pervasive, he also showed that the cliché of the stressed high powered executive is a false cliché because the correlation between control and stress shows that the more control and choice we have at work, the lower our levels of stress. So Intent-Based Leadership has the power to change organisations.
But most of our time at TTSA HQ was spent working together on new ideas about how to make Intent-Based Leadership accessible and impactful for employers stretching from Houston, Texas to Houston, Renfrewshire. Our aim is to match the ingenuity of the Intent-Based Leadership model with the innovation in support for organisations, moving from the workshop to the workplace.
We talked about the power of observation and the importance of handling the feedback process so that it really has impact for people and this will strengthen our Intent-Based Leadership service. We discussed whether a company’s corporate plan is a guide to whether most employees are expected to think or just do the job, we exchanged ideas about new games which bring things to life can work (and we tried one or two out and learned that it’s still easy to fall into traps which we see around us).
And as you’d expect we talked about how we learn together and work together. Intent-Based Leadership is capturing the imagination across the world. As one of our prospective Intent-Based Leadership Pioneers said this week – “it shows that the theory can work and so much more” – and there is a daily influx of new information and new ideas and so there is a real hunger to learn more.
Disney might do magical holidays. Intent-Based Leadership creates magical teams.
*yes there was.
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