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The Tease

Published: July 25, 2016

Find and fix The Tease to keep your best team members

The Tease is real. And it lurks almost exclusively in some of the best organizations.

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http://909sickle.net/hidden/somethings-not-rightImagine you are so close to something great. You’ve got all of the raw materials: the talent, the drive, and the passion. It’s right there for you to grab. Just reach for it!

Your organization is saying all the right things. You are empowered. The cultural manifesto is in place. People use words like “servant leadership”, “autonomy”, “cross-functional teams”, “experiment-friendly”, and “safe to fail”. By all measures your company “gets it”. Just reach for it!

Imagine a single black sunflower in a bed of yellow sunflowers. Or a trickle of sewage into a pristine mountain stream. Or the person having a loud cell-phone conversation on a quiet bus. You notice. It grates on you. In another setting, it would be normal. But here it isn’t.

This is The Tease. The Tease is when you’re so close to something awesome. All the pieces are in place. But there is a trickle of suck. There’s some dissonance, incongruity, or poison lurking. Not enough to head for the hills, but just enough for it to linger in the collective organizational consciousness. It’s the dab of politics, silos, favoritism, dysfunction, or accepted bad behavior. The fact that the organization is so excellent otherwise causes the sting.

Somehow “everywhere has problems” is no solace. You’re a victim of your considerable efforts elsewhere. By making 99% of things awesome, and letting that 1% suck, you let that 1% get magnified. It’s the loud wedding guest interrupting the nuptials at an awesome wedding. That’s what people remember …

You attract the best and the best notice The Tease. Find and fix The Tease. It won’t be easy — the fact that it persists inside an awesome organization is the testament to its power — but you must fix it to retain your best talent.

How do you identify The Tease? Just listen for it … you’ve probably already heard about it. Better yet, figure out why your organization can’t “self repair” to fix The Tease. Remove that blocker, and the rest will happen naturally.