As we continue to focus on diagnosis in teams we just want to acknowledge that one of our team mates Rita is not with us during this segment. This often happens in teams and groups as I'm sure you're aware of, the teams that function well are able to deal with this, having a team member absent. And when that person returns, the team not only welcomes them back, but fills them in so that they can continue to be a part of the team. In this section of module two, we're going to focus on culture and conflict in teams. >> Sure, thanks Donald. So, let's start with looking at the scenario to the diagnostic lens of the organizational culture. So culture, very simple put, is the way we do things, right? What we do as individuals, and members, and groups and organizations. Why we do it,? And how we do it? So in this particular scenario, in the hospital, it's very clear that there is hierarchy. And that kind of reminds me of Hofstede's cultural dimensions, the dimension of Power Distance. The aspect where how authority empowers distributed in the organization. And it's amazing how they were able to transcend some of these boundaries of authority through their after action review. Now if you extrapolate this to organizations in other industries. Project teams that we're talking about more often, there is almost always a pecking order. There are responsibility in authorities but it's very imperative that the organizational culture provides or accommodates collaboration seamlessly across culture or across authorities when the situation so demands. When there's a mission-critical task at hand, when there are emergencies, to be able to rise out of that authority matrix and be able to chip in, to be able to get your points, thoughts across, is very useful for any organization to incorporate in its culture. >> Yeah, I can agree with that. In the sense that effective teams have productive conversations. And that's not about pecking order, that's about who has information that needs to be surfaced and exchanged and dealt with. And in many situations I think if in that project team space the differences aren't being expressed, sometimes it's hierarchy and being polite to each other or following the rules, that get in the way of being effective. >> This reminds me of the issue of overt and covert norms, which often have a very big impact on how teams relate to each other. So overt norms would be ones that the group recognizes or even lists or talks about. So an overt norm might be that the team is going to try to build on ideas that members talk about. Covert norms are ones that are below the surface often not recognized and can derail learning and development of teams. So for example to build on what you said Ellen. A team that has a covert norm of always being polite, can be problematic, because people don't raise difference or disagreements, and it can often times just lead to teams spinning their wheels and talking for hours about the same thing. >> Yeah, I think this question on ground rules is important because it has to do with culture and we're certainly talking about that. They're covert and overt and ground rules should be about the purpose of the team connected to customers connected to the larger market or connected to sort of the external world in which we live. But there's probably ground rules also about let's not interrupt each other, let's agree to it's okay to disagree. It's a, I don't need to be disagreeable but. >> Right. >> So those ground rules of the team operation aspects are important. But some of the ground rules are keeping in perspective about, we're all here to be working toward a goal and a purpose for a customer. A new service, product development. And that can help people in terms of the conflicts that they find themselves in and gauge it. >> Yeah. Reminds me of a team that I worked with at one point. Didn't want to set any ground rules at the beginning because they felt it would be too rigid or constrained them into many ways. And that group ended up having a hard time making decisions cause they didn't have any rules of engagement or focus on what their goals were. Those got lost. So I think ground rules can be very important even if at the beginning they feel a little artificial. They really help in the long run. >> Absolutely, and you touched on a very important point, decision making right. More often than not, I'm sure we've all found ourselves in situations or in teams where decisions are either taken too quickly or it takes forever to take decisions or meetings after meetings with no progress or no decisions being taken at least to a lot of frustration Impedes progress. This reminds me of research that I recently studied on comparing and contrasting the cultures of US firms and Japanese firms. So this study stated that the Japanese firms spend a lot of time planning. They were very meticulous doing due diligence and as a result, spent very less time on implementation, whereas on the other hand, the US firm spent a lot of time implementing. So there was very less time allocated to planning, and they were very action oriented. They spent a lot of time implementing. So one key result of this study was that the implementation time of the Japanese firm, they cut. Drastically because they have spent that time, invested that time planning. And then the US firms spent a lot of time in implementation because they were unable to forecast or foresee some of those unanticipated problems because they have not spend some time in planning. >> I think this is a good example of you can pay me now or pay me later. >> Right. >> In the Japanese case, the effort that's put into planning avoids some of the problems. I think in American organizations where we're very action oriented. We're trying to get to market quicker. We think, well, okay, let's just get into the action phase. Let's try things out. And we try to implement and we make mistakes. And that can be costly and expensive. It's not that it's necessarily wrong or doesn't have its successes at times, but this question of some of the shortcuts we might be wanting to take become short circuits and really cause ourselves difficulties and increase costs. Quite honestly, I remember when working in the auto industry on projects and work. Wherein the Japanese, when they encountered a problem, it was exciting because they had something to solve, they had something to work on. And often times an American corporation when we have a problem with a product in the market. It's a recall, it's hiring more lawyers not hiring more engineers like the Japanese would do to defend ourselves against the issues. So these are part of the cultural differences, I think, that we experience in an organizational settings. >> You make a great point. In one I would like to emphasize in terms of our work in terms of continuous learning teams and that is the excitement about learning. I think it's great if one things that we communicate is that when we run to a team, problem or issue we're hoping that you'll be excited about it and see it as a learning opportunity rather than as a problem. So I think that was a great example and reminded me of that part of what we're hoping to communicate. >> And coming back to the topic of organizational culture, you spoke about cost-cutting, you spoke about action-oriented culture. Imagine these two together. There's a need to cut cost, and there's a need to immediately deliver results. But sometimes this can be a two-edged sword. So I was recently coaching one of my clients, it was a cross-cultural coaching initiative. And this client is from the US, and was expatriated to India for a period of two years to oversee a new business operation. There was cost-cutting in the organization for sure, so they really didn't invest much cost or time on cross-cultural coaching or sensitization or inculturization as we call it. And he had to deliver results immediately. He had to hit the ground running even before he was familiar with the new surroundings. In this case a new country, a new culture. So what answered was anybody's guess. It was very difficult for him. I mean conflict in priorities. Should he get familiarize? Should he settle down? Or should he just try talking to the teams and get things going. So that's something that I think could be one of the impact that a very action oriented. I mean, it's not without its merits. But when it's purely delivering results and not being able to invest time, efforts and cost, the results are just. >> And that's a great example because there is probably a cultural misfit there, right? With the action-oriented, going into a culture where relationships are so important in primary. >> Absolutely. >> Is that right or? >> Absolutely, that was one of the challenges that he faced. Because in many North American cultures, there's a lot of doing for friends. I mean, you're more targeted on achieving results, focused towards goals, get on to the agenda. When you start the meeting, talk about this is what I want to achieve out of the meeting, one, two, three. Laid down. But in some cultures like in South Asia, in India for depending this example, it's a collectives culture. Team identity being a part of a team is very important. We indulge in a lot of small talks because building relationships is seen as a very important pyramid infrastructures In a team setting. So this is definitely one of the obstacle that he faced. And something that he didn't even have time to reflect and start working towards. >> This is a very important issue. And we're certainly talking about sort of international cultures and differences. But even in organizations are different. And our intentions is getting something done and moving quickly. Can be parallel, enabled or disabled by cultural patterns. This question of going into across cultures and trying to be effective. Many times, we like to think about we have control of certain things and we can dictate that, and we're actually oriented. But it's really the appreciation of culture, the understanding of patterns of interaction in other societies. That if we're aware and appreciative of those we can be much more effective in a lining people and getting people engaged effectively. But even in organizations in the heartland of a country that are typical American or typical Indian, we still have organizational cultures to deal with. Executive culture, sort of engineering culture or professional culture, and then operator culture. And we all like to think that we have one culture and we can work across these boundaries, but there are boundaries and there are differences and there are subcultures that we need to in a sense to be sensitive too when were trying to align interests and different people in the organization. >> Absolutely. I mean if you look at it more closely you can see patterns all across your organization. Sometimes you will see that the chief of marketing and the chief of finance, the CFO and the chief of marketing they have tension in their relationships. And you can see that cascade through almost every level of the organization. And it can more often than not find similar patterns with the sales team and the accounts team. >> One of the most effective examples I think that I have seen is an organization that was in a declining situation or retrenchment in their market. And they did need to cut cost, it was extremely important and so, sort of a decree goes out and dictate that we really do need to cut 5% across the board in terms of operational budget. And yet there are project teams, working on initiatives. Well, does that mean that we can't do this any more? And in fact, this one project team, because I think it had created this space where differences could be expressed. Whats that, you know we understand that we do need to be a conservative of resources and time, but in fact this initiative that we think we are working on is a break through and innovation that we don't want to cut the 5% on. In fact we want to invest an extra 5% or 10% so that we can enable the organisation to, in a sense, get out of this decline and create a new product or service. That project team, because in a sense it had set up its rules about being able to talk about, to push against the walls and not just salute and follow orders, but push back and try to create an opportunity. They had to build their case and show that this was, in fact, and had to convince other directors, that this was an initiative worthy of investment, as opposed to cost cutting. But project teams have to create that space where they can challenge each other's thinking. And create a different, where the differences are expressed and then might lead to a breakthrough. >> I think these examples and what we have said, illustrate that culture is a very important diagnostic lens. As we look at teams and their continuous learning.