While facilitating a strategic alignment retreat with a CEO and his senior team, they struggled to identify exactly what to do to change the culture. Finally, having nothing that felt like a good idea, I convinced them to involve the next level down. They agreed.
In the meeting with the broader leadership team – the senior-most leaders and the next level – the issue was posed and within minutes, ideas began to pop, left and right…really brilliant ideas. The senior team was a little surprised by the ease with which their reports readily identified viable solutions to what seemed to them to be a complex, nebulous, intangible problem. From there, their culture change initiative took flight.
The lesson for leaders: involve other levels in solving problems. Doing so strengthens participants’ sense of responsibility for solving problems and ownership of results.