Groups of management peers with similar titles and similar levels of responsibilities can be hotbeds of dysfunction. These people often competes for resources, promotions and attention. But unfortunately for organizations trying to transform, this group is integral to effectively changing the way an organization works. Management teams need to work together to achieve goals but sometimes the environment encourages the opposite.
If the leaders don’t create the right environment, managers focus solely on their individual fiefdoms, their silos. If resources and attention are scarce, this group can become a cesspool of finger pointing, competing, back stabbing and ganging up.
To prevent this limited focus, leaders need to set the right tone and stage for this group to work effectively and successfully. A few things can be done to encourage these managers to work together, tackle problems as a team and leverage opportunities cross functionally:
- The manager group needs common cross functional and organizational goals
- Managers need to be recognized for team efforts
- Leaders need to handle the troublemakers
- Managers need tools and training on how to work together
As employees and managers, we work within the limitations of our work environment. We work within the rules and expectations that surround us. We respond to signals about what is important and what is valued. When that environment encourages unproductive behavior, new signals need to be sent, new rules and expectations delivered.