February 2017
In This Issue
Shifting from silos to collaboration
Update on my book: Leadership Material
Sponsoring NZ Tech Girls are Superheroes
Books and resources
From silos to collaboration How do leaders shift from silos to collaboration? What does that look like? What are the main levers? Why would you want to do this anyway?

I'm often asked to help teams shift from operating in their distinctive business gro
ups to being a collaborative team. Some of the underlying signals for silos are:   
  • Everyone takes their problems to the leader, and the leader becomes mired in the details
  • Work  doubles up as teams replicate services they can't access within the wider group
  • Boundaries between teams become inflexible
  • People don't ask for or offer help
  • Priorities aren't shared
  • Managers work as their job descriptions not as passionate people oriented leaders
  • Managers  at the leadership table talk as if their team/work is the most important thing
  • Leaders are perceived as ego centric, and there is little 'we', 'us', 'our.'
There are a myriad of causes. The main one is lack of clear direction and expectations from leaders. Influencing factors are successive structural changes that were never  implemented, leaders in long-term acting positions, no processes for individuals and teams entering and leaving groups, little direction or establishing group wide priorities, out of date meeting agendas. The core of this is that people in the team don't really know who they are working with so the connections between them are formed only on technical expertise. Rarely do people know what is important to their colleagues, who inspires them, how they managed a difficult situation, and criteria relevant to the distinctive group.

There were no 'natural' connections in a newly formed group I was working with.  Other than having the same boss, people had distinctive differences, which they emphasized. Over-hearing a lunchtime conversation I decided to use the criteria of 'risk' to explore and expand connections. We set up a continuum of loves risk, hates risk. Team members were scattered the full range on the spectrum. I then invited people to share one of the biggest risks they had ever taken. The stories that emerged amazed me, and the team. Stories ranged from near death travel experiences, a health scare, parachuting, to marrying their partner the first week they had met them - and the marriage was more than 40 years at the time of the session!

Establishing relevant criteria for people to connect is an art and science (sociometry); criteria must be purposeful, without judgement, relevant to the work of the group,and private to the group itself. When people connect beyond their job description, five results become evident.
  1. Greater trust is generated.
  2. Leaders are more able to meet at the leadership table with their groups 'behind' them, so their discussions benefit the whole group. They work 'on' the business and the decide how they will implement that in their team.
  3. Priorities are shared
  4. Leaders are more likely to share staff when others are under pressure as priorities are shared.
  5. Development conversations make sense as new opportunities are created within the group.Development conversations result in greater engagement, motivation and vitality within teams and across the group.
How well is your leadership team collaborating? What might that look like for your team, and across your organization? What results might be possible if your team refocused and worked 'on' the business?

©  Diana Jones, the Organization Development Company 2017 
 Update on my forthcoming book:

You can pre-order my book on Amazon!
Hardcover, soft cover and kindle.

The US launch in on 26th April in Chicago, and 18th May 6pm - 7.30pm at Unity Books in Wellington. I'm excited, as you can imagine. You are invited! RSVP here

Reading this book gives you at least five things:
  • Keys to communicating your vision,
  • An increased capacity for empathy
  • Confidence to have peer relationships regardless of authority structures
  • The ability to choose how you respond in stressful situations
  • Courage to speak in the here and now
A peek inside:
'Leaders with executive presence seamlessly blend their personal experience
with their professional identity.'
'Default behaviors appear - it's as if you have returned to the original event, and act as if you were in two places at the same time - then and now.'
'Real leaders are close to the people they lead.'
'Leaders lose their power to influence when they can't show they understand the people they lead.'

We are the super proud sponsors of the first prize for the super amazing innovative programme Tech Girls are Superheroes being launched in Auckland New Zealand on March 18th 2 -4pm AUT campus. Dr Jenine Beekhyzen's inspiration to ensure girls love technology and can get involved early on. Ensure your daughters get involved!
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