On our monthly Remarkable Leadership teleseminar yesterday (titled Remarkable Leaders Create Team Alignment) I was able to answer many of the questions raised by our over 250
registrants. But I ran out of time before I could answer this one that came in from Colorado:
How much/how often is it wise for teams to be co-creating the goals of the organization, rather than being handed goals? When is it best to use co-creation, when is it best to have them handed to them?
This is a great question from both the organizational leadership perspective as well as in the context of supervisor leadership – and at all levels in between.
The shortest answer is, look for a balance.
The slightly longer and less glib answer is that whenever people are involved and participate in the creation of goals you build more commitment, passion and meaning for the resulting goals. After all, if this process is done well they are their goals now.
AND . . .
As leaders we must set overall direction, objectives and more. It is our role to lead people towards a vision or goals that are clearly seen and understood.
The balance is best found when we exercise our executive leadership to set overall direction, strategy and objectives. Then, as you roll out goals throughout an organization, the more you can engage people and teams in co-creating the sub goals and plans that will reach those objectives, the better.
One of the under-considered leadership skills we must develop is the ability to find this balance and to consider our own feeling about a specific goal or plan too. Be honest with yourself. If you already have a clear vision or picture related to a particular goal, you are likely better to share it – than to ask for input, and then go with your initial plan.
This is a double lose proposition – time and energy is spent, and when people feel their input was just an exercise, and your goal was already clear, you lose their commitment now, and have reduced their trust in you for the future.
I hope this answer helps those who were on the call, and everyone else as well.
To get access to two months of these calls and MUCH more, activate your free 2-month Silver Membership trial in my Remarkable Leadership Learning System here.