COD – An alternative work method

Maybe you have realised that giving orders, or driving your co- workers using different key performance indicators–KPIs–does not work particularly well any longer. You have probably already investigated, but not found, a reliable alternative for yourself and your colleagues in the company; a clear and practical work method that could increase the speed of development in your corporation.

The COD way of working builds on a few theories and models that builds the basics for our specific concept. It also involves solid strategic work in all teams that is focused on execution, while at the same time creating a culture characterised by cooperation, proactivity, and taking responsibility. We give an alternative that is practical, concrete, and business driven, far from the usual template for leadership development.

In our work we have had the honour of participating in thousands of management team meetings or training sessions, and we have been active in a lot of development processes. This experience has given us a clear picture of how leadership, strategy, and culture work together to accelerate development.

After more than twenty-five years involved in developmental work, with leaders and teams, in different companies all over the world, we are seeing increasingly the obvious shortcomings within the traditional leadership styles. First and foremost, it is fair to say the traditional leadership styles have successfully increased wealth, but at the cost of unwanted company cultures. The question is if these outdated concepts still are suitable to handle the challenges we face today.

The style of leadership actively shapes an organization’s culture, the way a leader looks on his people affects the way to lead which in turn, determines the culture.

The core of a modern concept needs to allow the coworkers to take part in searching for solutions for their own most important problems. It shapes a culture that supports people to be accountable, involved and contribute to finding complementary and common solutions. It seems to be logical that if you want involvement, engagement and proactiveness the leadership must treat people with respect, believe that people are engaged, creative, responsible and wanting to contribute to the best for the company.

To find common solutions we need to explore other people’s perspectives and handle the ancient fact that people see different things. The true value of a diverse team is when different perspectives are seen, heard and utilized. It is only in the exchange of different views and perspectives that progress, and development can be achieved. Different perspectives can bring new ideas and maybe even better approaches than the “old way”.

Each person’s perspective is based on his or her individual character; like education, personality, history, responsibilities, and thousands of other parameters that are shaping our “backpacks”.

Diversity and inclusion require awareness, we need to realize what we are missing and ask for complementary views to understand the full picture. Focusing only on what we see for ourselves is a huge limitation in our capability to develop and perform in our daily work. When different perspectives and competences are seen as an obstacle, meetings lose their power as they have a tendency to end up in endless discussions about who is right. This is an issue that many leaders are facing on a daily basis. Diversity is a key ingredient in the recipe for success and should be seen as the competitive advantage it is.

An important element of understanding how to support people so that they can contribute to our common development is to examine what it is that creates a will to contribute. Understanding and participation is a key element to engaging people. It is fascinating to see how big the differences of human engagement are. It is surely not surprising that loyalty to a decision based upon that people are involved in creating solutions is much higher compared to an approach where the solution is presented to them, and people are only asked to approve.

It comes without saying that if speed and execution are wanted, all individuals should be invited to take part early on in the decision making process. It is rarely a good idea to take one big step towards the full solution. In the COD way of working, we utilize a team’s capacity to address important, unresolved questions – and involve everyone in finding workable solutions to support decisions and plans made along the way. This leads to that more people will contribute with actions and solutions to accelerate the development.

COD strives to create an optimized work environment, in which people can do a better job, not only individually but also collaboratively. Everyone fundamentally wants such a workplace where they can perform at their best, be committed, help one another, and achieve set goals. Outdated mindsets where employees are regarded as unwilling, ignorant, irresponsible and lacking drive, create conditions which limit the potential for the company’s profitability or ability to attract the best workforce. All of us have the ability to decide upon and train our own mindset. On the other hand, corporate culture cannot be decided. It is ultimately constructed of the sum of our individual mindsets and consequent behaviors.

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