Ever wondered about the cost of teams at war?

      3 Comments on Ever wondered about the cost of teams at war?

Just think of the negative ROI – the waste of time, money, motivation, innovation and productivity, (not too mention employee disengagement) caused by the inability to collaborate!

When teams are at war…

Podcast  Tips and tools on speeding up progress towards team collaboration  

They might be skirmishing, infighting, or in open conflict. It’s a battle for power and the competitiveness is inefficient. They think they are ‘doing their job,’ but they’re not. They are not thinking about outcomes for the organization and the customer.

How would you like to help them:

  • Get more decisiveness, action and productivity,?
  • Remove bottlenecks to quality outcomes for the business and customers?

What’s their problem?

Teams in conflict see each other as the problem. Problem focus is normal in organizations, but much worse when teams compound it. Worse, they may have solutions at hand, but can’t agree on them because the ‘problem’ dominates the conversation. So it’s about who’s right.

Plus, one side usually decides to bully the other and force things through.

So, in order to get them to do the work, the job is to get them out of problem focus and move to solution building. We have to ignore the problem between the team.

‘Being opposed to collaboration these days is a bit like being against quality. Or maybe even profitability’ – Prahald Ramaswamy

What doesn’t work!

a. Don’t be the referee. Even if you’re the boss, they may both turn on you.

b. Don’t call a meeting to discuss the problem i.e., have, a) a time / agenda, b) make sure that everyone gets to speak, d) stick to the agenda, etc.

c. Don’t be a tough guy/gal by telling them there will be consequences if they don’t shape up. They will shape up for 10 minutes, no more.

Move forward. Ignore the problem focus.

The Solution Focus model for change and progress gets people to find out what they want and go do something about it. We don’t try to resolve the problem. After we have defined it and decided what we want, instead we mostly ignore the problem.

Collaboration is the goal … and it’s not a distant option. 


3 thoughts on “Ever wondered about the cost of teams at war?

  1. lesley

    Getting weekly your weekly newsletter after a week of institution sanctioned bullying is always a lifeline…where even solution based approaches are seen as not being a teamplayer

    1. Alan Kay

      Thanks Lesley, glad to be of help if not an fast cure. Some old fashioned hierarchies change at the speed of the glaciers. Hence, I always suggest asking what we can first change about ourselves.

      1. Lesley

        Yes! And again your ‘Liars and Bullys’ and “How to change the narrative”, De-escalate Confrontation”, “Monkey Free Meetings Cheatsheet” ….. and tough environments can be so good for self-growth – I learned how to convey passion wrt a project, solution, etc minus the emotion. Once emotion creeps in eyes visible glaze over.

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