Together We Really Are More Resilient
This great video from the Palax Foundation, will give you a great insight into the importance of our brains and how they are so important for our resilience, regardless of our age.
It gets even more interesting when you look at the importance of out brain health in a group or team.
There is a lot we can do to ensure we have a resilient mind, particularly in terms of reducing our negative experiences and increasing our positive experience. It is a case of tipping the scales to more positive outcomes. This also applies in our groups and teams. Think of this as the group, team or organisation having a combined brain, effectively the culture of the organisation.
We have all experienced groups, teams or organisations where the cultural environment just feels very negative and toxic. The good news is we can measure and change this.
So in the design of our cultures, and selection of our teams and Leaders, we have a great opportunity to improve the resilience of the team and organisations.
Chaotic organisations, with poor leadership and dysfunctional teams, certainly impacts the health and wellbeing of individuals and teams. Over time if the negative experiences go unaddressed, resilience can get significantly impacted.
We use a measurement tool called entropy that measures the level of dysfunction, chaos and negative resistance in the team or organisation. Think of this as a way of measuring the cultural 'brain' of the group, team or organisation. To measure this we use five risk bands.
The risk bands we use go from:
0-10% Healthy Culture: This a low level of entropy which is a good indication for the future.
11-20% Minor Issues: Some degree of dissatisfaction with the current culture that requires discussion and dialogue
21-30% Significant Issues: Potential unease among the population and/or conflicts that require immediate attention and/or resolution.
31-40% Serious Issues: Unresolved issues among the population that, if left unaddressed, could create group/team/organisational unrest.
41%+ Critical Issues: Leadership issues that could lead to group/team/organisational unrest, industrial or employee disputes, disobedience, indicating a need for change in policy and/or a change or growth in leadership
Unfortunately fear and uncertainty, are significant factors in entropy and have a way of creeping up on a team, group or organisations. Often they are unseen. Negativity and a toxic culture can also contribute to rising entropy levels.
To deploy this entropy tool is both straightforward and fast.
The higher the entropy level band the greater the issue.
Right now the importance of creating the safest working environment possible, cannot be emphasised strongly enough. It clearly isn't easy given the concerns associated with the pandemic and COVID virus, however this doesn't mean, as Leaders, we should not be working daily towards creating a 'safe working atmosphere' online or in the office (as appropriate) where staff feel secure to collaborate, express their concerns, opinions and contribute openly to their team's and organisation's goals. This will contribute significantly towards a healthy culture and low entropy levels.
We often refer to this entropy measure as Cultural Entropy. Once we measure the Cultural Entropy and have identified the entropy risk band, following the deployment of a straightforward and confidential questionnaire, the score can reveal the degree of dysfunction (friction and frustration) in a group, team or organisation. As a rule of measurement, as the Cultural Entropy score increases, the level of trust and internal cohesion decreases.
To gain trust, the Leaders have to operate with authenticity and live with integrity. They have to demonstrate that they care about their people and the common good. This can be achieved through Leadership behavioural growth, via interventions, such as the Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centred Coaching process. The Cultural Entropy score in an organisation is influenced by the fear-based actions and behaviours of the Leaders.
However, in our experience, a toxic and negative culture isn't always about dismissing very poor Leaders, frequently it can come down to helping the team or organisation learn and adopt, new leadership behaviours that will make a difference.
Keep in mind also that when Leaders are anxious and fearful themselves, (when they have unmet deficiency needs and engage in dysfunctional behaviours such as control, manipulation, blame, internal competition, etc.) the Cultural Entropy score increases and employee engagement decreases.
Conversely, when Leaders engage in caring and trusting behaviours and the organisation encourages its employees to be responsible and accountable for their work, allowing them free reign to take initiatives which boost performance, the Cultural Entropy score decreases and employee engagement increases.
There is a well defined method and process to addressing some of these high level entropy symptoms. and responses. The symptoms are multiple and will include dysfunction, a fear-based environment, with low levels of trust and internal cohesion decreasing.
If you have concerns, that there is a negative or toxic culture emerging, we would encourage you to measure and address this gap asap. get in touch with us to find out more.
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