Lack of Commitment resulting from Ambiguity
Synopsis: If the members of the team do not believe in the main goal of the team, ultimately, they will not support it.
“The next dysfunction of a team is the lack of commitment and the failure to buy in to decisions” (Lencioni, 2002, p.93).
“Consensus becomes an attempt to please everyone” (Lencioni, 2002, p.95).
“Most reasonable people don’t have to get their way in a discussion. They just need to be heard, and to know that their input was considered and responded to” (Lencioni, 2002, p.95).
“People aren’t going to hold each other accountable if they haven’t clearly bought in to the same plan” (Lencioni, 2002, p.99).
“If everything is important, then nothing is” (Lencioni, 2002, p.106).
A team that fails to commit... (Lencioni, 2002, p. 209)
- Creates ambiguity among the team about direction and priorities
- Watches windows of opportunity close due to excessive analysis and unnecessary delay
- Breeds lack of confidence and fear of failure
- Revisits discussions and decisions again and again
- Encourages second-guessing among team members
A team that commits... (Lencioni, 2002, p. 209)
- Creates clarity around direction and priorities
- Aligns the entire team around common objectives
- Develops an ability to learn from mistakes
- Takes advantage of opportunities before competitors do
- Moves forward without hesitation
- Changes direction without hesitation or guilt
Suggestions for reducing lack of commitment (Lencioni, 2002, 210-211)
- Cascading Messaging - at the end of each meeting, the team should review key decisions made and agree on what should and should not be communicated to the rest of the staff. Through this exercise, team members can ensure they are on the same page about all major decisions.
- Deadlines - by simply defining clear deadlines for when decisions must be made, a team can reduce ambiguity and misalignment among team members. Deadlines should be set for final/major decisions and actions as well as milestones along the way.
- Contingency and Worst-Case Scenario Analysis - by discussing contingency plans and/or worst-case scenarios, teams can overcome their fear of commitment. It allows them to reduce fears by helping facing the possible pitfalls.
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