March 27, 2024

Using magnets on your team

Do you remember playing around with magnets and iron filings?

You place the iron filings on a piece of paper and then move the magnet under the paper. All the filings line up in the magnetic field. If you move the magnet, the filings move, keeping pace with the magnet which is invisible under the paper.

People in an organisation are like that, lining up and following invisible cultural forces. The cultural drivers are only noticeable by observing the collective behaviours of the people.

What happens to the iron filings if you have several magnets giving a confused magnetic field? You get a jumbled mess.

What happens to the people if you have confusing signals from the boardroom, or the team leader, or the old-timers?

Whatever the answer, it’s not good.

What are the signals that drive behaviour in your organisation?

Are they congruent and consistent?

What can you do about it?

My best wishes, Paul

Paul Matthews

CEO and Founder of People Alchemy

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