Intentional Dissonance

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“If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking!”

–     General George S. Patton (1885 – 1945)

There is a model of Patton on my desk, a reminder of his leadership, but also of his extraordinary team focus.

Patton spent more time at or near the front than any of his peers, before or since.  He cultivated input, knowledge and perspective from all levels of the theatre.  He leveraged intentional dissonance to reach better plans more quickly.  He acted on his informed instincts and he expected the teams he led to do the same.

Yesterday, we touched on our personal team of advisors.  Every day, we go to work with or leading a team in our own companies — and, as Lencioni calls it, that’s our First Team.

It’s not really a team, though, if we just get together to stroke each other’s feelings and to do what we’ve always done.  It’s not really a team if we’re all of the same experience set, mindset or skillset.  It’s not really a team unless there is some intentional disagreement, differing opinions and perspectives and a variety of ways to approach solving problems.

When those things come together, which the right environment and expectations — and when we’ve chosen the talent around us well — that’s where the spark meets the fuel, and the engine starts to really purr.

If groupthink is our status quo, we’re stagnant at best, and regressing or dying on the vine, at worst.

Choose to challenge one another, and watch the team, and its members begin to grow!

 


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