Recently, I was part of a very interesting discussion led by Ray Sclafani of ClientWise about gaining alignment with team members. The distinction made was between getting “buy in” as opposed to an approach of co-creation. What Ray presented was that, as leaders, we focus far too much on getting buy in which keeps us in the role of managers, needing to be attentive to the details. Essentially, we end up doing all the heavy lifting, and don’t get the benefit of the tremendous thinking and knowledge of our team.
In the co-creating model, as the leader, you set the vision, intention and direction, and allow, empower, enable, the team to co-create with you how your vision will be executed.
I’ve seen too many business leaders, entrepreneurs, professionals who become frustrated because they aren’t able to get their teams or co-workers on board. The result is that what they want to have done, doesn’t get done!
It’s important to understand how your role changes with these two models. With the “buy in” model, your power comes from your position in the organization, basically, do what I say because I’m the boss, with you at the center of the universe.
With the “co-creation” model, the intention or goal is the focus. Your role and your power come from having others understand your vision and direction. With co-creation others become champions and translate your intention into actions.
The hesitation that most of us feel about co-creation is it means we give up control and the control freak in us resists that option. However, by the relinquishing control, communicating our vision powerfully, and empowering others to accomplish the goals, more can be accomplished with less effort. You are able to find better solutions, develop your team, and you get to work less!