Whether you are going through a major change initiative or simply working to get your team to a higher level of performance and innovation this is a principle that should always be practiced. Providing connection and meaning requires that we provide a mechanism or process to include those closest to the action in a meaningful and ongoing dialogue.
It Never Hurts To Broaden Your Perspective
This principle is valid not only because processes or initiatives may impact those individuals directly. It is valid because those closest to the action have the best perspective of how things work and where potential innovations could be applied.
Don’t Wait For A Crisis
In his work, “The Power of Habit” Charles Duhigg discusses how this principle plays a central role in times of crisis. In one study a hospital in Rhode Island was struggling with a series of mistakes and errors including fatalities in the operating room. They had one of the worst safety records in the state. In two instances nurses that attempted to point out mistakes were called to task during the surgery and in front of their peers. The atmosphere was toxic to say the least.
However, the crisis created by these issues forced the hospital team to reexamine their culture and their processes. Hospital leadership including doctors were forced to concede that the nurses and other staff were a necessary part of the delivery of quality care and particularly in the operating room. They moved from a culture where is was dangerous to speak up to one where it was required to do so.
It did not happen overnight but because everyone was committed to changing the hospital’s dismal record the change did happen. Key to the change was the recognition that those closest to the action had a pretty good idea of where improvements could be made and were a good second set of “eyes” regarding potential issues.
Use Your Team
This principle is most often applied with first responders, police, military, hospitals and other organizations where decisions involve life or death consequences. However, it works just as well across every industry sector. If you want to drive performance, innovation and create connection for your team, then don’t forget those closest to the action! Performance Leadership – Think About It!