Second Crack — The Leadership Podcast

The Thinking Skills You Never Thought of — Inner Development Goals Part 3

August 26, 2022 Martin Aldergård, Gerrit Pelzer Episode 12
Second Crack — The Leadership Podcast
The Thinking Skills You Never Thought of — Inner Development Goals Part 3
Show Notes Transcript

Cognitive Skills are common elements in any leadership model, and most leaders excel at these qualities. However, traditional leadership models may emphasise aspects such as analytical thinking, rational decision-making, or logic. Of course, such skills are still critical today. However, leaders need to expand their cognitive skill set according to the context we are operating in nowadays. The world is highly interconnected and complex, and the speed of change can be overwhelming.

The Inner Development Goals (IDG) offer a new leadership framework to tackle today’s challenges. In this third episode on the IDGs, we discuss the second category of this framework: Thinking. It consists of five skills and qualities:

Complexity Awareness goes beyond mere awareness but includes understanding and skills in working with systemic conditions and causalities (systems theory). We can’t possibly know all the parameters and casualties that impact outcomes. Leaders can’t control an organisation like a machine but can influence the system through their interactions with others.

Perspective Skills refer to “seeking, understanding and actively making use of insights from contrasting perspectives.” This requires humility, awareness of blind spots, and the openness to invite views that are very different from ours.

Sense-Making is directly related to how the human brain operates. We continuously interpret what is going on in our environment and adapt accordingly. This is critical for survival. However, we must challenge whether our sense-making of the past is still useful today. In addition, we make sense through our interactions with others, and we need to share our thinking processes to do so more effectively.

Critical Thinking is what most leaders are very good at already. The art is in applying critical thinking in the right places: at times, we may be overly critical, slowing things down unnecessarily, or frustrating others. On other occasions, we might not be critical enough, especially when we are influenced by our own confirmation bias.

Long-term Orientation & Visioning is another area in which most leaders do quite well. The challenge is often in a) defining short-term goals which support the long-term vision and goals and b) sustaining the commitment to achieving the long-term goals.

Reflection Questions for Leaders:

  • How can I let go of control and instead, exert influence  to achieve the organisational goals?
  • How well do I understand the degree of complexity in a situation?
  • Where may I tend to oversimplify, where might I make things too complicated?
  • What (or who’s) perspective are we missing here?
  • How aware am I of my blind spots?
  • How well do I nurture a climate  for different perspectives to be shared?
  • Where might past sense-making limit me in the future? What might I need to re-visit in a different context today?
  • How do I make my own sense-making more transparent and involving?
  • Looking at the five THINKING skills and qualities, which ones do need to further develop to remain successful in the future?

See also:
The Inner Development Goals - The Leadership Model for the Future
and
Why Successful Leaders Focus on "Being" before "Doing" - Inner Development Goals Part 2

More info about us and our work: secondcrackleadership.com 

The Thinking Skills You Never Thought Of — Inner Development Goals Part 3

Second Crack Episode 12

This transcript is AI-generated and may contain typos and errors.

[00:00] Gerrit: A warm welcome to Second Crack – The Leadership Podcast. If you're new to the show, this is where we explore everyday leadership dilemmas and paradoxes, and where we invite you as our listener to self. My name is Gerrit Pelzer and I'm joined as usual by my good friend and business partner, Martin Aldergård. Martin, how are you today?

[00:32] Martin: Hi, Gerrit I'm fine. And I'm very excited to continue our conversation on the Inner Development Goals, the IDGs. And today we come to thinking, talking about the cognitive skills we need as leaders.

[00:47] Gerrit: Yeah, we had actually two episodes on the Inner Development Goals, or as you said, short IDG already. And if that's totally you to you today, you may want go back to the two episodes we have recorded earlier already, already.

And as a general reminder, the Inner Development Goals offer a new leadership framework. It's a non-for-profit, open-source initiative. And this framework has been developed based on the input of over a thousand experts. So, it's very solid. Last time we talked about the category “Being – Relationship to Self”, and today we talk about “Thinking – Cognitive Skills”.

Cognitive skills may sound familiar. It's very common in other leadership models, but what is different here with the IDG is that they offer a different focus and they put things into a context that makes it very relevant for leaders. 

But before we go into the details, if you enjoy our podcast, remember to subscribe on the platform of your choice so that you don't miss out on the latest episodes, and you can also help us grow the show by telling a friend about it and by leaving a positive comment or rating, we will really appreciate. Yeah. 

[02:17] Martin: Gerrit thinking about the cognitive skills first. This is something that leaders are already very good at, right? We raise, we get promotion because of a lot of our analytical skills, the thinking skills, the ability to understand cause and effect come up with the effective solution and implement them and, and be quick learners like that.

So, what is different? Why is cognitive skills still important to talk about? And why is it in the IDG? What's the context change here?

[02:51] Gerrit: I think we see it when we're in a moment, we look at the, the details. I think the point that I would like to make is that when we look at these, what should we call it, “traditional” leadership models, models of the past, when they talk about cognitive skills, they may emphasize aspects like analytical thinking, rational thinking, reasoning. But besides this traditional critical thinking, the IDG also includes complexity, awareness, perspective, skills, sense making and long-term orientation.

And these skills and qualities are either not in these older leadership models or at least they are not interlinked in a way as, as we do it in IDG. 

[03:46] Martin: It's it seems to be a better match, right? When we are moving into much more complex environment, fast speed of change, the globalization, the interconnectedness, there are other skills.

There are other qualities that we need in order to be good thinkers. And, and this is really highlighted here. Yeah. And 

[04:09] Gerrit: I, I think it's good. How you, how you put it. So, um, Maybe leadership in itself, hasn't changed that much over the years, but the context has changed. Like you mentioned, everything is interconnected.

Uh, you mentioned already, uh, the fast speed, fast speed of change. So, so that is what makes it relevant. And, and for instance, with this fast speed, we need to make, we need to make decisions very quickly. without having all the data available that we would normally like to look at and we need to adapt very quickly.

[04:46] Martin: And, and making decisions and having answers as leaders, perhaps in the past where leaders made more of the decision themselves. But today, I mean, it's a hundred percent that leaders today really need to rely on the team leaders. Can't have all the answers and we really need to build on this collective intelligence.

Remember we talked about this so much in the previous episode. And of course then the, the thinking skills, the cognitive skills is not only as an individual leader, but also I think the cognitive skills as a group, as a team of leaders, how do we think together and how can we co-create. Share the thinking and invite others to think together.

This is also a really interesting aspect that I like to explore 

[05:34] Gerrit: more. Yeah. And since you mentioned already complexity, maybe this is the right point in time to talk about the first. skill or quality, which is complexity awareness. And, uh, it might be a little bit misleading. We need to look at the definition because the definition says understanding of and skills in working with complex and systemic conditions.

And causalities, so it's not just complexity awareness. It means also that we need to understand the complexity. And the systemic conditions. And I think that is a very important point because mm-hmm, a question I like to raise is how much do leaders really know about systems theory? Because that means when we talk about systemic.

That does not mean systematic mm-hmm . So I would say most leaders are excellent. They're very good at a systematic approach to problem solving, but not necessarily systemic. And maybe I can illustrate this by it's actually one of our favorite examples that we always make. It's actually related to a common mistake we see in organizations and that is.

We see people try to run the organization like a machine. What does that mean over? Maybe let's say the last century, we have become very successful in applying insights from the natural sciences. So for instance, through better understanding of physics, chemistry, Biology and engineering. We have not only gained a better understanding of the world, but we have also been enabled to create things.

And we apply this then in organizations very well when it comes for instance to manufacturing processes or computer programming. And it works because here we. A quite clear cause and effect relationship. So, uh, we have a certain situation and then if we do a, then B follows and then we achieve C so we can identify the causalities and we can act accordingly.

So in terms of systems theory, we might be looking at. A linear first order system. And we, we can't go into all the details. Maybe we make a separate episode on this, but for instance, the aircon in my room operates like a first order linear system. And then the mistake we make is what works well in manufacturing or in computer programming, we try to apply the same principles to the whole organization.

So that means, for instance, we have. corporate vision, right? We know what we want to achieve in the future. Then we look at where we are now and where we want to be in the future. And then we identify the steps that we need to take. We identify actions and processes that will get us there. But the big mistake here is that.

The system is too complex. So even if there were clear cause effect relationships, we can't possibly know all the parameters that play a role. So think about when we define a vision, it's usually wherever it is, let's say somewhere between five and 10 years now, think of something like. Customer behavior politics that affect the business, the overall economy or a pandemic.

So each one of these in itself is so complex that we can't possibly know everything that impacts and affect one another. So, you know, it's impossible to identify all the actions. The next couple of years, uh, this is related to what we see in when we talk about systems theory. Um, when was that? Was it in 1960s when people discovered this butterfly effect?

Uh, so there is this metaphor. When, when, um, uh, butterfly, uh, flaps it wings, it can impact the weather a couple of weeks later, somewhere else. And apart from this, there's a second. I would call it mistake that that people make in organizations, even if we could define all the right processes and instructions that does not guarantee that all people will follow the instructions because human beings as well are very complex and they have their own rules.

Uh, different individuals are motivated by different things. They have different reasons to come to work. They have a life outside of work. And then also outside of work, they are influenced by the people they meet by certain events and they bring this back to work. Right? So all this can't work. And I think the underlying issue here is that we have a desire for control in the organization.

We want to control the results. I mean, this is understandable. Leaders at various levels, whether that's CEO or director or, or even a team leader, they make certain promises to various stakeholders and they are held accountable for results. Right. So accordingly of course, they, they wanna make sure I need to do everything to achieve these results.

And then we design these, um, processes and, um, Procedures, but that doesn't mean everybody follows. And so I think the thing here is we need to learn to let go of control because that we can't control everything. And that the system is complex. Doesn't mean it's hopeless because if we, again, looking at, from it, looking at it from a systemic perspective, then perhaps the best comparison of an organization is to.

Complex adaptive system with emerging properties. So the properties may change over time. And what leaders need to understand here is that they're also part of the system, so they can't control it from the outside, but the good news is they can influence for instance, through the interactions with people they can't control.

But they can't influence. And I realize I've been holding quite a long monologue here. And Martin just wanna check in what, what comes up for you here? 

[12:46] Martin: Yeah. I'm, I'm hearing these two big blocks. One is complexity in term of the problems, the challenges we're facing as such. And the other one is the people, the human related aspects of the complexity and that also human people are complex.

So even if it would have a solution implementing that solution through an organization becomes complicated. Cause humans don't react like machines. Uh, coming back to the first one, I think what I'm experienced when leaders or a team of leaders en encounter complex challenges, there's a tendency of oversimplifying.

Um, as a leader, we are trying to understand as quickly as possible, what is happening here? What's the problem and what should we do about it? So there's this, this, there's this motivation of trying to simplify things. And I think this is sometime it works, but I think more and more today, we see that these oversimplified, um, views on, on the complex system leads to also oversimplified solutions, solutions that might look like they work in short term.

But they are actually generating more and bigger problems down the road. I think we see things like this everywhere in, in, in business and society today, that actions that we have taken in the past creates bigger problems for us today. Because back then there was either no understanding of the systems involved of the complexities involved, or there was over Simplifi.

And, and, and it is, I think it's for leaders to be effective in this. First of all, we need to be aware of and recognize guys, this might be a much more complex problem than what we understand and that awareness to be aware that there. That the problem is complex will already change our approach on how to solve it.

And, and the second, and the second aspect, this with humans, this, again, links back to this, for instance, the, the collective intelligence that we spoke about in previous episodes, one way to deal with this environment as a leader is to involve more people. Because with more people, you have more eyes, you have more brains, you have more perspectives.

That is the way to deal with this. 

[15:29] Gerrit: Yeah. Martin, this nicely leads over to the second, uh, skill perspective skills, but maybe before we go there, should we throw in a few reflection questions on the complexity awareness? So, yeah, um, one that came to my mind was how can I let go of. The idea of control. And then instead, how can I have the biggest impact through influence?

So moving from control to influence and how can I do that? Mm-hmm 

[16:13] Martin: I think this is letting go of control. I really like. And for me a good reflection question is actually ask myself how well do I understand the degree of complexity in this problem that I'm facing right now? Or if we are as a team, how well do we, as a team understand the level of complexity in this challenge we have in front of us?

I think that awareness is really crucial as a starting point. Let's go to the second scale. And I think second scale here is perspective skills, and that already is part of the solution, how to deal with the complexity, right? Because if, if, if we can invite more perspectives, if we can. Invite different viewpoints to solving and addressing a complex adaptive challenge, the better right.

Uh, with different viewpoints, with unexpected, uh, uh, opinions we can really analyze and discover more about the system itself about the problem itself. But of course also when it comes to generating solutions. So yeah, perspective skills, I think is a critical. 

[17:30] Gerrit: Yes. And I'm thinking here, I'm wondering if perspective, skills.

I would not put so much the emphasis on the skill, because I think it's less about the doing, how do I do it for me? What's underlying here is the mindset it has to do again with awareness and openness. And, uh, I, I throw a reflection question in right away. How open am I actually to actively seek perspectives from others where I know they might be different from mine.

Because, uh, yeah, I mean, leadership is also has sometimes also to do with having a clear direction having, we, we talked about the inner compass, right. And if I have my guiding principles, um, well then sometimes I'm not so open to, to actively listen to, to other perspectives. 

[18:32] Martin: Yeah. I, I just recall one client project in Asia that I was involved in last.

And we actually came to discuss with these leaders, if you want to increase the perspectives, if you want to get, uh, if you want to shine the flashlight on areas of the problem that you are not aware of yet as a leader, who do you invite to this meeting? and I think this is already there. Your openness and your attitude in who is relevant and who has relevant input to the problem already there, you might be biased and, and narrow down the perspectives.

But of course, as some leaders then mention, they're saying, yeah, but I can't invite everybody and everybody's tight on time and we are trying to increase meeting efficiency by not inviting unrelevant people to the meetings. So this is a really interesting dilemma now for a leader. How do I know who to invite in a meeting and does my invitation list already narrow down the perspectives?

Where is the, where do I draw the line? 

[19:45] Gerrit: Exactly because at the end of the day, it's also about balance, right? Yes. So if I invite 200 people into, into the meeting room, it's, it's getting very difficult to, uh, hear everybody. But if I wanna make the same decision then with only 10 people. Yeah. What, what views am I?

Am I missing? It also reminds me of another earlier episode that we did where, um, you brought in the subject of being humble. Right. Um, being humble in a sense of an attitude. I don't know everything as a leader, even if I'm the CEO, I might be wrong. Again, here's another dilemma. It can be difficult because this may be a cultural aspect as well.

We eventually look at leaders for direction. So the challenge for the leader can be finding this balance between being humble, having this attitude, I don't know everything, but at the same time, appearing knowledgeable and. Competent, you know, 

[20:56] Martin: mm-hmm and this competence and how do you use this competence?

Right? Are you using this competence more in a debate or in a discussion to prove you're right. And others are wrong because you have your point or you want to protect a certain viewpoint or do you actually engage in the dialogue? Yes, where you are competent in your, from your perspective. So to say, but equally important is to understand the other person's perspective and then bring them all together to create a shared understanding.

I think that is where the competence of the leaders should really be. 

[21:37] Gerrit: This is beautiful. Yeah. Sorry, go ahead. And, 

[21:40] Martin: and I think this really means that also as a reflection question for leaders here on perspective skills is really how, where am I of my own blind spots? Mm-hmm and, and so this means what perspectives do I totally ignore or don't understand, or don't like, And where I really need to be open to inviting others that are stronger in those areas.

Yeah. So, so if I'm aware of my own blind spots, that helps me hugely as a leader to increase the total perspective of the whole team, they are that I invite to the table to discuss a certain problem. 

[22:17] Gerrit: And Martin what you said before reminds me of, again, that's an also a cultural issue. Uh it's about the company culture.

Um, for instance, sometimes we reward in certain companies, we reward those people who are right, who get it their way, and we need them to change the culture. And this is again where it's maybe about a new context, a different context today. Where this way of working will not work in anymore in the future.

[22:49] Martin: Yeah. You're you are so right. I mean, we can go on forever and ever, but I really like this. It's not about who is right and who is wrong. It's in, in, in, in an complex environment, in an emerging. And when the understanding needs to emerge, it's about how fast can we learn together and have this shared.

Shared aha moments. It's not about who is right and wrong, but I also think this leads us now to the third skill of sense making, because this is, this is like the next step bringing in the perspectives is one thing, but then how do we make sense of those different perspectives? That's the next step? And the next skill that we need to be really good at facilitating this sense, making process.

Yeah. Yeah. 

[23:36] Gerrit: I, um, I have here one passage from the, uh, inner development goals report where they say all human beings are continually engaged in making sense of their experiences in order to be able to function. And that relates to my favorite topic. An understanding of how the mind and brain works. Uh, it's at the core of, of my coaching and my approach to leadership, um, this idea of how, how can we use applied neuroscience in coaching and in leadership.

And so what we need to understand about the human brain is that one of the most basic tasks is to ensure survival. So the brain constantly collects and interprets. So to say the data that our senses are picking up and it's especially looking for threats, right. And, and then ask, well, what does it mean?

And what do I need to do? Mm-hmm and so this is important for immediate survival. To avoid threats, right. Or to, to respond to threats quickly. And there's a learning effect. So if a behavior has been successful, in other words, the most basic level, if we have survived, then the safest bet in the future is that next time when we are in a similar situation, That we choose the same reaction so we can react faster and eventually increase the chances of survivor.

So the brain is not necessarily looking for the best solution, but for the fastest and safest solution. And that comes this of course wonderful. This is one of the reasons why have, why we have survived as a species over millions of years. Mm-hmm but a downside is that. These adaptive behaviors of the past.

They may not always be useful today. In other words, if I translate this to meaning making or sense making, um, the sense making of the past may not be useful anymore today, we need different approach. Mm-hmm mm-hmm and another aspect that is also then related to our being as human beings. Um, We create meaning we make sense together through the interactions with others.

Yes. So we, we see here immediately, again, the link to inviting different perspectives and I, yeah, we're coming back to our, uh, our favorite topic of utilizing the collective intelligence of the people. 

[26:22] Martin: So then I want to link to the second big point that I picked up from you. And that is the create meaning together.

Yes, coming back to sense making also as a, as a collective process, it's not only about me as a leader, making sense of the problem, figuring out what to do, and then telling others, uh, to implement the solution. It's really about inviting the whole team to really make sense, guys, what's happening here.

What's important to us. What's not important. What might this. What should we do about it? What should we not do about it? When do we need to do, there is a million questions that you can answer as a team and invite others to share how they think and how they make sense on this. Then the, I think the outcome is that as a leader, you create the shared understanding in your team, not only about the solution, but also about the problem.

And the result is you have. The result is you will have a very effective implementation because people know why we need to do it. And they understand exactly what they have to do. 

[27:35] Gerrit: But I found you made an interesting point that I think is not so obvious mm-hmm and that was, um, about. Inviting others to share how they think.

Can, can you elaborate a little bit? Um, yeah. What you mean by sharing how they think? Yeah. 

[27:54] Martin: You know, in, in a team setting, sometimes people, they don't really share their underlying thinking. They share the conclusions of their thinking. And as a leader, then we need. We need to ask more, follow up questions.

Hey, please. Can you share how you were thinking there? Or can you help us understand little bit more the background, or where are you coming from making that conclusion? Uh, we don't only want to have the conclusion, the rational part on the table. We, we want to understand the mental map. Behind this person's thinking.

And then when, when we understand, so to say the mental map, the thinking of each person, and then we can combine it together. And as a team, we can start to see how we think together as a team. That is what I mean, as, as a leader, we gotta work hard to really facilitate, to invite others, to share how they think.

[28:52] Gerrit: Yes. And I think that's extremely powerful because. Each person has their own mental model. Right? Mm-hmm we see this all the time when we use a certain, uh, we, we could look at each of these skills that we're talking about. Everybody will interpret them differently. Yeah. Based on their mental model, based on their experience.

And the more we share, again, the more perspectives we invite and the better we can make sense together. Yes. So if I. Start going into some reflection questions. Yes. Um, the first that comes to mind is basically where I started. So where might my past sense making limit me in the future? And then in this context, what might, I need to revisit in this different context that I'm operating in today?

[29:47] Martin: And I'm, I'm coming to reflection question then linking to really, how do I make my own sense, making process more transparent and more open to others, especially as a senior leader, I need to role model that. And then how do I invite others to make their sense, making their thinking more transparent? Yeah.

Should we move on. We have, we have now come to, perhaps that I thought was the most obvious and most easy part of the cognitive skills, which is critical thinking. I think that every leader today is very good at critical thinking. Why don't, why do we even need to talk about it? 

[30:32] Gerrit: I, you know, first of all, I would agree. And I think that, um, out of these five skills, um, it's probably the one that leaders Excel in critical thinking, analytical thinking, but, um, maybe an angle that we can bring to it here is finding the right balance because what I think can get into the way is. I mean in general, critical thinking is good, but then there may be situations in which we become.

Overly critical. And in others, we are, we are not critical, uh, enough. Right? So generally I think the positive aspects of critical thinking are when I ask, well, you know, does that make sense? Uh, is it valid? What else may be important? And similar to a question we asked before, what might we be overlook? But then I see often when it comes to our area of expertise, then we can be at risk of digging deeper and deeper overlying to the extent that we get paralyzed.

Whereas from becoming back to the systems perspective, more and more data will not help because it's too complex. Anyway. Hmm. And then we have these other areas where we may not. Critical enough, for instance, when we hear an idea from somebody else and it sounds so good, we want it to be true. Or we, we become, uh, a victim of our own confirmation bias, right?

I mean, that is also it's, it's natural how the brain works. We are basically constantly on the lookout for anything that supports our. Mm world view. And maybe the, the last area that comes to mind for myself is, um, when we lack the expertise, then we are also at risk of not being critical enough. So we get too easily influenced by what should I say self-proclaimed experts. Um, people who are very good at beating their own drum. And, uh, especially then when we feel, ah, we don't have the time let's come to a decision quickly, then maybe we, we agree too fast with something that does not make sense. And my personal frustration is with social media and business magazines.

So for instance, when we see, let's say a shiny new leadership model or people claim research says, or experts have confirmed. Then I think we need to go back and rather saying, yeah, yeah. When research says that, then, then it must be true. Then we can ask, what is the research behind really? Does it apply to my problem and my organization?

Um, we can also use common sense. Does it make sense? Yeah. So, um, yeah, it comes back to, to this dilemma, finding the right balance between being critical enough critical in the right places, without slowing things down or frustrating people. 

[34:01] Martin: There's so many perspectives here on this thing is important. I I'm thinking of a, of additional perspective, and this is then of course the critical thinking as a group. And mm-hmm, the, how we use the, the critical thinking to solve problems because now it is, of course, we need to invite all our team members to, to. To brainstorm and bring up solutions and bring up ideas. And, and we really like to get a lot of ideas on the table, but then sometimes as leaders, we're where we're losing the speed is how do we then critically select among those ideas to really get critically good solutions implemented.

And sometimes wanting to maintain a good relationship with team members and encourage them. And now they have participate. We want to engage and empower and coach them as leaders. It's easy then to not be critical enough. Mm-hmm , uh, meaning not giving the constructive feedback that is needed, but also to not analyze, uh, um, problems properly that no, the solutions.

So there again, it comes back to the right balance. And as you also saying, thinking about what's my intention. Yes. And if I, if the intention here is to find the best quality solution, we need to be really critical thinking in that moment and not mixing that up with the relationship part, because that's a totally different intention.

And I see here leaders mixing up these two hats and, and nice. So if I'm, as a leader can be more clear on at this moment. What's my intention right now. I think I can apply the more the correct tool to, to solve it. Nice. Yeah. And I think this is the reflection question I'm having related to this as a leader is when using the critical thinking skills that I have learned.

How aware am I about my intention in this decision making process, really being asking myself what's the intention. And am I really aware of my true intention? 

[36:28] Gerrit: I, I love this because, um, if we don't bring this to our awareness, Then we don't know and, and we really need to do this. That's fantastic. Yeah. I have a much simpler reflection question.

good. Good. This is, uh, where or when might I be too critical? And where might I not be critical enough under which circumstances, which with people, it, it comes back to awareness, doesn't it? Yeah. 

[36:58] Martin: And should we move to the last skill here? The last skill, which is long-term orientation and visioning and, and there, there is an interesting definition. Gerrit from the IDG, right? It says long term orientation and the ability to formulate and sustain commitment to visions relating to the larger context. How can we, how, how should we interpret this? 

[37:26] Gerrit: Well, I think first of all, when I think about. Visioning, um, having a company vision for the future that has to do with long term orientation, obviously.

And I would say maybe not all, but many companies are quite good at. Uh, creating a vision, having long-term goals. I see most often in the real world, this dilemma of, um, contradicting short-term goals versus long-term goals. Yes. And companies and accordingly with the companies, the leaders. Are forced into this by law.

What do I mean with this? For instance, if you are working in a publicly listed company in many countries, you are forced to publicize results quarterly. Everybody looks at those. Right? And then, uh, if you're not hitting the targets, then shareholders will buy different shares. So leaders are under enormous pressure to deliver these short term goals.

And then are obviously at risk of sacrificing. The long term goals. So that's almost like we're coming back to culture. So we have, we live in natural culture in natural, sorry, national cultures, um, in which we reward short time success. And we also have company cultures in which we reward. For instance, we are looking at leaders in a new role and they are under pressure to create a visible impact quickly, these famous, the first hundred days. I, I think that's ridiculous. Um, why don't we, you know, can't we can't we shift this, I know this is challenging, but can't we shift this. In organizations and in society that we reward less of the short term success and more of what should I say, maybe a 10 year achievements. 

[39:42] Martin: Can I, can I push back on this? Gerrit I think I prefer if you can see this, not as either, or I think short term results are very important. And rewarding short-term results I think is really, really important because we can only create action. We only create action and change today. So what we do today needs to be rewarded, but of course not at the expense of the long-term outcomes that we need.

And perhaps the IDG framework here already, when we are looking back into the cognitive skills that we've talked about today, part of the solution is. If we are, when we problem solve, figuring out how are we going to reach our long-term goals. If we have bigger complexity awareness, if we have more perspectives as part of the decision making our short-term decision making, we might not so easily get into the trap where we need to trade short-term results with SAC trading, like better short-term results, but sacrificing the long-term results.

So. Perhaps by applying these skills in the IDG framework, we are in a better position to, to reach both short-term and long-term goals. That, that was my little pushback here. 

[41:04] Gerrit: Yes. Yeah. And I don't see it as a pushback. And I think, uh, it's, it nicely shows the power of the IDG, how everything is interlinked.

And if you take care, if you develop for yourself, all these, what was it? 23 skills and qualities. Um, Then you can really prepare your organization for, for the future mm-hmm , but that's, that also means that, um, yeah, we also need leaders who are more courageous and stand up for their convictions. Right. Who make sure that we, um, find the shift.

I mean, Like you said it does not necessarily mean that short-term goals contradict long-term goals, but I have seen myself, they can, and then we need leaders who are strong and say, well, you know, no matter how, how many people are looking now or hoping for a great short term result, we keep our, um, How should I say our, our view? We keep our in our compass towards the long term direction. Yeah. 

[42:17] Martin: Here, the. Is the sense making process, a leader that has communicated well to shareholders, to the governments, to employees, constantly sharing and being transparent about the sense making process. How are we thinking? What is our plan and how do we understand moving from the short term where we are today to where we want to be. And what's important. What's not important. Why we choose to do certain things and why we choose not to do other things. Yeah. The more we have communicated this, the easier it is to get the understanding from instance from shareholders, because they, they see your bigger picture.

But if you, if you keep your sense, making hidden. It's only going to be arguments because it's only the, the two different opinions against each other. Yeah. So I, I think the courage here is also the, is not only the courage to stand up, but then the courage to engage in dialogue of sharing your sense, making and influencing, then others to understand where you're heading. And I think then you also get full understanding of why you have done certain decisions. 

[43:29] Gerrit: Mm-hmm mm-hmm . So that leaves me then as a conclusion with the question, how do I ensure that our short term goals support the long term goals and, and still, I would encourage people to look at where might we be sacrificing long-term results for the short-term results? Just, just to double check mm-hmm . 

[43:58] Martin: Right. I think it's time to wrap up. And today we have talked about the thinking and the cognitive skills made up of five skills, the complexity awareness, perspective, skills, sense, making and critical thinking. And finally, the long term orientation and visioning. And as a wrap up reflection, you had some questions here.

[44:26] Gerrit: Yeah. I just think when I look at it from a high level, I could almost approach it like a, in a 360 degree feedback. I mean, not undergoing a formal 360, 6360 degree feedback, but just looking at these five skills and qualities and then just evaluate for yourself. Um, in which of these 5:00 AM I already strong?

Where are my, where are my strengths that I can build on that will help move the organization forward. And then in this context today, uh, often interconnected world, fast paced, very complex in which areas do I need some development? And again, the good news here is it doesn't necessarily mean we need to spend a lot of time on learning new skills, hard skills, go back to school.

It's often just about the attitude or a word that we heard a couple of times today. It's just awareness. Right. And, um, that's very cheap and doesn't yeah. Doesn't need any extra time. Yeah. 

[45:37] Martin: And, and I think this links, so, so nicely back to, to many time in this podcast, we were, we're saying as leaders, we already know we have the skills, but do we have the mindset and the awareness to actually then use those skills?

Wow. Gerrit I think this was a really interesting conversation for myself. I took away a lot of thoughts from your perspectives, and I hope that you took away some thoughts from my perspective. I 

[46:07] Gerrit: I did, and I thoroughly enjoyed the, the conversation. Thank you very much. So our next episode will also continue with the inner development goals.

It will be on relating and we have, uh, a short teaser because we managed to get two experts as interview guests on the show. Uh, we will have a discussion with Raquel arc of listening, alchemy. And we will discuss with her about listening as a superpower for leaders. And we have another guest that will be Paula Gomez, per she's an expert in conflict management and she's a professional mediator and we will talk about, you know, how, how can we utilize conflict in organizations in a constructive way.

[46:57] Martin: I really look forward to those two conversations. 

[47:01] Gerrit: Yes, indeed. Yeah. And that's it for today. Again, if you like our podcast, remember to subscribe on the platform of your choice and if you would like to help us grow the show, we will really appreciate it. If you tell a friend about it, post on social media and leave a positive comment or rating more information about us and our work is also on our website https://secondcrackleadership.com

 Bye for now and until next time.