Assessment data always unveils a narrative. When something appears weak or strong, there’s usually a host of variables. When something seems to be pervasive or an outlier, numerous factors are at play. Root cause analysis relies on what’s called a fishbone diagram where the spine of the skeleton is supported by branches of smaller bones, each contributing data to the explanation. The story grows clear when you take the time to look at every possible contributor.
Why, for instance, did this cluster of trees fall in this particular configuration? Was it random? Did they already have a co-dependent relationship that required them to lean on each other? Are the fallen trees providing fuel and support for the standing members of their community? Was there an unprecedented storm that traumatized the entire forest? More importantly, how does the history narrative drive the likely future of this cluster?
Here are a few examples of assessment revelations we have seen when the metrics open up the curiosity conversation.
- Low alignment with team vision with high disparity of opinion: The curiosity conversation unveiled a narrative in which the previous leader had departed for a new opportunity and the team had split into factions of either tolerant support or active undermining of the new leader.
- High consensus of opinion with low ratings of respect in the workplace: The curiosity question revealed a small but powerful subset of the team enforcing an “us vs. them” agenda by making it unsafe for new teammates to contribute contrary perspectives or new ideas.
- High appreciation for differences with high consensus of opinion: The curiosity question shined a light on a strong bond between the creative and engineering departments where the common goal of innovation fueled exploration and discovery.
- Low disparity of opinion with high adaptability: The curiosity question unleashed a story about a team being pulled together by a crisis in which an unexpected failure required an all-hands-on-deck response in order to ensure business survival.
Every picture tells a story. Imagine all the possible storylines that led to that moment. Remain open-minded until the narrative and its consequence begins to make sense. Stay curious and skeptical so the weird intricacies of team dynamics have a chance to tell their story.