If you’re reading this, you just might be that founder, owner, and visionary who really struggles to let go. The company is your baby. You’ve had a hand in every aspect of it for years, and you don’t know how to feel comfortable unless you keep doing that. If that sounds like you (or the person you work for), don’t worry. You have plenty of company. And there’s hope.
I had a recent client session end with the team looking a little hangdog and expressing some disappointment. This was an EOS Vision Building™ 1 session, which includes getting the team’s Accountability Chart to about 90% complete and defining their Core Values.
When we dug into their disappointment, here’s what emerged:
- One team member was unhappy that in strengthening the Accountability Chart, they had surfaced a lot “Right Person/Right Seat” issues that needed to be solved.
- They were all unhappy that they were going to have to figure out how to make the Core Values they defined fit into the legacy Core Values imposed on them by their corporate parent.
So why were they disappointed?
A few years ago, a friend of ours was given the task of diagnosing and fixing defects in the first version of a huge-brand consumer electronics product. The product’s initial launch had been an embarrassment. Worse, since it was first sold at Christmas and the defects didn’t become apparent for several months, there was very little time to get things fixed for the next holiday selling season.
I read a post on LinkedIn from Harvard Business School Professor Michael Wheeler, a behavioural economist (essentially a psychologist who tries to understand why we consistently do the seemingly irrational things we all do). You can see his post here. It describes an appalling situation – a British Marine was recently convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison for killing a wounded and helpless enemy fighter in Afghanistan. Wheeler postulated that only a clear statement of a core belief, “Marines Don’t Do That,” might have been enough to stop the soldier from committing what most view as a crime.
A couple of months ago, one of our client teams found themselves facing a difficult decision. They realized that two functions they’d always kept separate really belonged under one leader. Keeping them separate created unnecessary complexity, causing extensive debates about overlapping resources, workflow and priorities. Combining them would eliminate confusion, increase speed and quality, and make the company more responsive to its customers.