Wednesday, August 2, 2017

leadership dot #1888: noise

The county is doing road construction at the intersection right by my house. As a result, I hear two noises throughout the day: 1) an intermittent loud banging as the backhoe smashes up new pieces of ground and 2) the continual whirring of a generator.

While both are part of the same project, these two machines produce a very different audible impact. For some people, the occasional loud noise would be most disruptive as it intrudes on concentration. For others, (me!) the infernal background hum is headache-inducing and perpetually distracting. I tune out the big bangs, but can't get the motor motions out of my consciousness.

Think about the "noise" in your organization that is causing distractions for your employees. What components of your work cause a loud clank that affects some of your staff -- such as a sudden change in personnel, a bold new initiative that alters direction or a move? What elements are more like the background buzz -- like an annoying policy, toxic employee or poor office layout? Either way, ignoring the impact is as futile as trying to tune out the noise itself.

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