Wednesday, March 24, 2010

At The Intersection Of Agendas - Douglas Castle

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At The Intersection Of Agendas - Douglas Castle

Dear Friends:

There are two categories of "agenda" -- one is the Group Agenda (in theory, this represents a "higher" goal for the entire group which can only be accomplished cooperatively and collaboratively). The other is the Individual Agenda, and every member of the group has one.

Here is what I have surmised. In virtually all cases:

1. The Individual Agenda is the higher priority for each member;

2. The Group Agenda is only as important as it coincides (and does not conflict) with an member's Individual Agenda;

3. Any member of a group will be involved in the Group Agenda only to the extent that his or her Personal Agenda intersects with the Group Agenda;

4. If a Group Agenda is structured to subsume (i.e., to incorporate to the greatest extent possible) as much as possible of each of the Individual Agendas, the group effort will be greater than under any other circumstances;

5. If a Group Agenda intersects to a much larger extent with one particular member's Individual Agenda than with any other member's Individual Agenda, that polarity will cause rebellion and failure.

Practical application? Yes. Part of being an effective leader is to define the Group Agenda so that it evenly incorporates (intersects), and incorporates to the greatest possible extent, each of the members' Individual Agendas. How you initially frame your agenda or word your objective is one of the most critical processes in getting people to work cooperatively. 

Quoth the Ranter: "Individuals work best together where their agendas intersect."


Douglas Castle

p.s. In the diagram in the lower right-hand corner, area marked "7" is the Group Agenda, area marked "1" is purely an Individual Agenda, and area marked "2" is where two Individual Agendas  intersect. The key is to maximize the area of "7," and to minimize the areas outside of "7" -- these other areas are where rebellious subgroups are formed or where individual goals are two heavily weighted against group goals.

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