The OTHER department or shift or team they are the problem. They are not like us…and we should not help them because they would not help us!
I find it amazing how a group of people can become so entrenched in the belief that their experience is the best!
This is something that happens in companies & Teams.
We call them:
- Turf Wars
- Stove Pipes
- Warring Factions
They all return to We are the BEST! They suck.
There is a term for that:
- Social Identify Theory: The central hypothesis of social identity theory is that group members of an in-group will seek to find negative aspects of an out-group, thus enhancing their self-image.
Have you experienced this? Has it ever been helpful? Has it ever hurt?
In Consulting & Coaching, I look at how this can be useful when it can be; and who is responsible for creating collaboration between the perceived ‘us vs. them.’
- It can be useful for people to feel invited and engaged in the work. The social fabric of having a ‘tribe’ of co-workers that accept you and show you the accepted practices and cultural norms.
- It can be useful in exploring how the work gets done and ways to redefine the work, teams, and departments doing the work…perhaps creating new “in and out-groups.”
- It can be helpful in driving competition between your company and a rival company… this is NOT your company.
- Creating Collaboration falls on the shoulders of the Department Manager or Vice President or the Managerial-Leaders who are accountable for the systemic operations of the company. They must look at the company as a whole and, develop plans & actions & delegate to ensure that the company, as a whole, is moving towards its goals.
We are social creatures, so distinctions that are as arbitrary as heads versus tails, red shirts versus blue shirts […] can matter to us, but only when we see that others take them seriously. It’s not quite right, then, to say that we form groups solely on the basis of something as arbitrary as a coin toss. It’s not the toss per se but the fact that the toss is done in a social situation where the outcome clearly matters to people…
We start off prepared to make distinctions, but it’s our environment that tells us precisely how to do so. – ‘Just Babies’
Where the outcome matters to people
Systems-Drive-Behavior… If you create an environment that reinforces separation and people see rewards to deepening their silos and trenches … it will continue to matter, and people will continue to separate.
If you create an environment that reinforces a more significant in-group, and your manager is ‘Big Enough’ to develop systems that reinforce shared collaboration … togetherness will matter, and people will continue to collaborate.