There is a song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers called Wet Sand. For anyone that has heard this, you know it is a deep song that can move people with its various interpretations and its contagious melody.
The great thing about wet sand is that unlike its original dry form, it can stick together and can mold into something that maintains a lasting shape and creates impact.
When coaching teams within organizations, I like to think of transforming them from dry to wet sand. In its original form, dry sand can quickly get lost through your fingertips. Although a handful of dry and wet sand may have the same amount of grains (or individuals), there is huge difference in the potential. While dry sand may lose its form and scatter in many different directions; wet sand sticks together and creates impact.
There are 3 key tools to help teams or organizations go from dry to wet sand:
- Ensuring that everyone understands the overall purpose and vision
- Knowing where the organization is going and why is critical for every single individual. Without a crystal clear and joint awareness on the organization's purpose, there will be confusion and chaos in implementing the measures to get there.
- Creating a desire to change (What will be better for me if we do X?) Knowing the answer to this is critical in order to touch the minds and hearts of all involved individuals.
- Making sure to clarify the interactions and roles of each individual
- Unclear roles and processes can create unnecessary confusion. Invest in this early and ensure proper communication & collaboration between the various functions.
- Effectiveness and performance decline particularly when interactions are unclear. However many times no one feels responsible for they gray areas in between teams and functions. Helping to identify how to address the touch points will be critical in defining what success can look like.
- Enhancing open and challenging team dialogue with facilitated feedback sessions
- Relational topics can take up to more than 15% of a leader's time in organizations. Addressing these topics can be critical for progress and increasing impact. Conflict is necessary within teams and actually good. When dealt with properly, it moves things forward and can reduce “paralysis”.
- Perspectives should be heard and people should get curious as to why there are different opinions. It makes for a rich, innovative and informative environment for decision making.
And as with every great song like Wet Sand, we as leaders have the capability to move things. We have the ability to create emotions, to get everyone feeling energized and alive, to foster commitment, and to create lasting and memorable impact.
For more information on how to help create a more powerful organization, contact us at emOcean. We can help you!