June 20

When the whole is less than the sum of its parts

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Top scorers Huntelaar and van Persie are going home, the Dortmunder Polish trio (who is part of this year’s Bundesliga champion) weren’t able to get their national team into the next round, Podolski never managed to position himself in the Bayern München team, the list of unlucky players is long. And it shows again that the skills and capabilities of an individual player can only develop in the right environment.

What is true for star footballer is also true for our employees. Some people will thrive in an open and flexible organization; some will need more structure and processes. Leadership based on the individual situation and competency, help managers to support their team. But an employee needs more than assisting leaders. People need jobs that are meaningful to them, a team where they feel supported and responsibilities that challenge them adequately.

Of course individuals and their skill sets don’t remain static and adapt to fit their work settings. But doing this they should bend but not break. It is a pity that when departments are being restructured, only few managers take the time to speak to their employees and discuss where they could be most effective (which could be in another department). A team really becomes effective when each individual can add value, not when some personalities can outshine their colleagues.


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