Group Agreement




For a group of people to work smoothly together, each member must understand what constitutes agreement. This understanding is often left in the background, unexamined, as everyone assumes their standards match those of other people. Fundamental to the success of the executive off sites I conduct is helping the group make these assumptions explicit so that everyone is playing by the same rules. If, in fact, everyone has the same standards, we finish this step quickly. If not, time invested early to clarify the ground rules saves a lot of time (and upset) later.

There are two essential parts: clarity and verity. First, everyone must be clear on what is being agreed. Second, the group needs a way to know if agreement has been reached.



#1) What’s the deal?

  • Clarity: Details of the agreement
    • What, how, when ,who, where.
    • Explicit standards of (more…)

Creating the Organization’s Values & Vision



I tell my CEO executive coaching clients, prior to the executive offsite, that the CEO can dictate the values statement, perhaps with some team input on word choice. If the organization’s stated values are not entirely consistent with the CEO’s personal values you are in for a rough ride. The CEO must embody and have an emotional commitment to the vision, so it largely comes directly out of him or her, too. I like to start the offsite at a dinner where the CEO clearly and emotionally states the values and vision. Then, with those guideposts, the team can get to work on strategy, tactics, milestones, etc.

A question naturally emerges when I suggest this sequence: what about the executives who do not share the CEO’s values or vision? This helps smoke them out early and by “out,” I mean resigning from the company. Any compromise on values is a step into the abyss, what Bion called “non-work.”