Learn how to use the equation behind "people support what they help create" and what it means in terms of time and buy-in. Effectiveness equals quality times acceptance.
- I recently conducted a team experiment during an expedition with seven executives paired with seven veterans. We divided the teams into team A and team B. Team A was instructed to lead themselves with shared accountability. Team B was instructed to assign a designated leader. The two teams goal was to climb a 10,000 foot mountain with no trail. The only goal I gave them was to make it to the top safely with all team members at the same time. Team A didn't have a leader and deferred route decisions to a team member. He chose a ridge line with steep slopes on both sides, weaker teammates struggled physically and at times felt scared. Team B who had a designated leader decided to take a cautious route. Their stated goal was to communicate constantly about the route and make sure the team's pace was based on the slowest member. Interestingly both teams reached the top safely at the same time. At the top team A had disgruntled teammates whereas team B had high morale. During our debrief session we discussed whether team A or team B was the most effective. Everyone agreed that even though both teams accomplished the mission, team B with a designated leader was more effective. When measuring the effectiveness of any given task done by multiple teams, I recommend applying this equation, E equals Q times A where E equals effectiveness, Q equals quality, A equals acceptance. You can use this equation to compare tasks completed among multiple teams, or you can also use it to rate proposed plans and decide which plan to go with. To apply this equation the first step is to think about the quality of a plan or task. How would a team rate the quality of a plan on a scale of one to ten, ten being high quality and one being very low quality. Let's take team B from our story. The quality of their chosen route was pretty good. They gave themselves an A for quality, acceptance was the team accepting of the plan? Absolutely they were totally engaged and gave themselves an eight there. When we multiply the Q and A the overall acceptance score was 64. Let's take team A, they thought the quality of their route was good despite their hardships, they got there safely so they rated the quality an eight. But their acceptance hmm they were disgruntled afterwards so their score was four on the acceptance scale. Multiply the Q and A and their effectiveness was four times eight equaling 32. That's half the score of team B, that's half the effectiveness of an engaged and accepting team. The next time you roll out your plan, use E equals Q times A to check yourself. People do support what they help create. In the end you'll see the effectiveness of the organization increases when you truly engage your team.