Thursday, December 4, 2014

Is your table round?

Have you ever organized a meeting and sat around a table with a bunch of folks to brainstorm?  Perhaps you were looking for a solution to a problem or an improvement to a process.  Maybe you were designing something new?  Regardless of the purpose, once the design has been created, tasks must get done!

Who will do each task?  A well-rounded table typically sees each task fall to the person who happens to show strength, expertise, or passion for it.  The schedule-driven person may create the timeline and manage the process.  The talented writer may take care of the communication.  The artsy folks may lead the creative process.  People typically fall into the roles for which they are best suited.  This is one of the advantages of a well-rounded table.

This leads to the question, "Is your table round?"  In other words, is your team made up of folks who may not necessarily agree on things, but certainly bring individual strengths to the table?  Sometimes, we end up inviting people to the table who think like we do.  There are definitely advantages to this.  Easier conversations and quicker answers would most surely happen.  But does it give you the best end to your assignment?

Dr. Stephen Covey says, "If two people have the same opinion, one of them is unnecessary."  The point is that if your table is surrounded by people who think like you do, the team may not reach the greatest levels of success.  It takes courage to invite folks who think differently than you to the table but it just may lead you to something far better than you could have imagined!

Next time you invite folks to your table, make sure it is round!