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How To Align Your Team On Hot-Button Issues

The Plenty Team
February 18, 2016

How-to-Align-Your-Team-on-Hot-Button-IssuesIt’s February, which means that many of us are still trying to survive winter, including those of us in Chicago. Lucky for us we are heading to sunny Orlando next week for the P2PPF Conference and couldn’t be more excited to soak up some sunshine and amazing fundraising advice! For those of you who can't join us in Orlando this year, we want to make sure you don’t miss out on all of the great peer-to-peer fundraising content that will be shared, so we put together a sneak peek of some of the content we will be covering. Enjoy an exclusive look into our session: How to Align Your Team On Hot-Button Issues.

This year, I am excited and honored to co-present with Betty Ross from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. We are discussing one of my favorite topics: getting your team aligned on divisive issues. While this may not seem immediately relevant to peer-to-peer fundraising, there is nothing more important to accomplishing your mission than creating alignment.

Over the course of our work with countless organizations and teams one thing has become clear – aligned teams make the best teams. Yet, more often than not, we have facilitated meetings with clients in which there is an unresolved issue that needs to be addressed. The divisive nature of these issues not only stops progress on the problem itself, but also undermines the cohesion of the team. Whenever one or more people are not aligned on a ‘hot’ topic, the ramifications go far beyond the one disagreement. Like ripples in water, the effects of misalignment are far-reaching and long-lasting.

The challenge with creating alignment is that it requires ongoing work – you can’t create alignment with one conversation. Alignment on a decision requires diligence before, during, and after the discussion. 

More importantly, alignment starts with the culture you are building within your organization. Without the right culture, someone will always feel uncommitted to the decision that has been made.

To build a culture that encourages alignment, there are two core components. 

  • First, are you fostering a culture where people can speak openly and share their opinions? Do they trust that they can speak their mind without penalty? It may seem counterintuitive, but a key component of alignment is actually the openness to disagree.

  • Second, is there a common vision that everyone shares? If people are dedicated to a common purpose, it’s easier to commit to incremental decisions that may not go their way.

Even if you won’t see us in Orlando, we’d love to talk to you more about your hot-button issues and how we can help you build a culture conducive to alignment.

Contact us here to get the conversation going!

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