Ideally, when we ask your executive team to name the top three priorities for your team over the next 12 months, they would all recall and share the same three items. Ideally. With more than ten years of coaching executive teams, our research highlights how fleeting team alignment is for most teams in normal times. Can we agree there is very little ‘normal’ right now?
The number I want you to think about today is this: 1.28. The coaches at Good Leadership have been consistently asking executive team members this one question for more than seven years: “Will you please share with me what you think are the top three priorities for this team, over the next 12 months?”
The number (1.28) is our prediction for the number of answers we will get, multiplied by the number of people on the team. That means, if we interview 10 people on a team, we can predict we will collect 13 (12.8) different answers to the “top 3 priorities” question. What’s going on?
In the modern era, people are exceptionally involved and distracted by life in general. We’re over-scheduled and over-stimulated. In that context, we naturally gravitate to what’s on our ‘to-do’ lists when it’s time for work. We work our way down that list to get our jobs done. The more we work our way down the list, the farther away from the bigger-picture priorities the team gets. Thus 13 answers to the “top three priority” question.
We need to be on the same page
Last week the theme of my CEO conversations was: We need to get together to get our teams back on the same page. The general feeling comes from the realization that the pandemic summer high is gone. We’re anticipating a cold, dark, isolated, winter. With people working from home, we need to be united and focused – if for no other reason than team who are divided and un-focused suffer from self-inflicted exhaustion.
If you want help figuring out of the rule of 1.28 applies to you, send me a note. Or just use Survey Monkey and create an anonymous survey and ask your team the question: “What do you think the top three priorities are for our team over the next 12 months?”
I sincerely hope you beat the odds. But if you don’t, we can help.