H2: How To Resolve Action Blocks
When your team seems to have a plan to move forward but keeps delaying or stalling and not hitting their deadlines, here are some ways of assessing and moving past the roadblocks.
Are We Aligned?
Slow down and make some time for having that frank conversation about the direction you are headed and how you plan to get there. It is helpful to ask:
What problem we are trying to solve?
How are we each trying to solve it?
Make sure you mine for disagreement. This is key.
If you don’t provide space for people to air their true opinions, undermining behavior may keep you from moving forward or ultimately undermine success if you do. Remember, as adults we don’t need to get our way, but we do need to feel heard and considered.
Are We Doing Too Much?
Often when new projects come up we want every aspect of them complete. We also have a desire to keep moving forward on all of our regular work. To get the right attention on what’s most important, it is critical not to make everything important.
Letting something go can feel threatening to the success of the organization. However, that may be exactly what you need to discuss. Have the conversation and ask:
What should we drop for now?
What should we drop for good?
By letting go of something now, you will eliminate the drag and increase your chances of crossing the finish line. Remember there are more races after this one.
Are We Afraid of Failure?
When heading into new projects it’s important be willing to address the fear of failure. There is always a risk that you may fail.
Innovative companies often have lots of failed projects. Just take a look at Apple. Do you remember: Apple Lisa, iTunes Phone, Power Mac G4 Cube or even MobileMe? All of Apple’s ‘failures’, led to a great innovative leap. Out of the scrap-heap of failed ideas came the much less expensive Macintosh computer, the iphone, the Mac Mini and the iCloud. Even Apple learns from its mistakes!
Taking time to talk about an underlying issue may do a lot to bring things along. However, if more conversation is needed, often looking at the worst-case scenario is key. Ask:
If we do fail, what will we do?
Do we trust our team enough to move forward and self-correct?
In closing, these are simple things and it is often the simple ones that get overlooked in the effort to move fast or look smart.
Remember play Smart & Healthy!
Susan Clarke and CrisMarie Campbell are Coaches, Consultants, and Speakers at thrive! inc. (www.thriveinc.com) They help business leaders and their teams use the energy of conflict, rather than – avoid or defuse it – to get to creative, innovative, profitable business results. You can see their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! On YouTube. They would be happy to coach you, consult with your team, or to speak at your next event. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org