Who scores the goal?  

June 28, 2015

Like many others, I like reading Stephen R. Covey. He presented some brilliant videos along with his book – the 8th Habit: from Effectiveness to Greatness.

I would urge all to watch this video.

Comparing the office environment to a soccer match, Stephen in this interesting video, highlights what he calls “execution gaps” between formulations of goals and their implementation. Teams are often not clear about their goals, and team members don’t work towards the same goal. He quotes a study in which only 15 % people could identify the top priorities of their organizations, and only 19% were passionate about their goals. ‘Imagine the creative energy that would unleash when people are clear of the goal, and their own role in achieving it,’ concludes Stephen.

I showed this video at the start of our organizational retreat once. We went another step and played a game of soccer, making four teams. Colleagues loved the video and all – from the director to the driver – enjoyed playing the game.

After the game and lunch, we returned to the room and discussed the “goal” of the organization. People were much more receptive. They felt motivated to notice the contribution they were making to the overall goal of the organization with their individual work. They also appreciated the inter-connectedness of their work. The ownership of the goal enhanced manifolds when colleagues realized the contribution they were making to the lives of people. It is important to see our work beyond numerical targets and percentages.

Managers have a crucial role in engaging their teams with the goal. They should consistently discuss the goal with the team members and consult them in evolving the goals. This builds commitment, fosters team spirit  and brings the best out of the team. The only difference in  a soccer game and the work environment is that in the latter no single player scores the goal. It is the team that does it together.