Challenging the process is a deliberate act by leaders to inspire others to search for opportunities to innovate, change and grow the organisation. Inevitably, this leads to allowing others to experiment and take risks in the bid to improve the way things are being done to yield extraordinary results.
A number of studies have shown that when leaders don't challenge their status quo(process) it can lead to a number of negative consequences. A study by the Harvard Business School found that organisations that don't challenge their status quo are more likely to lose market share and experience declines in profitability. Another study, by McKinsey & Company, found that companies that don't challenge their status quo, fail to innovate and be less agile in the face of change.
When leaders don't challenge their status quo, they risk becoming stagnant and out-of-touch with the rapid changes that are happening in their business environment and eventually face the risk of obsolescence.
As Kouzes and Posner, the authors of "The Leadership Challenge®” point out, "challenging the process is not simply a matter of questioning the status quo or disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing. It's a way of thinking and acting that seeks out new ideas and different ways of doing things.” As a leader, it is important to be open to new ideas and different ways of doing things in order to bring about positive change.
Here are some of the steps leaders can take to inspire others to challenge the process.
- Create opportunities for small wins, promoting meaningful progress
- Set incremental goals and milestones
- Keep people focused on what they can control in their work and commit to in their lives
- Make it safe for people to experiment and take risks by promoting learning
- Emphasise how personal fulfilment results from constantly challenging oneself to improve
- Continuously experiment with new ideas through small bets
So, as a leader, if you are looking to make a real difference within your organisation, challenge the process and push for change. It could be just what your organisation needs to thrive.
To learn more about how to challenge the process contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on the Leadership Challenge visit https://www.pace-od.com/solutions/the-leadership-challenge