Have you ever tried forcing opposing ends of a magnet together? It’s impossible to get them to connect.

Does your organization suffer from “diamagnetism”? Are there teams opposing each other?

From Wikipedia.org: “Diamagnetism is the property of an object which causes it to create a magnetic field in opposition of an externally applied field, thus causing a repulsive effect.”

To understand why diamagnetism is important, read the definition again, but this time substitute the “team” for the word “object”.

Like two magnets you can’t push together, diamagnetism occurs when two (or more) teams repel each other. And very little work gets done.

Here’s the elephant in the office: Organizations are filled with teams that repulse others. Shockingly, people tolerate this dysfunction! Toxic currents run through meetings and conversations. People might not say anything about this invisible force – but they can feel it. How is a company to succeed when various functions can’t connect?


“In order for us to win, it’s vital that the different layers of the organization can come together,” shares a friend, Rich.”If they repel each other we’re doomed.”

The code words for diamagnetism are “they just don’t understand.” When two groups begin saying this about each other, one thing is sure: no one understands. And the divisiveness expands.

Take three steps to create greater paramagnetism today:

  1. Take responsibility when others don’t understand you;
  2. Ask questions that help people focus on where the teams are working well together;
  3. Relentlessly focus on the common goal the two teams share – and solutions to get there.

Where is there diamagnetism in your organization? Make functionABILITY happen.

Where will you lead – where will you stomp elephants – today?



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