“I have been working on this policy book, documenting our methods and processes so we can use them in our training programs,” Javier explained.
“Outstanding,” I replied. “So what gives?”
“We finished the book three months ago, but I can’t get the team to take it seriously. We have a meeting, everyone agrees and follows the process for the better part of a morning. But, as soon as there is the slightest hiccup, they go back to the old way and trash talk the policy book. Then I have another meeting where I sound like the critical parent.”
“Maybe you are the critical parent,” I nodded.
“Maybe so, but someone has to be the adult in the room,” Javier pushed back.
“Says who?” I asked.
“Well, I’m the manager, so I guess – says me.”
“You just told me the team doesn’t listen to you.”
“They don’t!” Javier pushed back.
“So, when the team abandons the policy book and goes back to their own experience, who do they rely on for guidance?”
“Well, they are hiding from me, so, they rely on each other and their own judgement.”
“Tell me, Javier, who wrote the policy book?”
“I did. I stayed late every night for a month. I am pretty proud of the thinking behind it. Some of my best work.”
“But none of your team’s experience, none of your team’s judgement is in the book. So, where do you think the problem is?” -Tom