Posted by Steve Botham
August 19th, 2009 | 1 Comment »
There are a few small words that should strike terror in a leader. They can destroy a team, derail a major change programme, even kill an organisation… “I don’t trust him/her”.
The lack of trust may be driven by clash of personalities, conflicting agendas, or lack of understanding - it is not always about someone’s character or integrity, but it can be corrosive. I know an organisation where two Senior Directors dislike each other, they avoid going to meetings they know the other is attending, they jockey for position, team members who work with ‘the enemy’ are interrogated, “Why did you talk to him? Why did you let him into the office?” Between them they share responsibility for millions of pounds of key investment and there is no way they will commit to a joined-up, effective strategy.
I know another organisation where the CEO sacked a Senior Director who was doing a great job in her own area, but was not acting as a team player. The CEO recognised that without high calibre corporate working, her desire to raise performance in the organisation would fail. A senior player who did not trust her colleagues and, in turn, could not be trusted was ultimately a liability. The CEO realised the essential truth that it is the leader’s role to address dysfunction.
Increasingly, as organisations look to be more effective, we notice the need to ‘mind the gap’. There are many ‘grey bits’ in an organisation, many areas of shared responsibility. Organisations need managers who can collaborate effectively and manage the gaps between them. They need to share accountability for results. As soon as we get into a situation where one side blames the other, refuses to share information, or under-contributes, we get inefficiency. Read on…