Blasting Personal Agendas

The Number 1 Way to Blast Personal Agendas

Have you been in a meeting when personal agendas take over? Usually, everyone politely ignores Fred, the VP who’s gunning to expand his empire a bit further, all while hoping someone ‘above’ will reign him in. It’s hard not to think of the good Fred would do, if he would only think of the team’s goal instead of his own. There are ‘Fred’s’ everywhere.

One of the most frequent questions clients ask when we start to plan a collaborative and inclusive organization design session is, “How will we manage all the agendas in the room?” This is often followed by, “No, really, you don’t understand…we have some difficult personalities on our team.” or “Our VP of [insert function] has a really strong personality and will make this difficult.” Have you ever avoided including someone in a decision because you don’t want to deal with their agenda?

Well, strong personalities and deep personal agendas are pretty much expected on executive leadership teams. That’s why the RapidOD approach to organization design works so well. It was designed to actually use those agendas as an advantage, all while not having the end product influenced by them. But how, you ask?

In over 20 years of restructuring companies, there is one thing in common everywhere, even on teams with the most overbearing personalities:

‘Personal agendas crumble when a shared agenda is created.’

This is true in the board room, true in the C-suite, and true with your lowest level of supervisors. The critical differentiator of the RapidOD approach and the reason it is the absolute most effective process for creating alignment, shared agendas, and sustainable organization structures is that it is specifically designed to create a shared agenda before discussing the structure.

When leaders collaborate and align around where they are going, what the organization must be able to do to get there, and the criteria for the new structure, suddenly everything else takes a back seat. Personal agendas don’t stand up when they conflict with a mutually shared agenda. All groups self-police that when they are really aligned to the future.

Create Alignment

So, do you want to blast personal agendas? Let’s get prepared. Before any discussion of structure takes place, it is critical to align around a few key things. The first is the future state. This alignment builds a solid foundation, without which a structure is just a guess. Aligning around the future state requires both clarity and innovation. The team must think big enough to accommodate the kind of innovation required for a blue ocean strategy and the specificity required to turn aspirations into operating plans. RapidOD includes a half day interactive session that does exactly that.

Here’s the most critical component: Imagine standing in the future and looking back from there for a while. Imagine celebrating the best-case scenario and picturing what that looks and feels like. This forces you (and your team) to leave the current reality for a while. Think about having enough disequilibrium to drive innovation and spark creativity and feel the energy building around what is possible without the constraints of ‘how’ to do it getting in the way. When this energy is created, it almost always motivates teams to create breakthroughs in ‘how to get there’ that can be built into a strategic plan.

Are you looking to eradicate personal agendas and get your team on the same page or restructure your organization? LeaderShift Insights® equips leaders and organizations to do exactly that. Over the past 10 years, we have worked with leaders at Mayo Clinic, Johnson & Johnson, Home Depot, SanteFe HealthCare, Independent Bank and many others. Call us, its what we do.