If you are a member of a leadership team, you make risky decisions all the time. If you think the only path to managing risk is hiring smarter people and doing more analysis, you’re missing a key piece of the puzzle.
The dynamic on your team might be increasing the risk of associated with your decisions. If your team exhibits any of the following tendencies, you need to raise a red flag.
Risk, risky, riskierThe risk of standing still
- Converge too quickly?
- Have little patience for any conversation that requires meandering exploration?
- Dislike conflict so profoundly that you always compromise to reach an answer?
- Fall in line with your leader as soon as her opinion is stated?
- Stifle concerns to avoid being branded a naysayer?
- Make a risky plan even more extreme as you talk each other into believing it’s a good idea?
- Fail to evaluate the implicit assumptions in your proposed plan?
- Ignore alternative scenarios?
- Shut down dissenting voices?
- Ignore risks raised by unpopular or non-core team members?
If you are reading these and thinking that your team would never engage in this kind of risky behavior, you need to ask yourself another question: Are we creating risk for our organization by avoiding change?
Just as there are team dynamics that introduce risk by skewing the team toward reckless actions, there are also team dynamics that introduce risk by dissuading the team from taking any action at all.
- Diverge for too long?
- Use the excuse of new information to procrastinate making a decision that needs to be made?
- Underestimate the risk of the status quo?
- Limit your view of the external environment?
- Look only at your current business, customers and competitors to convince yourselves that everything’s fine?
- Overweight past experience?
- Use success to justify staying with the current strategy?
- Immediately shoot down suggestions that haven’t worked in the past?
- Let one team member’s turf protection stop you from objectively look at their business?
- Make decisions that sacrifice the success of the organization in favor of the success of one part of it?
A lot is riding on the decisions of your leadership team. That pressure should translate into an obligation to be knowledgeable, be aware, and be prepared. It also requires that you invest in a team dynamic that will allow you to effectively manage risk. Are you leaving your team dynamic to chance? That’s a risk you can’t afford to take.
For more tips and tools on effective teams, visit www.ChangeYourTeam.com