You can’t tell them to care

“Processes and structures don’t create coordinated action, people do.”*

Systems fail.  We can’t prevent all potential breakdowns, there are simply too many variables – information is wrong, deliveries are late, email is down, someone is out sick, the list goes on.

Your colleagues can make the difference. People typically see that a process is beginning to falter before a  system failure occurs.

To notice, to care and to take action people need to feel that they are part of the whole. People need to feel valued. They need to see how their role fits into the organization’s success. They need to feel that they can make a difference.

You can’t mandate that people care.

People are employed to fulfill a set of job duties. You can expect these (within reason). But you can’t tell them to care or to be engaged.

Ownership and buy in are cultivated. You can engage your colleagues to foster the awareness, mindset and skills that empower and inspire them to care, to take responsibility and to be part of the team.

Awareness: Do your colleagues know the organizational vision and goals that influence their work?  Do they appreciate the value their work generates? Can they connect how the work they are doing supports the organization and provides value to your members?

Motivation: Do your colleagues feel that they are part of a team striving to achieve a common goal?  Have they had the opportunity to participate in conversations about the goals and how the efforts can be designed or executed to support the goals? Do they see how their and the organization’s contributions impact your members?

Skills and Knowledge: Do your colleagues have the skills and knowledge they need to fully engage in their work? Do they have access to the resources they need to learn and do their job?

When the terrain and the map differ, the terrain wins.  How do you ensure that your team can see the variance coming and take appropriate actions?

*Inside Out, Tracy Huston, page 48

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