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Jul 21, 2016

Ever notice how progress in the workplace sometimes moves at a glacial speed or seems totally stuck? If yours is like most workplaces in the world, you have not only noticed this, but found it frustrating.

This post promises to give you and your team a surefire way of getting things “unstuck” and back on track. It was one of the great managers at the last company I owned and sold (HR Solutions), Joe Collins, who prompted us to examine this by suggesting that we have regular “What’s stuck?” meetings. Brilliant. His suggestion got us right out of the gate on getting these initiatives moving again.

Try it for yourself. Here is a proven game plan for your first “What’s stuck?” meeting:

1. Ask each of your managers to think carefully and submit two ideas for things they believe need to be worked on differently to yield better results.

2. Compile the suggestions and distribute the list to all managers. Ask them to email you what they believe should be the top three priorities, while also noting why they feel these items are most important. Managers should be very specific in their reasoning, ideally noting what the “stuck” item has cost your organization, or what it will cost your organization if no action is taken.

3. Summarize the results, noting which three items have the most votes.

4. Meet with your team to share results and gain concurrence on the three items that will be the focus of the next steps.

5. Now you are in one of the harder stages of this exciting process, recognizing there will be obstacles to getting the initiatives unstuck. At this point it is important to determine what people-related behaviors, biases, or inaction are getting in the way of change.

6. Then collectively design a plan of action. Equally important, determine who will lead the change initiative on the stuck item. What resources will they need and who else will be part of the team behind the change leader?

7. Also, give your managers a vision for what their payback or dividend will be as a result of getting the item unstuck. This is when you will see them get really excited about the wonderful possibilities created by the change.

8. Step 8 is all-important. Set a specific timeline for the change to be completed and make that timeline a public commitment. The reality is that people who want to quit smoking or lose weight are much more likely to succeed if they make a public declaration of their intention; success with getting things unstuck is no different!

9. Once success is achieved, have a celebration and recognize the leader and team that made it a reality.

10. Step 10 can be summarized best by one of my favorite quotes: “You will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretsky – a.k.a. “The Great One”

Take Your Shot: Set up your first “What’s stuck?” meeting now!

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