Last week, we ran a workshop for a Tech Unicorn growing at such a rate, they can’t recruit fast enough.
They currently have a great culture, and have the foresight to realise they need to relentlessly work at it. This is to ensure they continue to reap the competitive advantage it gives them, as they go from strength to strength.
Like many organisations today, they have a matrix structure.
The virtual team we worked with were a European team united by their common customer but with separate reporting lines into the corporate organisation.
Organisational Growing Pains – Silos Forming
Due to no fault of their own, but as a result of organisational structure, silos were beginning to form. The team recognised the silos quickly needed to be broken down.
“ Silos are nothing more than barriers that exist between departments within an organisation, causing people who are supposed to be on the same team to work against one another. It is one of the most frustrating aspects of life in any sizeable organisation.”
– Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
So Why the Hat?
Very simply, I put on my hat to make the point that in order for the team to gain maximum productivity. They needed to take off their ‘ functional hat’ related to their individual goals. Focus on their joint customer and agree together what their collective purpose was.
To be able to do this, we started to take the team through a series of fun but practical exercises to help them understand each other’s approach to work and how to implement Patrick Lencioni’s Five Behaviors® of a team.
This provided the framework for them to start building the trust needed for them to have a safe and open conversation. Being able to say what they really think and being confident they had been listened to.
One of the main things to come out of the discussions was that meetings were rushed and there was not enough time for everyone to be heard. This led to frustration building. With everyone contributing, they were then all able to commit to the joint purpose of the virtual team. Learning the importance of commitment with clarity, to then make holding each other accountable much easier.
Bringing the Magic
This was followed by introducing my other favourite prop. My actual magic wand! This is to help those who are stuck in the mundane daily challenges to have a little fun and transport themselves two years into the future. To where all their problems have magically disappeared and a new perfect future state. This is magic remember!
This gave the team the foundations to go on to build the compelling context and interdependency they need to successfully work together, defining their goals to contribute to the companies’ growth goals. Here there was no magic needed, the team embraced the challenge with the energy and attitude leaders dream of.
Magic or a great methodology?
Well we think there’s a little bit of magic in the methodology. The process simply works.
It was great to have opportunity to work with an organisation that had recognised early that silos were beginning to form before they became detrimental to the company success.
If you haven’t read Patrick Lencioni’s Silos, Politics and Turf Wars, I highly recommend it. As with all Patrick’s books, not only does he outline the challenge, but also provides a pragmatic solution.
Here is another quick taster
‘”This maddening problem exists, to different degrees, in most companies I’ve encountered. And in too many of those companies leaders who are frustrated by the silo mentality mistakenly attributed to the immaturity and insecurity of the employees who somehow just refuse to get along. But the fact is, most employees have a profound and genuine interest in working well across divisions. … ..Every departmental silo in any company can ultimately be traced back to the leaders.’”
– Patrick Lencioni
Having experienced first hand, silos causing once fast moving companies to almost grind to a halt. It is such a privilege to be able to guide our our clients to implement Patrick’s methodology, here in Europe as an officially accredited partner.
Knowing we focus on how to implement it through practical and fun exercises, applied to each clients needs, vs just the theory is very rewarding. If not a little magical 🙂
At the Amplified Group, job satisfaction and making a difference is our number one priority – if wearing a hat and waving my magic wand was what it took, I was delighted to do so!! (Just to be clear, I am not a witch!)
There are so many great business books that it can be a bit daunting on where to start. To help you, we’ve listed the ones that we think are particularly useful here.