Bundle of Sticks

Remember the fable about brothers trying to break a bundle of sticks. It is relevant in work place as well.

Many years back I had an opportunity to work with different groups in same timeframe. Both were successful groups, had talented and hardworking folks in middle management. Both had tough work schedules and always were burning the mid night oil.

The key difference between the two was how the managers worked with each other. One group had people who were extremely focussed and they owned their work. Even if there was lot of pressure and escalations, they will put their head down, go extra mile and make sure they do well.

The other group worked in similar way but only difference was they never put their head down. They were always watching out for their colleagues. When someone was under extra pressure, almost everyone started pitching in. They would do whatever they can and try to reduce the load.

It was always so spontaneous, it was not about worrying about who would take credit or being looked down for taking help. Also they had good fun in tough times as well.

Peer group dynamics gives a good yardstick for the direction a team is taking. Building a good peer group solves half the problems.