A checklist for getting the broader team on board with reality, even if it’s uncomfortable ;)

I’ve met a lot of people over the years with expertise in fields I can’t begin to fathom. In that way, I’m like the creatures in the parable of the cave from Plato / Socrates. However, in digital experience, I’m the one who escaped the cave, saw the sun and came back to explain to those who have never seen the truth an entire universe which they have no direct experience with. The twenty something year old me would simply mandate that they accept my views. Lucky for me, I’ve learned a thing or two since my twenties and know that sometimes, you can mandate. Other times, your only choice is to influence. Pro-tip: before attempting to get the team on board, check their willingness to learn. Sometimes, people are determined to act like assclowns just because 😉

Here’s my strategy, feel free to use, remix & share as you like:

  • Setup a meeting with the team and their managers – this ensures that you have all the right altitudes of folks present
  • Start by framing the challenge – grow the number, adopt the strategy, pivot, change prices, etc
  • Ask the team for their perspective – be honest and listen to their POV as sometimes, you’ll get even better ideas than those you had in your backpocket
  • Re-ground the team in the company goals – no growth, or a shrinking number, is never the outcome a large company, or a startup, looks for
  • Use any available data in a follow up meeting that validates, or invalidates, the hypotheses you generated in the first round brainstorm

That’s it. Pretty simple in concept, but here’s the kicker. Some people refuse to change their opinions and will never make data driven decisions. Luckily, we have a CEO, a board, a startup has investors, etc. Eventually, people will be forced to change if their strategy is driving the business into the ground. Smarter managers will learn faster who is pumping the breaks and who’s being innovative. Sometimes, it’s uncomfortable and the truth will make people behave in unfortunate ways. That’s okay because sometimes, the destiny of a company isn’t to win. It’s to lose. If your team is happy, content and even advocates that perspective, be smart, check their willingness to learn first. If they aren’t, jump ship because in the end, the Titanic had very few survivors.

Why does the medical community not always follow reality and act like ostriches?

Simple. The truth is sometimes very uncomfortable. I’m a fan of the truth, even if it means I have to eat a slice of humble pie. I like the taste. Speaking of tastes, a medical journal found a strong correlation with certain adult activities and their mood. Unfortunately, the news created a stir and the head of the medical organization had to resign due to pressure because his advocacy of the fact based research made people uncomfortable. With medicine, if the news validates something that could make people happy, we should apply the same rules and logic as we do in business. Celebrate the discovery and leverage it to make society better.

Stay curious and believe. We’ll get there eventually.