If an arrow aimed at a target is a few centimeters off the bullseye at the time of its release it will sail wide of the entire target after traveling 18 meters. A small deviation at the origin significantly alters the trajectory of any moving object.
Similarly, the degree to which members of a leadership team are not aligned in their actions is magnified exponentially as the organization executes plans.
Therefore, as a leadership team, let’s agree:
- When we have discussions without using the same or correct data then we’ll be causing those who work for us to spend six times more resources making course corrections until the right data becomes available.
- When we can’t tell each other what we really think about our problems, then our workforce will be six timesmore likely to solve low-priority problems.
- When we delay difficult decisions, our teams will swirl in confusion to the multiple of six.
- When we rationalize retaining a toxic team member “because we can’t replace their technical skills,” our best talent around that person is six times more likely to leave the company.
- When we are unable to collaborate with one another, those in our respective functions will work in silos and distrust one another six times more than we do.
There is no scientific data showing that a team’s lack of alignment will cause six times more work for the rest of the organization. (The multiple of six is conservative; the degree of opportunity costs is likely much higher.)
The “X6 Rule” is meant to trigger awareness: For every hour a team delays in creating alignment and collaboration it results in days of inefficiency that grows deeper in the organization.
(Ironically – and sadly – the unaware leader blames those deeper in the organization when targets are missed.)
Align and collaborate with excellence: When you do, the bullseye on a distant target is yours.