Invest in building shared mental models, so that everyone can engage in meaningful dialogue about what’s happening and what needs to be done, and in the process deepen their understanding of how the organization works, what it does and why.

Essential patterns to help you achieve this:

  • Navigate via Tension – Looking out for, and addressing situations that could benefit from building or refining a shared mental model, helps people to get on the same page and supports productive dialogue.
  • Determine Requirements – Determining what’s required to respond appropriately to an organizational driver before deciding what to do helps develop a shared understanding of the direction and scope of a suitable response to the driver.
  • Clarify and Develop Domains – Explicitly clarifying and documenting areas of responsibility ensures a shared mental model regarding expectations and responsibilities.
  • Clarify Intended Outcome – By first agreeing on the intended outcome of a proposed activity, project, or agreement, people develop shared understanding of where things should be headed and can then engage in productive dialog about how to get there.