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So what are YOU going to do?

Monday, 12 March 2012

At trainingreality, we spend most of our time training and developing teams. However, teams are a collection of individuals; different people, different styles, different likes, dislikes, skills and weaknesses, and it can be easy for groups to forget this. Team charters, mission statements, group principles and common goals are all well and good, but in essence you need to focus on what you, and everyone else individually are going to do.

The all-time classic explanation of this comes from a simple tale which goes as follows:

There were once four brothers: Everyone, Someone, Anyone and No-one. They had a very important task to do. Everyone was sure that Someone will do it. Anyone could have done it, but No-one did it in the end. Someone was angry because it'd have been Everyone's job. Everyone thought that Anyone could have done it, but No-one realized that No-one will do it in the end. In the end, Everyone was angry at Someone because No-one did what Anyone could've done.

In organisations, this situation is all too common, and it can cause frustration, anger, resentment, resignation; it can lower morale, lead to poor performance, and poor results. More frightening still, it is usually a continuing spiral - it happens once, then again, and again and again...

Breaking this spiral takes some tough talk. It can be repetitive, it can seem like finger-pointing, and it can pile pressure on to people. But those are good things, because they are needed for change to happen.

Imagine the following conversation:

We really need to get more out of the development guys at work

So what are you going to do about it?

Well, it's important that we start to involve them earlier in the process, for starters.

So what are you going to do about it?

They should be invited to the client meetings, so they can understand, from the horse's mouth, what is needed.

So what are you going to do about it?

Well, when they get to those meetings, they'll be able to listen to, and contribute to, the specs that are drawn up, which will really shorten the process, and minimise the mis-communication that goes on at the moment.

So what are you going to do about it?

...

So what are you going to do about it?

...

So what are you going to do about it?

Be honest. How often do you really push people hard to make personal, specific, individual commitments to doing something? Something that can be seen, measured, challenged? And how often do you opt out part way through those tough "nail 'em to the wall" conversations because it seems rude to push too hard?

The short-term easy route is to leave things loose. The only successful long-term route is to "nail 'em to the wall" - and that includes nailing yourself to the wall.


Please press (at least!) one of these.
It costs you nothing, and (possibly) helps us spread the word!

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