Redesigning an organization chart doesn’t mean new teams are created; it means groups of un-connected people have been formed who now have a new boss. Just because smart people have their names all in the same column of a spreadsheet doesn’t mean they can team smartly.

Train wrecks happen everywhere: Like two locomotives racing toward one another, organizations acquire, merge or create new teams, and then invest little to accelerate the conditions necessary for improved productivity to occur.

Predictably, when forced to work with others whom people have little or no relationship, many good and well-intentioned individuals enter a wicked, time-consuming process of natural selection:

  1. People politic and position for prominence in the new pecking order.
  2. Synergies and alignment remain mythical as “we-they” language is carried from previous assignments into the future.
  3. Progress slows as people “play it safe” until they understand how well they’ll be protected in the new order of authority.

Spreadsheets don’t create the human connections necessary for a team to succeed; people do that, but only when they’re equipped to do so. As you think about what your new team must accomplish in 2018, does your plan include a train wreck or a team functioning as one?

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