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1.06 The stumbling block of Consensus

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The Stumbling Block Of Consensus | 1.06

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Today I thought I would address an issue I have come across in my work. I’m talking about consensus in strategy. Consensus is a really great thing; we know it’s good. However, it also has its downsides.

Figure with a drawing of a sword with a shining tip. Text: “Consensus – a double-edged sword, + involved many, + implementation, - slow, - waters down.

Consensus is like a double-edged sword. The good thing about it is that many are involved. When everyone has been heard, it gives a better kickstart to the implementation. However, in many cases this is a really slow process. People discuss and discuss and only at the very end they come to a conclusion. Sweden has learned the art of discussing, but they know how to keep the decision sharp. Otherwise, everything is watered down, and this is one of the downsides of consensus. 

I ran into a comment like this: “Can an individual comment be a crucial factor, shouldn’t one think about the big picture?”  

I believe that a single comment can make all the difference. Let’s look at the story about the emperor’s new clothes: Only one child was brave enough to say that the emperor was naked. When we listen to a group of people, one person’s opinion can be crucial, even if others disagreed. Listen to the individual! 

Case: Brain-organization

Drawing of a large group & text: “Expectations, intelligent comments, ensuring points of view, all details. Red arrow points to “no decisions”

I have a case from a so-called “brain organization.” It’s full of brilliant people. The organization has developed a problem: Decisions aren’t made, and everything is taking too long. I’ve tried to figure out what the situation is. It can be that the organization’s expectations are so high that everyone’s comments have to be very intelligent. If you don’t have anything smart to say, better not say anything. 

If a comment has to be worth a Nobel prize, no one will dare to say a word! This creates a slow process if one always needs to make sure one’s perspective is worthy. If the organization’s culture expects that no stone is left unturned, it leads to long meetings. Progress is very slow. Decisions aren’t made, and this is a problem in many places. 

Value: Courage

Drawing of two arms in a boxing pose & text: “What is everyone araid of? The boss, differing comments, shame”. Figure represents the value of courage.

The organization I just described will happily name courage as their value. Values are interesting because they often describe precisely what the organization is lacking. They wouldn’t be out in the open declaring their values for no reason. So, there is not enough courage. If courage is emphasized as your value, you are afraid of something.   

What is an organization afraid of? Is the boss feared? Do they punish for mistakes? Are differing comments feared because one might be ridiculed if the thought is not intelligent enough? 

Text: “How to get rid of excess consensus?”

How to get rid of excess consensus in the strategy? Enough is enough! Make that a value! Every stone doesn’t need to be turned. The main thing is that one proceeds, things can be fixed on the go if needed. 

Drawing of a cudgel & text: “Enough is enough! After hearing everyone, the CEO decides; The matter has been analyzed enough; It’s time to proceed.”

When people’s points of view have been heard enough, the CEO says that they have enough information to make a decision. The CEO’s job is to make the decision. They make it for various reasons. If they didn’t choose your point of view, there’s also a reason for that. The CEO might also say that there is another reason for the decision, but they can’t tell you yet. It’s time to proceed! 

Details are hard to see from a helicopter perspective. From a ground perspective, all you see are details and not the whole picture. It would help if you had both perspectives. A decision needs to be changed if needed. Consensus is often not an agile idea. It’s hard to change. 

The power of agility

A sector with a blue arrow pointing towards a sun. Text: “Not set in stone! Decisions can be improved”. This represents the power of agility.

People need to join the strategy journey to carry out the purpose. It’s good to create a consensus in the strategy, but it can’t water down the decisions. A good leader has the guts to make a decision even if others don’t agree. The management has heard everyone’s opinions, and then a decision gets made.  

Ignite your strategy without excess consensus! Read more.🔥 

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Stradigo

Stradigo is a brand owned by Rdigo Oy (Business-ID: 2120844-1).

Rdigo Oy is registered in Finland as a Limited company. We are a strategy consultancy located in the Helsinki capital region.

We’ve been in business since 2007. The company name comes from the latin word Redigo, meaning both ‘I shape’ & ‘I renew’.

Stradigo combines the word strategy with Rdigo.

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Strategic Leadership

2.11 Transferring the management system

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Setting Up Your Management System In Microsoft Teams — 2.11

Today I will talk about how a management system is transferred into Microsoft Teams, and how to bring efficiency into leadership. This is one of my favorite subjects and now I will share it with you.

Organic spreading of Teams

Drawing of groups of people holding various team meetings online through Microsoft Teams. Text: “Home team, Project team, Theme team”

After the management has decided to start using Teams, it spreads naturally within the organization. Plenty of teams exist and people begin to form their own. It’s truly great. I believe that the organic way of spreading is the best way. 

People form their own home team. In addition to that, project teams and theme-based teams are formed as well. It might start to feel like there are a huge number of teams. I have created a four-step system to portray how the use of Teams usually spreads. 

Strategic usage of Teams

Figure of a ladder that describe the strategic use of Microsoft Teams. Text: “Phase 1: File Sharing, Chat, Free founding of Teams, File Sharing Into use, Many ideas how to use; Phase 2: Video Meetings, Video meetings start, screen sharing, from email to chats; Phase 3: Myriad of Teams, Feeling of too many Teams, Prioritization need, Meetings to channels, App Integration starts; Phase 4: Digital Twin, Management System to Teams, Physical + Digital Discussions, Strategy Implementation Tool, Goal Setting & Follow-up”
Step 1. 

The management decides to take Teams into use. When people get to form their own teams freely, they start popping up like mushrooms. Some organizations don’t allow people to form teams; they think teams should be formed through a strict hierarchy where the top decides what is created. I belong to a school of thought which thinks this is not the best way to go about it. The professionals know exactly how many teams are needed in the situation. Files are shared within Teams, and it’s effortless. Chats begin replacing email while decreasing the number of individual emails. Communication is transferred into Teams chat forums. 

Step 2. 

Teams video chats are taken into use almost simultaneously. To management, this is often the first step. It’s great to see the other person’s face and to share screens with one another. The road towards a better meeting structure has begun.Many people experience a eureka moment and make a huge personal digital leap. A company’s way of working proceeds in the next step.  

Step 3. 

After some time, there are many teams, and a need to prioritize comes into question. By prioritizing, I use the term filter. Teams has a fantastic filter system! You can choose the conversations to pin as most important. At the same time, the teams you are involved with can be prioritized. Hide the ones you wish to follow only once a week or more seldomly. Many understand this concept better when they think about conversation channels as an old binder. Certain matters need a place to be saved, and this creates its own channel. This is how conversations become structured! Messages are no longer messy in the email system– they are structured within every team. 

Then there is the integration between apps. For example, Teams can bring all your Trello boards and many apps directly into the conversation. This way everything is in one place! 

Teams is an ecosystem, and it’s Microsoft’s big thing.  

Step 4. 

This step is my favorite step! We can transfer leadership into Teams. I have given this the name Digital Twin. If you have a building or an object, you can create a digital twin for it, which can be utilized in a simulation.  

In this situation, we are talking about a digital twin to leadership. It means that the company’s central nervous system gets a digital twin inside Teams. We gain transparency and automatic reporting. Traditionally reporting has meant that you stop everything you’re doing and explain all you have done to someone else: You report. When I use the word reporting, I imply and mean that information transfers automatically without a separate manual or oral briefing. 

My favorite thing is to get strategy implementation going inside the digital twin. Getting strategy implementation and check-ups into Teams is a big thing! It, of course, involves goal setting. We suggest setting goals within Trello through the Teams interface. If this seems confusing now because you are not familiar with either software, rest assured it will make more sense when you do it in practice. For now, please take this more like a sneak peek at what you can achieve. If you are an experienced Teams user, you probably know what I refer to. 

In practice, Teams often spreads through the organization, but the management continues to lead the old way. Now is a great chance to get the management to see the light in how Teams can be used for everything. 

Tough core – Management system

Figure of a hierarchical organization chart in tandem with Microsoft Teams.

The tough core of every company is a hierarchy in the background. It includes superior-subordinate relationships, which form the hierarchy. The company’s core is the regular meetings, which are created when the superiors lead their groups. If we manage to create a digital twin for this core, it’s a big thing! Things get easier, meetings become shorter and are required less because information reporting takes place automatically. One necessarily doesn’t need to attend a meeting; it might be enough to read the main points from Teams. 

1.Frequent meetings

Drawing of a meeting agenda for frequent meetings. Text: “Purpose, Frequency, Duration, Participants, Agenda”

 Every company has regular meetings. They are defined by purpose, frequency, length, participants, and agenda, and their mirror images are transferred into Teams.  

Management system meetings

Process chart with five boxes. Changing the business, running the business, business unite performance review, people and governance & corporate online forum.

Here are the teams of a case company’s management system. They have four corporate-level meetings. On a certain week, they look at how business is going and what their customers are saying. Numbers are looked at in the second meeting, right after they have been published. Also, a meeting takes place where the focus is on work, culture, and the inner processes. These are the supporting functions. The management group has been divided into three theme-based meetings. Once every quarter is a check-up to see if the strategy is good and new goals are defined for the next quarter. In addition to that, a large Corporate Online Forum is held as well. Currently, up to 250 people can be added, 49 of which can take part in video chatting simultaneously. I’m confident the number of attendee spots may increase over time with software updates.  

This is the new management system. If all this is kept outside Teams, all opportunities haven’t been taken into action. 

2. Communication

Drawing of a figure with two meetings and an arrow, that represents the timespan between two meetings.

In the image above you see the management team meetings four weeks apart. In between meetings, people have learned to chat with one another and traffic has moved out of emails into Teams channels. But what is the communication that takes place between meetings, the model? Isn’t it often so, that two people talk on the phone or by email with one another and very rarely with the whole group? 

Figure that represents the communication that takes place in-between two separate meetings.

Does one need to wait for the next meeting if a decision needs to be made? That’s awfully inefficient. If and when we can communicate with the management team as a group in-between the formal meeting times, we can make a decision faster. The conversation has moved into a Teams channel. 

Digital Twin

Figure that represents the creation of a digital twin to the physical organization of a company.

It means that the hierarchy we have in the physical world has gotten an image of itself in Teams. A digital twin has been born! All meetings have a separate channel and topics, notepads, Protocol, and the whole meeting itself is found within the channel. This is truly a major thing! As I’m writing this, very few companies have woken up to the possibilities of a digital twin. They have Teams, but they lack a digital twin for leadership. Here is a great chance to bring the company’s culture to a whole new level. 

No waiting

Drawing conveying time between an issue and decision. The drawing represents the reduction of time required with a digital management system.

It also means less waiting. Decisions can be made more or less in real-time. 

Customers are thankful!

Simple drawing of 3 cheering persons. This drawing represents thankful customers.

And customers are thankful! They get faster service, and people can make decisions with more self-management. Trust is the foundation that the professional knows what they’re doing. If this is not in the culture, this model won’t spread either. If you manage to do things the old way without perceived issues, keep doing what you’re doing! But when you start to feel like competitive advantage needs to improve and you desire even more agility, here’s a good solution to your improvement desires. The hybrid organization will help with agility.

A cheering person and three diamonds. Text: Everything in one place. Information can be filtered.”. Representing a digital management system.can be filtered

Everyone is thankful for having a new, more efficient way forward. The management discovers how the company can run even more efficiently. Everything is in one place, and they bundle up in Teams. Notifications can be regulated with the built-in filter. It’s just wonderful! 

This has given birth to a four-tier leadership system! Many organizations are currently in step 3, feeling like they’re drowning in the sea of teams. But the filter is the solution and a great opportunity! Think of it as a dam that regulates the flow of water. That’s a key metaphor!

Introduce the digital twin and bring the company leadership into Teams! 

Ignite your strategy! Read more.🔥

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Stradigo

Stradigo is a brand owned by Rdigo Oy (Business-ID: 2120844-1).

Rdigo Oy is registered in Finland as a Limited company. We are a strategy consultancy located in the Helsinki capital region.

We’ve been in business since 2007. The company name comes from the latin word Redigo, meaning both ‘I shape’ & ‘I renew’.

Stradigo combines the word strategy with Rdigo.

Categories
Strategic Leadership

2.12 Help! My boss is a perfectionist!

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Help! My boss is a perfectionist! — 2.12

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Today’s topic is perfectionism, and what to do if you have a perfectionist as a manager. As a strategy consultant, I often encounter situations where the customer’s team has problems with internal cooperation. I had a case, during which the CEO and the management team members were really frustrated. The chairman of the board was a perfectionist, and a perfectionist is never satisfied. I’ll explain, how one should act in situations like this. I hope this is of help to you in your situation!

Pros and cons of perfectionism and a perfectionist manager

Simple drawing of a diamond and text: “+ Creates quality”. This represents the benefit of working with a perfectionist manager.xt: “+ Creates quality”. This represents the benefits one can gain from a perfectionist.

The best thing about a perfectionist manager is that they want quality. If and when they are good, they produce quality. Although, I have had a case in which everything was over-quality. Customers were thankful and the results were pretty good, but there was no growth. That’s not fun. Quality might go overboard. 

Simple drawing of a person who is sweating & text: “– Nothing is enough”. This represents the drawback of working with a perfectionist manager.

The downside of perfectionistic behavior is that nothing is enough. A perfectionist manager will always let you know that something needs to be better. During one case when the management group spoke of customer needs, the CEO didn’t want to listen. They wanted to know about products instead. When the issue of products was then addressed, the CEO wanted to know about customer satisfaction. There was always something that was missing, nothing was enough. Decisions weren’t made, and it was very frustrating to the management group. 

The question is, what is the relief to a situation like this? 

relief

I’m sure you have your own experiences from perfectionists, possibly even your own solutions as well. However, I’ll show you a solution model, which has helped me personally. 

Confirm you have been listening

Simple drawing of a person with a speech bubble speaking. Text: “I see!”. This represents the person confirming that they have been listening.

When the perfectionist manager goes for the “But…” -moment, confirm you have heard what they said!  

I remember that the first time I encountered this was in a company with a CEO called Markku. He had a management team full of extremely smart scholar men. The company had developed a culture, in which the management team was very critical and it felt like everyone was competing about who was the smartest and who can list all the disadvantages the quickest. Markku was really skillful! Even though the critique sounded pretty aggressive to my ear, Markku continued with a question: 

“Do you mean that…” 

And when he phrased the other person’s message in his own words, the other person nodded. This most definitely doesn’t mean that Markku always agreed with them. It meant that he had understood the other person’s message, which in turn made them relax. 

I had a similar experience when I was young – if you know me, I always go towards new possibilities. One colleague of mine only saw the dangers in every situation. However, one day I understood to say: 

“Listen, Matti, if we do nothing we will go down for sure.” 

That was the first time Matti ever nodded at my comment. 

One must listen to what the other person is saying and repeat it so that they can relax, knowing the information has gone through. 

Match or Mismatch?

Text: “Match-mismatch”

You need to understand if a person’s way of thinking is a match or a mismatch. Are you someone who looks at a beer bottle and realizes that half of it has been drunk, or are you someone who rejoices over the fact that there’s still half of it left? Both of these mindsets have their perks. Both are needed because if we don’t see the missing things, the gaps, how are we able to fill them up? However, this can also create distress. A person that wishes to rejoice over achievements can truly become frustrated if the only thing they constantly hear from a CEO is that something is lacking. Nothing is enough, and more is expected!  

It has helped me a lot when I have realized someone behaves as a mismatch. 

I had another project during which a guy said that they lack this, this, and that. I thought to myself that his brain generated a mismatch-type. Also, I got a strong feeling that it was important for him to be heard. If a mismatch is combined with a so-called Ego-boy feature, meaning you want to let your ego out, it can be very straining to others. 

You can't change another person's way of processing information

Drawing of two persons. One has a mess in the head the other has clear structure, conveying that people process information differently.

You can’t change another person’s way of processing information. If you have a perfectionist as a manager and they behave as a mismatch, that’s the way it is. If their thoughts are a bowl of spaghetti inside their head and yours are well structured, you still can’t go on changing them. You can only ease your situation by understanding. When you understand, there’s no need to get frustrated. Also, in the case of customers, deeply understanding them is essential. It already helps to identify different ways of behaving. 

Mismatch thinker –Master of the next step

Drawing of six shoeprints. This image represents a person mastering the next steps of the mismatch thinker process.

A mismatch is a master of the next step. This sentence has helped me not to get irritated. When we have made it two steps forward, they don’t necessarily give thanks like a matching person. They think one should be one more step ahead. They do give thanks; one just needs to know to listen to it among the things that need to be fixed. 

Drawing of a person cheering and a sun. Text: “Hear the part in which they tank you”

Hear the part in which they thank you! If it’s important to you, take it in, because they mean it. Then comes the next step – take the missing part as it is. 

Drawing of a person cheering and a sun. Text: “Hear the part in which they tank you”

Behind every behaviour is a good intention

Behind every behavior is a good intention. This is a dogma from NLP coaching, which I studied a lot some time ago. The idea is that the person pointing out the black cloud also wants to get rid of the black cloud. They have a good intention behind the fact that they point it out. You both have a good intention, and you’re both heading towards the sun. When you understand that every behavior is based on a good intention, it’s a relieving thought.  

If you yourself are a perfectionist or a mismatch, remember it can lower other people’s energy levels. It’s also a problem if people retreat into their foxholes and think that a person will never change. That’s a conundrum of a situation. A good way to get out of it is to understand the benefit of both parties’ thought processes.   

When we create a strategy, it’s very important also to see the risks and prepare for them, even if they come in the shape of a perfectionist manager. 

However, the most important thing is to focus on the Purpose – the sun– how we help our customers. What is it that customers want from us? If we didn’t exist, what would they cry for? It’s our purpose that excites all parties. 

Ignite your strategy by understanding mismatch behavior! Read more.🔥 

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Stradigo

Stradigo is a brand owned by Rdigo Oy (Business-ID: 2120844-1).

Rdigo Oy is registered in Finland as a Limited company. We are a strategy consultancy located in the Helsinki capital region.

We’ve been in business since 2007. The company name comes from the latin word Redigo, meaning both ‘I shape’ & ‘I renew’.

Stradigo combines the word strategy with Rdigo.