Copy this link to your browser to download the presentation that covers specific steps to help a team reach consensus on decisions.
“Silo mentality” behaviors are destructive within any size group, whether an entire corporation, a site, or department. People divide, withhold necessary information, compete with those with whom they are supposed to cooperate, and perhaps more damaging than anything, people gossip. While the short-term effects are very annoying, the long-term effects can be devastating.
So how can a group break down silos? We will focus on breaking down silos on a site leadership team (SLT) for the purposes of this article.
1. Teach the SLT the real definition of consensus: “Everyone agrees TO THE DEGREE that he/she will support the group’s decision.”
2. Engage all team members in creating the values by which SLT will operate.
3. Facilitate the process of the SLT creating a vision for site leadership that is consistent with the larger organization’s vision but crafted by the SLT.
4. To begin to boost appreciation for the unique experiences of one another, give each SLT member an opportunity to share with the rest of the team one of his/her greatest accomplishments and lessons learned.
5. Using a standard set of qualities needed on a team, ask each team member to assign 3 qualities to each team member and share the information with the entire team.
6. Get away from the site for a team-building day (or two) that includes training/coaching that utilizes experiential learning exercises, fun, and relaxation. Take plenty of pictures and post them where team member will see and remember.
7. At the right time, perhaps at the end of the off-site, ask each team member to share two characteristics he/she admires about every other team member. This should be the last activity of that day so people can remember what was said while they walk away, giving an opportunity to ponder.
8. Train the SLT on various problem-solving techniques, then allow them to solve real problems rather than solving every problem for them.
These are but a few of the techniques we have used throughout the last 20 years to help teams break down silos. Your additional comments are welcome!
Copyright Umberger Development Partners Inc., 2012. All rights reserved.
Engage others by facilitating the planning process, rather than doing it all yourself.
Questions to Consider
1. Whom will we involve (engage) in the planning process? Consider involving influencers from across the company/plant/area. Everyone involved in creating the Change Plan will want to know the following information:
(a) What is the change? (part of the boundary)
(b) What will be the effect on me? (one of the roots of motivation)
(c) Why are we making this change? (one of the roots of motivation)
(d) What am I to do? (part of the boundary)
(e) How do I do what you want me to do? (“Freedom to do things my way within the boundary”)
If their inquiries are not answered satisfactorily, where will their attention remain? Where do we want their attention to go?
2. What is the most effective method for rolling out the change?
3. Who will do what by when?
4. How will we measure progress and success?
5. What resources will the Change Planners need?
6. What could go wrong and how can we prevent it?
7. What additional information or training do the Change Planners need?
Relating well with people begins by being a person of integrity . . . not a word used frequently in business settings. Here’s a working definition and practical ways to apply it to become a great leader.
So What Is Integrity?
This word gets tossed around a lot but is often misunderstood. Here’s how Microsoft’s Encarta Dictionary defines it: “Possession of firm principles: the quality of possessing and steadfastly adhering to high moral principles or professional standards.”¹ To be a person of integrity, you must have firm principles and practice (adhere to) them. Those firm principles include high moral principles or professional standards.
Leaders seek out such people to follow and are mentored by them. Having mentors who fit this description is a key to becoming a great leader.
Ned Hatathli, the first Navajo to become an Educator, to earn a Ph.D. and the first President of Diné College, was a well-respected leader. Undoubtedly he was mentored by many during his traditional Navajo childhood as well as by instructors at Tuba City High School, Haskell Institute, the United States Navy, andNorthernArizonaUniversity. When he returned to the Navajo Reservation upon completing his formal education, Hatathli became a leader in the Diné people’s movement toward greater economic and social opportunity.² His followers joined in these causes.
Many U. S. Presidents have had mentors, including President Ronald Reagan. One such leader was Nobel laureate and economic advisor Milton Friedman.³ It is certain that the late President had many loyal followers.
Are you a person of integrity? Here are a few points to consider when seeking an honest answer to this important question.
- Do you seek to be a person of high morals and/or professional standards?
- Who would commend you as a person who believes in and practices high moral standards and/or high professional standards? Consider whether the persons you named hold to these same standards. If so, their opinion is more likely to be accurate.
- Who follows you simply because they admire the way you demonstrate your morals/standards by the life you live?
If you would like to improve in this area, consider these suggestions.
- Seek out someone whom you perceive to be a person of integrity and ask if they will be a mentor to you.
- Ask yourself what principles (values) guide you. Make a list of the top 6 – 10. What source determines these values? Is the source of the highest credibility? Of course you must align your behavior with the new values, not just your thinking, in order to become more of a person of integrity.
- Make a list of behaviors associated with the values you esteem and practice the behaviors.
To be a great leader – even a good one – inherently means there are people following you. People will only follow those with whom or to whom they can relate in a meaningful way. A key to building relationships is to begin by being a person of integrity!
If you know someone who may be interested in learning more about how to lead through integrity, we offer in-person or telephone coaching on this subject. Contact me at JoUmberger@TrainSpeakCoach.com.
¹ Encarta World English Dictionary [North American Edition). Microsoft Corporation:BloomsburyPublishing Plc., 2009. http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?lextype=3&search=integrity. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
² Harrison Lapahie Jr. Navajo_Leaders_Right.cfm. Navajo Leaders. http://www.lapahie.com/Navajo_Leaders.cfm. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
³ Greg Kaza. Going to School on Reaganomics: The late president knew his stuff. NRO Financial. http://old.nationalreview.com/nrof_comment/kaza200406151029.asp. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
© Umberger Development Partners Inc., 2010-12. All rights reserved.
You are minding your own business, just standing on a platform like you do everyday . . . HO HUM . . . when suddenly the platform is set ablaze! You see the fire. You feel the heat. It’s legitimate, you conclude. You examine your options and then take action. You jump.
People need a reason to propel them to things differently . . . but they need more than any reason. They need reason enough. They need a reason so compelling that, after examining it themselves to determine if they buy into the reason, they take ownership and begin considering their options.
Of course taking ownership isn’t so easy in every organization. Sometimes authority figures won’t give people the power to own their course of action, even within boundaries. At that point, people feel stifled. Their ideas don’t count. Their attention was at the point where they were ready to take action. But if they can’t own part of the solution, their attention is likely to be diverted. “Let someone else put out the fire.” They get bored with acting like a robot. They lose focus. They lose morale.
Leaders who empower their workforce give people a chance to experience the freedom and fun that come with taking ownership (engaging), wean employees from having to be told what/how/when, remain patient when mistakes are made and refrain from pointing fingers, and celebrate wins with recognition and rewards.
But the change begins with a really compelling reason. Perhaps market conditions, perhaps a new law that negatively affects the business, or perhaps the leaders simply communicate realities unknown to the workforce in a compelling fashion, inspiring them to sit up and take notice. To buy-in. To engage mind and heart.
But take heed, when people believe their platform is burning, they are more likely to want to help put out the fire!
© Umberger Development Partners Inc., 2012. All rights reserved.
- Rely on the power of influence instead of positional power.
- Present succinct new information needed for them to make the change.
- Seek out objections and ask quality questions so the objections are answered by them.
- Help them tie the desired change to a personally-held value.
- Engage them in every step of the change process.
- Ask them to choose how to implement and ask for a commitment to take this action within a 1-2 week time frame.
- Provide time for them to perform the action.
- Use the Success Story Follow-Up Format. (developed by Umberger Development Partners Inc.)
- Calculate the dollar value of the changes made … and list the values that cannot be calculated.
- Celebrate successes!
Copyright Umberger Development Partners Inc., 2008-2012. All rights reserved.
For a non-supervisor or person new to management, the concept of “taking ownership” usually refers to being diligent to do the best job possible, taking pride in one’s own work, being the “go-to” person, and being passionate about being the best at doing the work.
The next step in taking ownership is personally to take responsibility for a successful completion of the finished work product, regardless of who does the actual work. This is a key difference between doing and managing.
- The reason an employee deserves a paycheck is because he or she added enough value to the company so it made more money than it paid the employee. The necessary profit to justify hiring the employee is calculated by organization.
- Employers have a right to expect that employees will do their best work. Because lack luster performance has been tolerated at some companies in the past, working to one’s fullest capacity is a new concept to some. They mistake this for “taking ownership.”
- In addition to actually owning the business from a financial perspective, the concept refers to an employee taking responsibility for one’s results or one’s job by caring for it as one would care for his/her own business. To be passionate about it. To take care of customers. To solve problems. To engage one’s mind, heart, and hands. This should be expected of every employee – the doers.
- As one moves up the leadership ladder, the concept takes on much greater meaning. Leaders represent the company owners to employees. They set the pace for performance. Not only are they responsible for their portion of the doing, but they are also responsible for the outcomes of others’ doing. This, in fact, is the essence of management.
- Taking ownership at this level requires overseeing every aspect of one’s area of responsibility and includes creating and casting vision, planning, delegating, instructing, conducting quality checks, holding others accountable, overseeing continuous improvement, keeping accurate records, dealing with people issues, investigating and correcting mistakes, and reporting on all outcomes – successes, mistakes and outright failures.
- Concepts contrary to taking ownership include blaming, relenting (“It’s not my job!”), doing the bare minimum, taking care of personal issues while being paid for business production (which also crosses ethical lines), and not taking full responsibility to communicate.
What one area of taking ownership will I continue to build on first?
Copyright Umberger Development Partners Inc., 2011-2012. All rights reserved. Full length programs are available on Employee Engagement as well as introductory workshops. Contact JoUmberger@TrainSpeakCoach.com.