I coined the "Two-Faced Backstabbing Tangle" after experiencing a particularly painful personal interaction. Naming it led me to reflection and discovery and the recognition that this is a common phenomenon. I also discovered some ways to mitigate its impact. In my capacity as an executive coach and consultant, I have seen this nasty tangle snarl teams. Here's the story of its origins, its biological underpinnings, and how to not get snarled in the emotional pain this nasty tangle can inflict.
Last summer, we took a road trip from San Francisco, through Zion, Bryce, and on to Telluride, Colorado. While in Telluride, we took a fly fishing lesson from Marty at Telluride Fly Fishers. Marty was a great guide and very patient with this city girl! I had piled on several layers of clothes in anticipation of wide temperature swings in the Rockies.
Wall Street Journal reporter Kara Swisher interviewed Carol Bartz, CEO of Yahoo, at the recent All Things Digital Conference. I was struck by Bartz's assertions that organizational structure has limited Yahoo's ability to innovate. Bartz's comments validated findings from my own research. I was interested in uncovering the organizational enablers that contribute to the unwinding of organizational tangles. I define tangles as those interpersonal, political, and human dynamics messes that tie organizations up in knots. What I found in my research is that an organizational structure that ensures clear levels of authority and accountability creates clear channels of communication, and removes the fuzziness that stalls forward progress.
Like many, we had a group of friends over to watch the Superbowl last night. Some of us rooted for the Pittsburgh Steelers, while others were backing the Arizona Cardinals. That was good old-fashioned sports rivalry. However, we were all taken aback by the negative energy that emanated from some of the commercials. As reported in today's San Francisco Chronicle, many of the ads were downright aggressive and hostile.