Gabazira's blog

The Effectiveness-Lab

The Harry and Meghan KISSTORY – Management hygiene lessons

Hello everyone, especially those of you that profess to best leadership and management practices.

Do you, like us, acknowledge that Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding yesterday, is a first-class lesson in management-hygiene?  The UK media houses have termed the event: KISSTORY

Meghan and Maama

There is something exquisite about the pairing of these two and the implications for: the UK royal family, the two countries that the groom and bride come from and as well, for those of us watching from afar. What started as a rumour and an impossibility, may have, with simple but deliberate management-knitting changed how the world views the UK royals.

Harry and Meghan’s wedding yesterday is an envent that will be inscribed into the manuscripts of English history. It’s an event with so many management-hygiene lessons that those with good OD. eyes and ears will forever draw lessons for their management and leadership practice. It’s the best of a deliberately minimalist and Zen-like approach to the business of doing stuff. How can you not learn from this pro-bono premier management class?

The so-called wedding of the year was littered with exquisite management-hygiene lessons. The whole event – the before, during, and after exhibited extremely useful undertones about: being clear what you want but also aim to achieve, positioning ‘inferiority’ as a strength and not weakness, breaking custom, getting the balance right, boldly embracing uncertainty, keeping things simple, and most of all, a management masterpiece that taught us how to deal with unforeseen and last minute plan spoilers.

We can’t start to imagine the power of the brains, thinking, and precision behind the event. The way bottlenecks, especially for Meghan, that could have derailed other weddings, were managed with calmness and admirable order.

Do not take the minimalist but classy outcomes we witnessed yesterday for granted – a lot of intricate management thinking must have happened behind the scenes. We ought to give credit to the royal household and even more important Meghan’s solo OD. machinery for getting this right.

So what? After all, it’s just another wedding of the privileged:

Of course, and for all the right reasons, Harry and Meghan’s wedding should be considered a family and not a corporate matter. It should have nothing to do with OD. structures, processes, and their intended outcomes. In other words, we aren’t talking typical corporate dynamics here.

Well, pause for a second. We are dealing with matters to do with the United Kingdom’s Sovereign. For that very reason, we have to look at the machinery behind this wedding of the year through the OD. lens. The royal family, past and present, is an organisation or if you want company, run by the family with the help of the State.

While social in nature, the family also deals with matters sovereign and a wedding like the one we witnessed yesterday, has significant undercurrents.

The plot even gets thicker when you consider how disruptive Harry’s dating and subsequent marriage to Meghan could be for the usually conservative establishment. Meghan is a complete outsider breaking age-old royal custom – mixed race, American, Black American mother with dreadlocks, a father that doesn’t make the class, divorcee, extremely emancipated young woman who knows her rights so very well and by the way, didn’t swear in her vows to Harry – ‘obedience to the ‘sovereign’ in their house.’

Harry has gambled – I am not sure the family, like at a typical company with shareholders, didn’t have dissenters to the move. The shareholding of the Royal household company may officially have been diluted and changed forever. That way, credit is due to the Sovereign for authorising what is a risky corporate move

Our takeaway:

For the OD. practitioner with a keen eye for detail – there is so much to learn from Harry and Meghan’s wedding – to use the correct titles: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Bishop Michael Curry – Preacher
Credit: Getty Images

We call such learning, borrowing OD. hygiene. And this may turn out one of the best management case studies for those with an eye for out-of-the-box OD. thinking

  • The time vs change continuum – change happens even when we think it won’t ever happen.

Yes, a mixed race and black girl has been welcomed into the royal household. But, let us take a step back and ask if the royal family had any other viable choice, other than accepting Meghan. The change whirlwind happening in the business OD. sector may have caught up with the royals. Kudos to the household, the door to change has been opened.

Diversity is the in thing now, at times forced on the conservatives by Millennials like Harry and Meghan. It’s not an accident after all that top firms have hired diversity officers.  Yes, the beliefs and philosophy of the royal household may have changed, but times have changed so much so that not changing would render the royal family irrelevant in the long run.

To you, the manager, keep in sight the change clock.  When the time is right, managers should seize the moment to push through much needed but sensitive change.

  • Use super-agents to sanitise organisations – we can’t deny the fact that if deployed well, Meghan and her dreadlocked black mother can be a powerful force for changing outside perception of the royal establishment.

When the minority see themselves represented, they know they belong and are welcome.

Managers should identify the so-called super-agents and build change agendas around such persons. Don’t allow naysayers, the stiflers, to cast gloom and distract you from pushing through sensitive, unusual and at times painful change.

Take note: effective super-agents aren’t rubber stamps; they will ask for ‘voice’ on the table. Meghan asked for voice, the American Episcopal Church bishop Michael Curry who preached at the wedding asked for voice. The Bishop didn’t apparently follow the UK Sovereign’s requirement that any speech shouldn’t be longer than five minutes. His sermon was 15 minutes.

  • The Zen management paradigm – keep it simple stupid (KISS). A minimalist approach to management is not always a bad thing.

Success is driven by the quality of idea conception, personal belief and execution. Meghan and Harry exhibited minimalism and how successful it can be even in complex management situations

Managers – learn to keep it simple. Focus on clarity of thought and execution

Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!


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About Me

Apollo B. Gabazira is an Ugandan OD. junkie fascinated by matters that render organisations/individuals effective or not. He blogs on effective leadership and management. He is a devoted green-farmer and breeds the Ayrshire cow at Nakabugu, Luuka district, Uganda. Apollo is quite effective at what he chooses to do.


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