We-Q enables teams to self measure 20 aspects of how effective and healthy their culture is.
I am surprised that the most controversial question on the We-Q team diagnostic tool seems to be to what extent the team feel, ‘We make the World a Better Place’.
Ideas to change the world for the better
On the face of it, what is controversial about that? Given how challenging the state of the world is, don’t we all want to make the world a better place? Isn’t it important to look at what we are doing as an organisation? Don’t we want to work towards leaving the planet in a better shape than we found it?
Despite this, I have heard team leaders say, “We don’t need that question, we operate a call centre here.”, or “That question makes me cringe”, or “can we remove that question?” (hint: the answer is no!)
There seems to be a significant divergence in the views of team leaders and team members about the value of the question.
Team members, usually younger than their bosses, really value the conversations that emerge from discussing the question.
Recently We-Q was used by the leadership team of a paint marketing and distribution company.
It was reported back that there was a lot of team divergence on this question, and it had prompted a really useful and actionable conversation.
The boss scored it at 7, the highest possible, claiming that paint was a key component of maintenance and beauty and those are vital to making the world a better place.
A well established member of the team had scored very low and was challenged by the boss.
This person used the conversation that followed to talk about an aspect of the business that had been bothering him for a long time, but which he felt unable to legitimise.
It seems that although he agreed with the positivity of his boss, he was very unhappy with the harmful disposal policy for old paint.
Little ways to help the world
Having brought the issue to people’s attention, the team were able to go much deeper into the issue and the impact it was having on them personally and on the business. It was agreed a working group would be set up to review and resolve the issues.
This for me is why including the planet as a stakeholder in the We-Q test is so important. It legitimises deeply felt, but often culturally taboo issues which we need to address urgently.
Recently I ran We-Q with the tech team heads of a news group. Their lowest score was ‘We make the World a Better Place’. Instead of focusing on that issue, they decided to look at ‘I feel Valued and Recognised’ which was also low.
Sometimes we need to address the very personal issues within the team before we tackle the big ones. However, now they know how they feel and will no doubt come back to this important issue.
Start trying to make the world a better place today.
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