Vindication of High School Geometry Teachers Everywhere
You remember when your high school geometry teacher kept telling you to learn all of those theorems because some day you would actually use it? And your thought was "Yeah, right. Not in a million years." Well, I've got news for you: she was [gasp] right.
In my last post, we talked about a lack of focus. I pondered why the elderly can only discuss illness. I have not received any death threats, seen any angry mobs with pitchforks, nor been the target of pellet guns loaded with Geritol. But the practical applicataion still stands: why can't people stay focused on what's really important?
Simply put, they're not in the same BOAT.
Yes, BOAT is in all caps for a reason. It stands for Balanced Organizational Alignment Triangle. Here's how it works. You're a hard-working professional trying to do your job. Every day, you go into the office and do hardworking job things (insert your own Doh-Dee-Doh sound here). However, preventing you from success is some knuckle-dragging neanderthal. Guess what? They probably perceive you as the roadblock to their success.
This "hindrance factor" is caused by the distance between your goals and the other person's goals. Now before you get all finger-pointy on me, ask yourself this: How far are both of you from the ORGANIZATION'S goals and mission? (Or maybe those of the project, department, or team?) If you are both light years away from where everyone else is going, you're naturally going to be distanced from each other. Now, since all of my readers are good little corporate soldiers, we'll pretend that you're in alignment with the mission of the organization... but the knuckle-dragger is still off on his own. Guess what, that still doesn't help the hindrance factor. You're both going to have conflict with each other.
So, how do we vindicate your high school geometry teacher AND bring peace to your organization? (Thought you'd never ask.) Maybe the two of you should start a dialogue about what's important to your team. Start talking about how much you understand the shared direction of the department. Figure out if anybody has shared a strategy statement with you. Or better yet, you can purchase GUST, and use the handy-dandy surveys in the back (one each for employee level, management level, and executive level). I bet that would get some really good talks going. Only by aligning yourselves to a common goal can you align yourselves more closely to each other and reduce the conflict that is hindering your company.
Now call your geometry teacher and apologize.