After having analysed a gargantuan 17.428 team situations, we have found that 41% of teams are internally aligned in their rejection of their management’s strategic targets. But this is UNKNOWN, as the average manager does not tap the wisdom of the crowd. They do not engage in formally measuring the ambition of their team members. So, with no one realizing it – slowly but surely – a rift appears.
Employees do not arrive in in the morning and ask their manager for the tasks they have to do that day. They know what their job is. And very probably also how things can be done better. So, tapping their wisdom is to ask specifically what priorities they would choose from a list of improvement options.
If managers would do so, they would see that the 41% we talk about is a combination of Teams and Topics. So, for example, a manager could ask one team about 5 topics and see that on 2 topics there is a high agreement within the team about the way forward and that that way forward is different – if not perpendicular – to the target the manager has in mind. Or, a manager could ask 10 teams about 2 topics and see that in 8 situations the shit will hit the fan. You see where I’m going.
How to remedy?
Do not ask employees about their opinions about the way forward but let them make factual choices about objective options you provide to them.
Take a course in cluster analysis and calculate how (mis-)aligned the team is internally as well as with respect to your godly vision.
If they are aligned but not with you, take a “Confrontation or Compromise”-approach. Either confront the team with a My-way-or-the-highway speech (eh, better have your sanctions ready …) or start the peace talks and find out where you can all find a common ground.
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