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I’m writing this in an airport, en route from New York to home. I’ve spent 2 – very full -days with a leadership team, facilitating a retreat which required us to move from strategy to implementation. So far, so very consultant. But, here’s the thing…
This particular workshop was full of people with a strong moral diligence, and a passion for what they do in the world. High integrity individuals, each as different and unique as a snowflake. From a facilitation perspective, this could have been a disaster…but it wasn’t.
As I reflected overnight on how the first day had gone, what struck me most about the group was their absolute commitment to work together to resolve some very thorny organisational issues – without personal agenda, and with a collective commitment to the greater good of their organisation.
At this point, I should probably declare that I live with The Belgian (a.k.a. my husband) and we are partially based in a country whose political system exemplifies compromise for a greater good. Give a little of yourself, get a lot for everyone. In short, team-work.
Which brings me to today’s post. As an interim specialising in transformation, I have to deal a lot with big egos and even bigger personal agendas. Both were absent over the last few days. How refreshing, I hear you say! Indeed.
Yet, I was not facilitating a group of meek, understated ‘yes-people’. Far from it. Everybody felt able to express their opinions, concerns and perspective. Yet, everyone was prepared to roll-up sleeves and work together to reach an optimum solution. Team-work in action (a.k.a. ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’). Thanks, Aristotle!
My point is, that as an interim – your ability to galvanise teams is critical. I’ve lost count of the number of arrogant individuals I’ve encountered who think it’s ok to step into an organisation and deploy cultural and operational landmines in the name of transformation and then think that justifies their day-rate. Really? My point is, that as an interim – it’s wrong to assume you are single-handedly going to save the organisation. You are there to bring people together, to build a collective solution that works for your client, long after you exit the building. The whole really is greater than the sum of its parts.