How Do You Know If You Have a Problem?


This is the first post in a series on LKS Quaero’s leadership development programs, published in advance of our 2018 Public Program in Newcastle

Organisations tend to contact us when something’s going wrong – and it’s usually a pressing problem.

Sometimes it’s something that crops up time and again. It might be a matter of safety. They might be concerned about performance as the organisation is not achieving the results that they think the should given the people they have in place. It could be about the culture; motivation isn’t there or people aren’t putting in as much effort as they should. These organisations have tried implementing improvement programs or sending staff to leadership courses before. The improvements haven’t stuck afterwards or else nothing ever changed. Ultimately, the organisational culture remains resistant to change.

For other organisations, it’s clearly a problem of leadership. Often, it’s about someone from a technical background who has been moved into a leadership position, often for the first time. They’ve brought across their excellent technical skills, but are don’t have the necessary grounding in leadership. Leadership skills – motivating people, setting expectations, and seeing that the work is done – are a completely different skillset to completing that work yourself. This common problem is sometimes just for one person, but is often the case among a whole leadership team, particularly if there has been no leadership development before.

And sometimes it’s the nagging knowledge that something in their organisation is not right. It’s draining resources and morale, not to mention the impact on results, but the organisation can’t quite find the bottom of it.

Pervasive problems like these tend to come down to the same thing. At LKS Quaero, we always say that results are the product of the culture, which itself is a product of the leadership. Organisations call on us to help them solve their problem, and that doesn’t mean doing a surface job on the immediate symptoms.

We tailor our programs to target specific areas of concern, such as safety or performance, using established programming focused on those areas, incorporating the organisation’s own policy and procedure material. When it comes to developing leadership skills, we say that developing those people skills is just as important as technical ability and when you’re in a leadership role you need to be able to motivate others, set direction, and give people a clear purpose for their work. We tackle these issues in our development programs to help people develop those skills. The obvious problems and the more nagging, amorphous stuff are pinned down in a current state analysis (about which you can read in more detail in a future post in this series).

Organisations come to us because we change the culture that’s fostering the problem, and we’re invested in making those changes last.

At LKS Quaero, we help organisations with effective leadership and culture programs that stick. Register your interest for our 2018 Public Program in Newcastle. If you’d like to know more, visit us at or follow us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.