Monday, October 5, 2015

Building a Unified Whole - part #2

Whenever I interact with a struggling organization, I will inevitably discover a struggling senior leadership team. The two go hand in hand.  And while it sounds simplistic, the first key to success is to build a cohesive leadership team.

Yet we have to realize that there are three kinds of leadership teams. The first is the Command & Control Leadership Team. This is the traditional, top down structure where all of the connections that matter are the ones between workers and their managers.

The second form is the Command of Teams model. Here, everything is structured for small teams, and all of the small teams operate within a rigid super structure, reporting up to the senior leadership team.

Finally, there is the Team of Teams model. Here, the relationships among teams resembles the closeness among individuals on those teams. It is dynamic and highly interactive. It also is quickly able to deal with technical and adaptive problems.

Yet, whenever we talk about teams, I think back to what Patrick Lencioni, wrote in his book, Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable About Destroying The Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors (Jossey-Bass 2006). As he explains, “I strongly believe that building a cohesive leadership team is the first critical step that an organization must take if it is to have the best chance at success.” However, Lencioni points out the following about problems that occur: “Silos are nothing more than the barriers that exist between departments within an organization, causing people who are supposed to be on the same team to work against one another…. In most situations, silos rise up not because of what executives are doing purposefully but rather because of what they are failing to do: provide themselves and their employees with a compelling context for working together.” 

My challenge to you this Monday morning is twofold:

First, what is the “compelling context’ for working together in your organization at this time period?

Second, how well do you think this is getting cascaded down clearly into the organization?

The answers are worth pursuing if you want to succeed moving forward.

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257

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