|JJ's (Nov '06) Tips in this issue:
1. Focus on Big Picture & Not Silo's Needs, & Rio
2. Favorite Quotes
3. Tele-Coaching & Tele-Mentoring
Use the following tips as training tools.
Present this situation to your group and brainstorm solutions together, or submit your own situation question to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.
How can we stop the different departments in our company from being silos. There are so many barriers and turf wars that it is hard to accomplish our company goals.
This is not a departmental problem, it is a leadership problem. So many of the companies I work with do struggle with silos or islands that turn their colleagues into competitors instead of teammates. Putting the focus on the big-picture company goals is hard for department heads and their reports unless upper management helps them see and understand their important part in it. In my recent vacation adventure with my family, I discovered some truths on the subject.
For the last two weeks, I have been visiting Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and living in a 3-bedroom apartment on the 9th floor of a condominium high-rise in the upscale Leblon area.
A couple of months ago, my husband and I attended a fundraiser for the leukemia and lymphoma organization in Santa Cruz, California. Since a friend of ours has leukemia, we put bids in on several of the items offered in the silent auction. To our surprise, I won the 2-week apartment stay in Rio de Janeiro for six people, with maid service and tour guides. It was the apartment of one of the fundraiser's mother who was going to be on vacation in Spain in November.
After winning, on the spot we invited my two daughters, Cassie and Stacy, and my sister Carol to go with us to Rio.
Our common goal was to have a good time and experience the adventure of seeing Brazil and living like Brazilians for two weeks. I was the only one in the group who had been there before. A colleague in Brazil had hired me to give leadership programs in Rio and Sao Paulo in 1995.
The five of us were like silos or islands in that we had not traveled together as adults, and we each had a different idea of what it would be like in our minds.
As in any adventure, challenges occurred, (getting visas before we left, finding English speaking people to translate for us, not having a clothes dryer as the maids hang and iron the wash for you, the heat and humidity, etc.), but with each one, we kept our common goal of being flexible to enjoy our family and new surroundings. It was challenging but fun to see us accomplishing our common goals.
Our first view out our veranda, way up on the Leblon mountain, was the sight of Rio's huge lighted statue of Christ on the Corcovado National Park mountain across from us. This unique city with it's many mountains and hills, bays and famous Ipanema and Copacabana beaches was a sight to behold!
As our wonderful host family and friend tour guides and our English speaking taxi driver showed us special sights like Sugar Loaf with it's two suspended cable cars, the churches, king's palace, beaches with their wave-like designed sidewalks in stones, local spots with dancers moving their hips wildly, etc., you could always see the huge statue of Christ on the hill above the city. The statue and what it represents is the major focus in Rio de Janeiro.
When we drove up the winding, heavily forested road to the top of Corcovado to see the massive Christ with it's arms spread out to the sides, we were amazed that it was so huge, and that the complete panoramic view of the city lay right below us to see. It was beautiful! This was indeed a city with a focus! Regardless of what was going on with the people who live there or the tourist who were visiting, Corcovado was in their view as a reminder of what was important and what should be their main focus.
In observing the Christ figure every day, it occurred to me that leaders of businesses need to gather all their department heads and talk about the main focus for their company on a regular basis. Then they should create a crisis if they are not already facing one. During a crisis, everyone has a tendency to forget their own agenda and ask what they can do to get through the present crisis. They brainstorm together and come up with concrete ways to weather the storm and build a better company in the process. The silos need their focus to be on the greater need of the whole, not their department's needs to look better than others to upper management.
I'm glad to say that our family adventure to Rio was a huge success! We accomplished our goals and great family bonding occurred too. We enjoyed seeing the world through the Brazilian's eyes and in many ways, it made us very thankful that we live in the United States where most people speak English....and we are not silos, but instead, a great functioning family team!
I am thankful that so many of you have written that you are enjoying my newsletter. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, and may you have a great family bonding experience too!!!
JJ's FAVORITE QUOTES:
"Winners take time to relish their work, knowing that scaling the mountain
is what makes the view from the top so exhilarating."
- Denis Waitley
"The person with the most flexibility has the best chance of achieving the
outcome he or she desires."
- Tony Jeary
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