Breaking Through

The monthly Agile Project Management E-Mail Advisor I write for the Boston-area think tank Cutter Consortium hit in-boxes today. It’s titled Collaborative Leadership Basics, Part 10: How Do You Get a Team to Develop a Clear and Elevating Goal? You can get any or all of Cutter’s email advisors by signing up for them. Here’s a brief excerpt from this one, then I’ll connect it to a fascinating email I received yesterday:

6. It usually happens coincident with breaking through conflict.

Clear and elevating goals seldom emerge until well into the project. In the forming-storming-norming-performing metaphor of team development, I’ve found that the storming phase is often resolved by the emergence of a clear and elevating goal, which then guides the norming and performing phases. You can support this process by helping the team develop healthy ways to disagree and stay committed to each other as a team. A team assessment tool we use called the Knowledge Team Effectiveness Profile (KTEP) gives us an early indicator of a team’s potential to perform by assessing its dynamics. KTEP validation studies show a very high correlation between healthy communication practices (such as brainstorming, creative dialog, team learning, and conflict management) and the highest predictors of team performance (trust, goodwill and cooperation, and respect for individuals). What does that mean? It means you can create the conditions that are ripe for breakthroughs.

Now, hold that thought, that breakthrough goals emerge from resolving conflict, and consider this monthly message from my favorite contemporary organizational philosopher Peter Koestenbaum.

Koestenbaum’s Weekly Leadership Thought, 07 May 2007
The Stuck Point: When all fails, philosophy “kicks in”

When you are stuck it is not likely that you will make progress using competency as your tool. That is usually where the individual and the organizational stuck points occur. A common error is to think that more competence will overcome the paralysis. That does not get to the root issues and usually has minimal impact, while costing huge sums of money. Problem solving is attractive. It is easy to understand, it occurs “out there,” and there are technical solutions for it. Transformation is less attractive. It causes pain, demands will power, admitting ignorance, shift in values, breaking old habits, and doing it yourself, with virtually no help. It is as if the doctor were to say to you, “We have no cure, live with the illness and prepare yourself for an early death. There is nothing more I can do for you. Good bye. You are on your own now.” The ball is now in your court! …

Transformation, the soul’s answer to the stuck point, requires of you two commitments. One is to understand yourself better, to learn more about what it means to exist as a human being in the world. This is philosophy. The other is to change your habits, the things you do without much thought, what is automatic. This is the action link. Copyright © 2007, Peter Koestenbaum.

Gosh he pierces the essence of the Responsibility Redefined issues and applications I’m studying and promoting. Remember the Keys to Responsibility™ are Intention, Awareness, and Confront. Reread Peter’s last paragraph if you aren’t sure why I wrote that.

If you aren’t on Peter’s list, I suggest you join.

Posted in Collaboration, Leadership, Recommended Resources, Responsibility on 05/10/2007 09:24 am
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