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Who I amReside in St. Louis Missouri currently, Lived in California & Colorado.Husband.Father.Pastor.Football Enthusiast.Teacher.Learner.Dreamer.Reader.Friend. [thoughts & comments blogged here are my reflections living life trusting Jesus as God]

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Agendas vs Collaboration

You walk into a team meeting type setting and eventually there will be a specific direction that meeting will take.  Odds are there will be a point where a key person will set an agenda that will be dictated and the employees will be asked to follow the agenda.  
Or the meeting operates where the team as a whole will work together to communicate, design & achieve common end or results.

The agenda based model can have a few key aspects to it; 
1- Specific Key voice who monopolizes the conversation, 
2- Orders given to be followed.
3- Personal tasks & accomplishments overshadow celebrating team achievements

Given that there are certain settings where the agenda model works well and for certain type of people they thrive in an agenda model setting.  It allows people to know what is exactly expected of them by the person they report to.  It also allows people to "stay within the boundaries"
An example of this model can be the CEO telling his VP what they need to go do to change Marketing, financing, sales, customer satisfaction, etc.  If performance isn't met the CEO will replace the VP whose failing.

The team based approach tends to have a few things that stand out as well;
1-Each person present is allowed an equal voice
2-There may be a set person to keep conversation moving but nobody is the key leader that gives orders
3-People offer ideas freely but also willingly take ownership of tasks to help the team move forward
4-The collective energies & efforts matter more than personal accomplishments

The team based model environment can help people flourish who value helping others as well as thrive off creative brainstorming opportunities.  Team environments help level the playing field of authoritative organization charts.  Not that authority is negated in team based models but it isn't always leveraged in certain team meetings.
An example of this model can be a Principle who asks the department chairs who collectively as educators they can change the failure rates of the school.  Everyone sees different aspects of the school so collective they voice ideas, concerns and apply collective efforts to change the school for success.

I've worked in both settings & I've led with both settings as a model.  I can say that the team based model is the most effective but it take constant intentionality for the team based model to not turn into the agenda based model.  The key is health matters more than productivity.  Health for the employees & the common desired goals to be worked towards.

These thoughts are unpacked in great detail in a great leadership book  The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

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