Not many years ago Mr. Pushy was seen as the ultimate leader. The no-nonsense task master. His aggression and pushiness were hailed as the bellwether qualities that could make all subordinates perform. If a job had to be done, it had to be done; notwithstanding the capabilities required to perform it or the ask therein. If a team member assigned the task did not have it in him, he better figure out anyhow or seek help on his own.
Any kind of iffiness would be construed as work-shirking or laziness by Mr. Pushy. He would happily label the guy in question as totally incompetent and get rid of him, sooner than later. So, Mr. Pushy was ruthless and lived by the credo of hire and fire. He ran the function as his own fiefdom, in the overawing ambience of paranoia.
The powers that be bestowed on Mr. Pushy, meatier responsibilities and he continued his upward ascent in the corporate ladder. Being pushy may have its own merits but without heed to the capabilities required by teams to deliver on complex projects, targets and deadlines - this very pushiness may result in apocalyptic doom.
Today’s VUCA world requires the development of capabilities not only to deliver tasks effectively but also to charter new paths that have been hitherto un-treaded. Mr. Pushys, in any function, always gloss over training and capability building as a checklist activity that needs to be tick marked before or after a fiscal. Pushy thinks that if you are here you should already know it all and be a “been there, done that” kind of person; else you have no business being here. Clearly, evolving needs, neo-skilling, re-tooling of existing workforce and building of bonded teams were not in Pushy’s lexicon. So, Mr. Pushy is hard coded for failure in this new world order because it does not happen that way anymore.
A significant value can be unlocked from existing and new workforce, if capability building is taken up in a true sense. HR managers need to work closely with domain specialists in order to identify the requisite capabilities to build. There should be team by team and function by function evaluation of capabilities & skill-sets required. Post identification, the generic skill-sets and capabilities should be clubbed together for a comprehensive module that may be administered to one and all. The niche capabilities and specializations may be created and canned as separate modular units. These may be imparted on need basis as per functional or project requirements.
Running parallel to these, organizations must also have short & sharp interventions for specific groups or individuals.
E.g. Business Analysts may be given a shot of Big-data analytics for future-proofing their capabilities on business insights.
All the above measures start with the first defining step of identifying the Mr. Pushys in the organization and having a cathartic mind change discussion with them!