Given all that is happening in the world at this time period, we need to continually create and maintain the bonds that hold us together. After visiting so many organizations over the last two years, I have come to the conclusion that the successful ones are in part successful because they understand something very important. Successful organizations recognize that health is restored in broken systems and broken relationships by creating new connections and strengthening existing ones. As Angela Blanchard wrote, “you can not build on broken.”
As part of the process of creating and maintaining the bonds that hold us together, more people need to move from relationships based on hierarchy to relationships based on connections and a sense of community. The first step in this journey is to build new connections through shared understanding and new experiences. One way to do this is to get people together in small groups and to discuss the following four questions:
- Why did you join this organization
- Why do you stay here?
- Why does that matter?
- What do you hope to achieve during the next 6-9 months?
Furthermore, I believe in celebrating planned organizational short term wins at the group level and personal milestones at the individual level. According to Dan Cohen in his book, The Heart of Change Field Guide: Tools and Tactics for Leading change in Your Organization (Harvard Business School Press, 2005) the characteristics of an effective short-term win are the following: measurable, visible, timely, relevant to all stakeholders, relevant to objectives, relevant to the situation, and relevant to the people who need to carry the change forward. Personal milestones, on the other hand, are significant points in one’s personal development.
This week, sit down with your team and discuss what have been and will be the planned short term wins for the rest of 2018. Then, enter into a discussion about what have been and what will be your own personal milestones in this process.