The leader of a large organization lamented to me, “my team is about as close to a group of independent contractors as you can get.”
Keep in mind that these are all people at the top of their craft.
She went on: “It’s like they’re all first chairs in the orchestra, but they can’t carry a tune together.”
“They play well down into their silos,” she explained, “but they don’t play across the leadership table very well at all. Politics and mistrust abound.”
And she’s not alone: a recent study of 8,000 managers in 250 companies (Harvard Business Review, March 2015) confirms her situation is not unique.
In a survey, when leaders were asked if they could count on others to deliver on promises all the time, 84% said yes – within their own reporting lines.
But get this: only 9% said they had the same confidence for colleagues in other functions and business units.
If people can’t work together across an organization, change efforts flounder. And if the senior team is not working together, how in the world can anybody else?
So how do you unify your senior team? You take them on a journey.