The Keep-Getting-Better-Focus N° 4


Sometimes, people wonder: Executives? Together in one team? Isn’t that a contradiction outright? »Ah«, we reply, »the Executive-as-an-alpha-animal prejudice«, the (mainly unwarranted) idea of executives’ not being willing – or able – to cöoperate, simply because they are »alphas«. Of course this may at times be the reason for an executive team’s dysfunctionalities. For it’s being unwilling / unable to take decisions. For it’s not being effective, let alone efficient. But then, the whole picture is more colourful than the above over-simplified explanation suggests. 

Another quite provocative question asks: Why do executives at all need help, consulting, coaching – being what they are? Decision Makers? Know-it-alls? »Effectioneers« and »Efficioneers« (to coin two new expressions)? What’s more: Why do they need help when there are several of them present in their team? 

Of course there’s lots of possible answers to that one. However, our favourite idea is pretty straightforward: It’s because a bunch of cooks (even if or especially when they’re most accomplished cooks) may have a hard time to prepare a fine meal. If they’re not used to join forces. If they’re not used to jointly reach a shared goal. If they’re not used to ask questions. If they’re not used to listen. If they’re not used to step back, or back for once another cook and let her or him »shine«. If they’re not used to not-know. If they’re . . . 

Right. Exactly. That’s why: Coaching. For executive teams, too.

That’s what it’s all about. Sounds easy. Is it as easy as it sounds?

// Our management board is a true team, a band of executives. We complement one another; and we take all our decisions together. //

Kurt Bock
Former Chairman of the Management Board, BASF