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Releasing creativity through safe staff culture. Ray Tiller. Toxic staff culture. ... produced by poor leadership. - neglectful of people’s needs & sensitivities . - Self seeking. - fails to facilitate growth. - manipulative. - abusive.

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Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

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Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Releasing creativity

through

safe staff culture

Ray Tiller


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Toxic staff culture

... produced by poor leadership

- neglectful of people’s needs & sensitivities

- Self seeking

- fails to facilitate growth

- manipulative

- abusive

... stifles creative dynamic in the school ...


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Free & vibrant staff culture

... produced by good leadership

- responsive to people’s needs & sensitivities

- humble

- facilitates growth of individuals’ gifts

- Collaborative & conciliatory

- respectful & nurturing

... facilitates creative dynamic in the school ...


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Characteristics of a dynamic & productive workplace

1. We are all “volunteers” to the service of our school’s mission before we are paid employees.

2. Everybody should feel valued, equipped & empowered - not trapped under someone else’s leadership.


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

What are

the symptoms of staff culture that is becoming toxic, unsafe, or abusive??


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Fear of speaking up

Middle level leaders don’t lead

Undercurrent of murmuring

Lack of life, vision, enthusiasm

People give up on creative initiative

Loss of embrace of mission & core values


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Fear of speaking up

Middle level leaders don’t lead

And what ...

Undercurrent of murmuring

Lack of life, vision, enthusiasm

... do the kids get?

People give up on creative initiative

Loss of embrace of mission & core values


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

What causes a leader to become “abusive”?

Wrong modelling of leadership by other leaders

Founding ownership – “this is my kingdom/ organization – everything depends on me”

A narcissistic personality

An identity weakness – an orphan spirit?


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

.... and positions of power can change us!!

More credit + more blame = “it’s all about me”

The “toxic tandem” – people give more attention to those over them than to those under them.

  • When in power, there is pressure on me to:

  • become more conscious of myself than others

  • think that the rules don’t apply to me

  • become disinhibited in expressing socially destructive feelings such as anger, arrogant disagreement, etc.**


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

sh **

A lesson from Jesus Christ ...

And there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them and those who exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger and he who governs as he that who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he that sits at the table? Yet, I am among you as the One who serves.

Luke 22:24-27 

a ****** s


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

“… the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them …”

Leader & his/her vision

The vision & mission come from the top & all of the “minions” are simply responsible to carry out the leader’s vision

Unproductive

Destroys initiative

Minions

Minions

Minions

Minions


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

It is so different when we are not trying to build our own “kingdoms”.

.... When we work humbly together, there are no “subjects”, ... It is about recognizing the gifts in one another. It is about freely submitting to one another and the willingness to listen and to be convinced if that is necessary. It is all about love and relationships.

What stays and what nobody ever will be able to take away from anyone is that which we have done for- and what we have invested in other people. That is good fruit, which will stay.

- Author unknown


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Doing it the humble leadership way

a. A radical servant-leadership attitude:

Doulos

Diakonos

The waiter: “My only purpose for being here is your wellbeing & benefit.”

The “love slave”: I have given up my personal ambition & career, to give my all to serve and bless you.


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Doing it the humble leadership way

b. The permission – courage pair

Permission

Courage – I am prepared to raise my concern with you

Courage

Permission – I give you permission to criticise my actions


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Doing it the humble leadership way

c. Make it safe for people to express concern & dissonance

Validate concerns

Even if it gets to this???

Avoid emotional reaction

Avoid self-justification

No reprisals


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Doing it the humble leadership way

d. Deal with concern & dissonance constructively

REALLY value criticism

Help them to make criticism CONSTRUCTIVE

Teach fair fight rules


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Doing it the humble leadership way

e. Leaders’ Quarantine

Deal with the issue professionally

Hear the concern without interruption

Process personal offence & insecurity privately

Quarantine personal offence & insecurities

Confront offences with dignity a few days later


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Doing it the humble leadership way

e. Parliamentary “Skunkworks”

– a formal way to deodorise the little “stinkers” before they foul the air of your school culture.

No complaint without a

suggested solution

Raise issues in writing

& with notice

Address issue to domain leader

A parliamentary style meeting with fixed times & protocols, & controlled by the “speaker”

Committee-style decision for action & report back


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Doing it the humble leadership way

f. Check yourself out with a 360 review

Humble/ servant leadership

To what extent do you feel that I am sincerely committed to the welfare and success of the people I lead and/or the benefit of our organization. Or do you feel I am more interested in getting my own way, or making myself look good?

To what extent do people feel safe under my leadership? Or are they fearful of my actions or intentions? Do you trust me, are there any times that you have felt betrayed by me or suspicious of me, or felt that I have ulterior motives?

Integrity & trust

To what degree do you feel that I seek opportunities to learn, grow & change through my experiences? Do you think I seek and use feedback and learn from my mistakes? Do you feel I am open to and properly responsive to constructive criticism?

Willingness to learn, grow & change


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Doing it the humble leadership way

f. Check yourself out with a 360 review

Courage

To what extent do you think I have the courage to take risks? Do you feel I am prepared to confront issues rather than just sweep things under the carpet?

To what extent do you think I am insightful? Do you feel I am skilful at picking up and understanding the real underlying issues? Or are there times when I just don’t seem to “get it”?

Insight

How well do you & others regard my level of professionalism and skills in the areas in which I give leadership?

Professional skill & respect


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Doing it the humble leadership way

f. Check yourself out with a 360 review

Is committed to making a difference

To what extent do you feel that I am committed to improve the achievement of our mission? Or do you feel I am just accepting our weaknesses & limitations because I don’t have the energy or courage to make changes?

Brings out the best in people

To what extent does my leadership evoke the best efforts, contributions, cooperation and enthusiasm in those I lead?


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Some helpful reference books - business

Dr Robert Sutton – Sanford University professor of Management Science and Engineering, Organizational Behavior by courtesy

Building a civilized workplace and surviving one that isn’t

How to be the best and learn from the worst


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Some helpful reference books - spiritual

Recognizing & Escaping Spiritual manipulation and False Spiritual Authority ...

How to break free from Bad Church Experiences


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Workshop Task #1

Rate your workplace (1 = very bad; 10 = excellent) on each of these “symptoms” of an unsafe or “abused” workplace environment. Discuss with one or two others why you have made these ratings.

  • Fear of speaking up – it is not safe to dissent or express concern. So I just shut up.

  • Undercurrent of murmuring (people express their concerns horizontally rather than vertically).

  • Middle level leaders don’t lead – tend to just execute the orders of the boss.

  • People give up on creative initiative & new ideas.

  • A general sense that “people are just doing their job”, not full of life, vision, enthusiasm.

  • Loss of the embrace of core values in the organization.


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Workshop Task #2

Our staff leadership culture has a profound effect on our capacity to build a school culture to carry the mission of the school in its effect on our students. Discuss with one or two others the effects on your school culture and what could be done to improve it.

1. Discuss the positive and negative effects of the things you noted in Task #1 on your school’s capacity to fulfil its mission.

2. What changes or improvements could be made in your workplace culture to ensure you meet your school’s mission better?


Releasing creativity through safe staff culture

Workshop Task #3

Your own leadership skills and attitudes will be critical to your capacity to best fulfil your role as an educational leader.

The purpose of this task is to help you to examine your leadership and plan improvement.

1. Take a few minutes to privately reflect on the 360 degree review tool (just Section A). Make your ratings quickly, then record 2 -3 aspects of your leadership you would like to improve.

2. Discuss your thoughts with one or two others.

3. If there is time available, repeat the exercise for Section B.


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