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head of organisational effectiveness at crossrail

viewp int practioner's

Zachary Quinto as Spock and acting captain of the Enterprise vigorously asserts following the predetermined plan and regrouping with the fl eet whilst Acting First Offi cer Kirk, played by Chris Pine, challenges him saying the arrival of a ‘baddie’ from the future has disrupted the reality, therefore being unpredictable is key. T rough a series of twists and turns


was recently running a workshop on our leadership development programme and,

as invariably happens when the topic of leadership comes up for debate, two of my favourite assertions were made. T e fi rst is “leadership and management is a semantic debate” and the second is “I can’t be a leader I’m just a manager”. To provoke some discussion, I

introduced a dichotomy published by Bennis & Nanus in 1985 which, boiled down says leaders: do the right things; see people as assets; seek commitment; focus on outcomes; see how things could be done; share information and promote networks. Managers on the other hand: do things right; see people as liabilities; seek control, create and follow the rules; focus on how things should be done; seek compliance; value secrecy and use formal authority (hierarchy). Which stirs things up beautifully! To try and bring

things to life a little I played a few clips from the 2009 rebooted Star Trek fi lm where

8 | june 2016 |

Kirk ends up assuming control of the Enterprise and broadcasts a message to the whole crew updating them on the situation and it ends with this quote, “I know you are all expecting to regroup with the fl eet, but I'm ordering a pur- suit course of the enemy ship to Earth. I want all departments at battle stations and ready in ten minutes. Either we're going down... or they are. Kirk out.” As a self-confessed control freak

I admit that at times I really struggle with the Kirk way of openly telling it like it is and hoping that people buy in (he did have a military hierarchy and the fact they were millions of miles from home in his favour) and I think, as people professionals, the law and the sense of risk around change naturally leads to a more managerial

Boldly taking ti ps from James T Kirk

In the �irst of a new series

of regular opinion pieces Rob Jones from Crossrail re�lects on change

approach. Running a good process will deliver good outcomes. Or will it? Imagine for a moment changing

the term change management to change leadership and applying the behaviours from Bennis and Nanus. In- stead of secretly trying to fi nd the right answer – openly admitting the prob- lem. Rather than focusing on process – focus on the change we need. Instead

As a self-confessed control freak I admit that at times I really struggle with the Kirk way of openly telling it like it is

of rigorously controlling the situation – create a collaborative approach to changing the system and so on. T e cliché is that change is the

only constant and I think I would sleep better if change could be planned and implemented in a well orchestrated set piece. But the reality of individuals within teams, within organisations, within local markets, within national markets, within global markets and so on means that for the moment I’ll have to learn to manage with less sleep but hopefully from time to time deal with my inner control freak and realise that my best opportunity for a great outcome may not be in doing things right but doing the right thing.

Rob Jones is Head of Organisational Effec- tiveness at Crossrail.

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