It was a long and winding road.
A great deal of our practice has always involved helping employers comply with federal EEO and Affirmative Action requirements. Part of that process often called for training sessions and, since management problems can lead to discrimination ones, those workshops included leadership and management matters. When we were called in to conduct investigations, it was usually expected that we’d determine who – if anyone - was to blame.
It was there that our advice on EEO and management practices began to intersect and we noticed more and more that our findings did not have a person as a culprit. They identified the system as the problem!
Here’s an example. Two departments had competent directors and management teams. Each department was dedicated and honest and yet, when they had to work together, conflicts continued to emerge. Each side blamed the other and various motives were ascribed. Bad motives.
When we reviewed their work practices, however, it became apparent that the departments were operating with different definitions of success and, indeed, varying goals. What each saw as competent work, the other regarded as incompetent or, even worse, unethical. Their compasses pointed in different directions. They were taking separate roads to the wrong destination.
We were able to provide a way out of the wilderness so the departments could function effectively. A coordinated process became the guide and a log of precedents was maintained so the same battles were not refought every six weeks. What had originally seemed like a personality clash between two “bad actors” became a well-functioning system in which the right actions were rewarded.
And those actors turned out to be pretty nice after all.
If you sense that team members or work units aren’t achieving their full potential or that working relationships are turning sour, give us a call [602 788 1717] or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be glad to discuss ways in which we may be of service. We’ve done it for others. We can do it for you.