Connecting Diverse People
You have probably experienced a team at its best. At least once?
“Us” versus “Them”: Bridges to the Other Side
Are you part of a Team or a Group? A team is mutually accountable to achieve the same goals, whereas a group often has no real reason to work together, other than goodwill.
The “silo” phenomenon is on the rise. Departments operate ever more in isolation, ignoring external influences and resources, supposing that knowledge locked away is valuable. In truth, only knowledge in action (Kinetic Knowledge) is worth having, and it’s less likely to be duplicated.
Competitive Advantage is seldom found in “unique” knowledge Rather, it is the excellent implementation (execution) of knowledge gained from experience, as well as customer and employee feedback. This knowledge is “lived” and is seldom “stolen,” because it seems so much like common sense. (For more evidence of this, read “The Knowing-Doing Gap” by Pfeffer and Sutton)
Teams, then, are vital, for they provide the proving ground of valuable knowledge. We need to find ways to practice, risk, experiment and collaborate creatively, and feedback that is used builds trust is the first step in that direction.
Please don’t let your great people subconsciously sabotage your business’s future, through having multiple visions (di-vision), dormant potential or passive-aggressive behaviour. Wouldn’t you prefer teams that are future-focused, culturally-integrated and collaborative across key business areas? Diversity is not just about culture or ethnicity. It extends to age (generations / life stages), gender, tenure and more. Experience in “levelling a playing field” is required, as well as the facilitation skills to encourage buy-in and the temporary suspension of mindsets gained over many years. A “win-win” for the individual and the business is the goal, and is not unrealistic, given the long-term commitment of management and sufficient time to build trust and respect.
We would love to help you assess the state of your playing field, align the players around the strategic vision and equip them to robustly execute, accountably.