Wikipiedia tells us: “To put ‘lipstick on a pig’ is a rhetorical expression, used to convey the message that making superficial or cosmetic changes is a futile attempt to disguise the true nature of a product.”
I can’t tell you how much I’m seeing of this in today’ corporate world
We would all like to work for companies where leadership teams truly embrace people-centric values and principles but that is rarely the case, especially in organizations which have been in existence for decades.
It is common to find companies where the walls of their corporate offices are decorated with empowering, motivational posters of treating staff like their most valuable asset but this is usually a case of putting lipstick on a pig.
While organization cultural transformation cannot occur without the sponsorship and commitment of the management team, waiting for them to evolve is a cop out when it comes to creating safety within your team. As leaders, our responsibility is to create a safe haven for team members to work to their best abilities. While there might be stormy weather surrounding the team, we need to keep our team members within the calmer eye of the storm.
How do we do this?
It starts with building psychological safety between the individual team members. Even if they all represent different functional areas, roles and seniority levels, everyone wants to feel safe while at work.
Gain commitment from them as part of developing team working agreements and then reinforce the desired behavior by being a role model for how you want them to behave with one another. If they are not well informed about the subject of psychological safety, take the time to educate them about its importance. Recognize team members who act in ways to increase safety and coach those who diminish it.