Two epidemics kill cultures: end runs and unresolved complaining. Both waste time and energy, and are ultimately toxic to the health and productivity of your company. Luckily, these epidemics can be cured by asking a simple, powerful question.
One of my favorite Gino Wickman quotations describes the goal of strengthening the Process Component™ in an entrepreneurial company. According to Gino, you must “systemize the predictable so you can humanize the exceptional.”
Breaking that quotation down gets right to the heart of why strengthening the Process Component is so important, and why it’s different in an entrepreneurial company than it might be in a big corporation. If you’re implementing EOS® right now and you’ve been less than enthusiastic about strengthening the Process Component, I think it might also re-energize you.
During a recent Annual Planning season, one of my clients was moved to tears while reflecting on the past year. He was recounting a “personal great,” and filled with pride for his daughter while sharing a few of her significant accomplishments. He struggled to finish the story, and ultimately needed to take a short break to compose himself. Throughout this touching, heartfelt moment, he kept apologizing to his team for being so emotional.
My high school cross-country coach, Chuck Lucas, was a legend. He and his teams won more than twenty league championships, countless district titles and two state titles – my senior year and the year following. There were lots of reasons “Coach Luke” was effective, but one was remarkable. He saw things other coaches never saw.
A helpful discipline when giving feedback to someone, or when having a tough conversation to help correct someone’s unproductive actions, is sharing three data points. Data points are examples of what the person is doing that demonstrates the bad behavior.
If you have to confront one of your people for bad behavior – let’s say he or she is treating people in the office poorly – you owe that person three examples. There is truly magic in three. Two is not enough and four is too many.