Think of how you might feel if you arrived at work one day and your work-station had been moved. You didn’t know it was going to happen, and you don’t know why it happened. Then you learn that your senior manager had decided they wanted to ‘rearrange’ the seating so it would be easier for them to remember your names, or your faces, and where you sat!
How do you think you would feel if this happened to you?
- You’d probably feel a bit unsettled and upset. There is a certain element of security in the constancy of how we arrange our workspaces and who our neighbors are.
- You would most likely feel unappreciated and under-valued. Unilateral decisions made without the input of those affected almost always devalue the people involved.
- An invasion of your privacy or your space could make you angry and resentful, and you are not likely to recommend your workplace as a wonderful place to be.
Now, think about how different an organization that uses the 1-2-3 approach would be.
1-2-3 is a process that promotes teamwork and helps you lead your organization to consistently better results. It works like this:
(a) Ask three questions before making a decision:
1. Who can help me make a better decision?
2. Who will have to carry it out?
3. Who will be impacted by it? And,
(b) Involve those people in making the decision as appropriate.
Every person can benefit from the 1-2-3 process by avoiding the four excuses/reasons why people don’t follow its principles:
“It never occurred to me that I should”
This probably is one of the more common—and most inexcusable—admissions.
And chances are it will be down-played by the adding of some other excuses, like…
“I didn’t have time”
More like “I didn’t take time”. This admission might even be expressed more often that the first listed above – and it also is usually unjustifiable.
“If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”
— John Wooden
“It’s not my job!”
Wow! Who has neglected to properly select, induct, train, and coach this person about the importance of teamwork. Good teamwork should automatically be understood to be an important part of everyone’s job?
And, unfortunately, there are the occasional situations when self-serving people, in order to get their own way, intentionally proceed on their own. They would rather apologize later than get consensus or seek permission initially.
“I tried it once, and it didn’t work”
I wonder how many time this person fell off his bike before he was able to ride it well? The 1-2-3 process takes practice, practice, practice before it becomes part of the culture and people understand how it works.
In a previous blog post, you’ll find it took me more than one “try” to understand how it works.
As you can see, it’s often easy to justify excluding others in our decision-making process. But the results of a more independent, less inclusive leadership can be devastating to an organization and its people.
Effective leadership produces high-performance teams by tapping the power of the 1-2-3 process!
How does your organization encourage teamwork and collaboration in its decision-making process?