Have you ever watched young art students in a museum copying the famous pictures? They all desperately try to mimic the paintings of artists on the museum’s wall, but their new drawings always have their own very unique touches. And while some forgers have become very famous and rich for delivering one to one copies of expensive paintings, successful painters start like these young artists, but develop their own style to become successful.
The situation is similar in business life. You can impose that your employees copy you (including your flaws – not that you would have any…) OR you can help them identify their strengths and develop them further. Basically you can decide to have one-to-one copies, or individuals, each contributing to the success of your company with their different talents and competencies.
To implement this in our organizations we need two mindset changes:
- Leaders interested in having a diverse team of people with different ways of working and thinking
- HR organizations providing individual development programs, where employees can pick and choose topics that help them strengthen their skills (rather than diminishing their weaknesses)
In times of change this is even more important. Change is not about everything being new. On the contrary: strategic change is based on the company’s and its employees’ strengths while adapting to a changing environment. For successful change you need to understand how to best use the strengths of your employees to implement the new ways of working.
We, humans, will deliver things that we are good at with more energy and more passion. Employees encouraged to use their competences and skills in the new setting will not only embrace the change more willingly, but help the transition be more efficient!