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Pest control in Wonderland


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As South Africans we are as affected by this environmental turbulence as anyone else. Our situation is made even more difficult by the fact that we are a society in the throes of an excruciatingly difficult period of transition. The world seems mad – angry mad. People seem to be feeling cheated; isolated and deprived. Those same people work with us as colleagues; employees; bosses. We can’t check these emotions at the door when we arrive at work, so how is this affecting the way our contact centres work? How are our employees affected? What is the impact on the way customers interact with us? How are we adapting to the tumult that is reflected in the world around us? How do we transform leadership practice to re-establish principles of collaboration; cohesion and collective accountability for excellence in service delivery?

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Pest control in Wonderland

  1. 1. P.E.S.T. CONTROL IN WONDERLAND Margie Middleton CCMG Conference August 2016
  2. 2. Who the hell is Alice? © margie middleton & associates cc. 2 • Late teens … • Free spirit … • A girl with dreams … • A girl in transition …
  3. 3. © margie middleton & associates cc. 3 • Falls down the rabbit hole … … into a strange new world
  4. 4. Finding the right fit © margie middleton & associates cc. 4
  5. 5. Entering Wonderland © margie middleton & associates cc. 5
  6. 6. So who the hell is Alice? © margie middleton & associates cc. 6 Alice is me and you … … and every person you work with; report to; manage … Alice is everyman who has ever had to confront the unexpected; deal with adjusting expectations; learn that what they thought the world was like was not necessarily the case.
  7. 7. P.E.S.T. Control in Wonderland © margie middleton & associates cc. 7 • Macro-environmental factors that influence the way we perceive the world around us • Political; • Economic; • Social; and • Technological
  8. 8. Political Environment © margie middleton & associates cc. 8 • Global instability and uncertainty • Extremist politics dominating • Rule book seems to have been thrown out the window • Apparently normal expectations of good governance appear unreliable • Traditional institutions in which we place faith seem untrustworthy • An angry world, at times seemingly quite mad!
  9. 9. Economic Environment © margie middleton & associates cc. 9 • Global economic downturn bordering on depression • Increasing pressure on limited resources • Widening gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” • Globalisation driving commoditisation of skill • Rising unemployment • Reduced investment • Increasing poverty
  10. 10. Social Environment © margie middleton & associates cc. 10 • Instability in political and economic spheres causing anxiety and insecurity • People binding around self-preservation needs • Small interest groups fighting for attention and needs • Exacerbated by being in a sustained process of transformation • Fragmented society • High levels of alienation
  11. 11. Technological Environment © margie middleton & associates cc. 11 • Information age • Social Media dominance • Tool for change • Unedited; unverified; uncontained • ? Unreal • Data is king! • Data versus Information • Information versus Intelligence • Access to information resulting in rapid change • Lowers sense of certainty • Increases insecurity
  12. 12. Impact on Us • Each of us is impacted on by the P.E.S.T. environment we live in. • Our opinions, beliefs, fears and hopes are informed by how we feel about events around us. • These feelings inform the way we see and experience the world. • It is from this worldview that we interpret and understand our every day experiences • The way we end up feeling about these experiences inform the way we behave • Our behaviour in turn affects how the people we interact with experience the world and informs their worldview © margie middleton & associates cc. 12
  13. 13. Overall Impact • History tells us that: - – The more instability in society the higher the levels of divisiveness – The more alienated people feel, the higher the levels of tension and factionalism – The more fragmented groups are, the higher the likelihood of extremism • Divisiveness; factionalism; extremism all promote Fear. • Fear promotes intolerance; • Intolerance promotes anger; and • Anger promotes violence © margie middleton & associates cc. 13
  14. 14. Impact at Work • Work brings together disparate people to perform a common series of tasks to produce a desired result. • People are not automatons though, they bring their feelings with them to work. • Feelings drive behaviour. • We therefore cannot expect that the impact of the P.E.S.T. environment will not manifest in the workplace. • As leaders we need to understand how feelings of insecurity, uncertainty and alienation manifest in behaviour. © margie middleton & associates cc. 15
  15. 15. Event-Based Cycle © margie middleton & associates cc. 16
  16. 16. Systemic Behaviour © margie middleton & associates cc. 17
  17. 17. How can we manage this? • Work needs to be a collaborative environment • People need to feel safe to function optimally • Must create an atmosphere of safety • Old concept of job-security needs to be replaced with newer concept of security-of-self i.e. – Accept the diversity of worldviews – Welcome and encourage opinion – Provide a non-judgmental audience – Recognise that opinion is not the sum of the person – Find common ground for compromise in facts • Security-of-self creates a sense of belonging • Belonging stimulates collaboration & contribution © margie middleton & associates cc. 18
  18. 18. Implications As Leaders we need to learn to: - •Recognise our own worldview. •Understand that it is not necessarily shared by all those around us. •Accept that different is not wrong … it’s just different. •Differentiate between fact and opinion. •Endeavour to create a sense of belonging for everyone in the workplace •Emphasise our common humanity rather than accentuating our diversity •Be more interested in the why than in the what. © margie middleton & associates cc. 19
  19. 19. Conclusion • The most base emotional need in all humans is to feel valued and valuable • We inherently need to feel that we are part of something that is bigger than ourselves • By creating a sense of belonging we enable people to be confident in being their best selves • This encourages contribution to the greater good, rather than inwardly focusing on self-preservation. © margie middleton & associates cc. 20
  20. 20. May your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears Nelson Mandela © margie middleton & associates cc. 21 Margie middleton : 083-4098833