When you set lofty goals that not only don’t serve your larger objective, but actually work against you, you might want to reflect on this episode about Homeowners Associations, lawn gnomes, and setting pointless rules.
Why is that important for business?
When you are establishing rules and culture, make sure that you are not setting yourself up for an impossible task of compliance. When you target with incredible specificity and end up micromanaging, you might actually obscure your message completely, or worse – ensure everyone not only misses the point, but actively fights the bigger picture goal.
You are also often setting yourself up for failure by establishing an expectation of enforcement that is impossible to adhere to. It’s important to establish just enough of a boundary to stabilize and make clear what you need and no further. Overreach makes people react against the bigger goal. If you don’t enforce these arbitrary rules that you have set, you show yourself as powerless to live up to your own standards. Companies set themselves up with aspirational policies.
Look for opportunities to get buy-in through collectively deciding what people care about. Don’t let the fear that you have to have a consensus or have to listen to every opinion stop you from engaging the people affected by the policies you are setting up. Getting granular without buy-in is a nightmare.
What story do you want to tell?
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