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The 20/60/20 Ratio Surfaces

The 20/60/20 Ratio Surfaces
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How do you bring all team members into alignment with the organization’s Core Identity? This excerpt from The Shift from Me to Team, which will be published this year, looks at Culture Clarification.

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During the several months-long Culture Clarification process, we often find that 20% of the team members in the organization are fully aligned, modeling and honoring the organization at its best. It is natural for them; there is alignment. Meanwhile, there seem to be about 20% who have little or no interest in what is best for the organization. They have their own best way of working. It is about them, not the team. They are self-focused and care only about what the organization does for them. It became clear that our work was to engage the 60% in the middle. It can become natural for the 60% to adopt the Peak Performance culture, and the organization’s Reinforcing Systems will provide support for aligning behaviors.

During the full-day retreat, it is clear that when great stories of what the organization has looked like at Peak Performance are shared, the aligned 20% are engaged, but so are the middle 60% that are not as naturally aligned yet. The sizable middle group is energized to see what could become more regular. They had done it in the past, and they could get on board with Peak Performance becoming the standard.

With the proper Reinforcing Systems to help create new habits, the middle 60% are naturally and genuinely energized by the clarified alignment. At the same time, the 20% who are in it for themselves realize their lives are about to change if they do not disrupt this team-based thinking.

As Adam Grant shared in his book Give and Take, the energy drain in an organization from a “C” player (your bottom 20%) requires the energy of three “A” players (your top 20%) to counterbalance the drain.

Once the organization has a shared Core Identity, each team member can debate their concept of what it means, but it is not theirs personally to defend; it belongs to the team.

When “C” players are playing the game out of bounds, confusion over what is acceptable and not acceptable for Peak Performance surfaces, de-energizing and distracting the team. Leaders seldom understand the de-energizing impact of out-of-bounds behaviors.

We will talk more about the Reinforcing Systems and the process of addressing team members who do not choose to grow toward Organizational Culture Fit soon.