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Dark matter - vast spaces between departments and projects going undetected

85% of the matter in our universe is unobserved and remains unobservable.

We know dark matter is there. We can measure its impact. Yet, whilst influencing the structure and evolution of all things, it remains elusive. Unseen.

A similar dynamic plays out in large organisations. Vast spaces between departments and projects go undetected. Yet, these voids can determine success or failure. Accountabilities and opportunities are lost to these chasms. More significantly, these hidden gravitational forces can shape how teams are organised without leaders and team members ever realising it. We’re all too busy building the resources we can see without having to consider the elusive gaps between teams.

Progressive businesses are finding more ways to draw these dynamics into the light, figuratively speaking. A purpose-led mission with aligned goals can help to create more cross-team working. Communication matrices get information flowing horizontally as well as vertically. Others are taking more radical steps in how they structure their organisation; such as embracing squad-working, recrafting jobs and creating semi-autonomous teams. But in all these examples, success or failure can often be tracked back to the choice of lens selected at the leadership level.

Since the sixties, astrophysicists have been taking ever newer approaches to crack the dark matter nut, from radio telescopes to the tracking of gravitational lensing. What’s clear is, what you’re looking at and what you’re looking through are vital variables to consider.

But in business, those that are meant to be doing the looking often feel they have the most to lose. What if leaders spot things which undermine their position? What if their discoveries challenge their status quo?

These are the dark matters that really matter - the courage of leaders to measure the gaps between teams and build structures and workflows which really work. It may mean innovation. It may mean change. But to deny it may mean failure where success was an option, if only they had the courage to look through the right lens.

At Teamscapes, we help leadership teams build a culture which empowers them to do this important work. As soon as leaders see themselves as enablers of teams and as equitable partners in the same endeavour, it unlocks opportunities previously unobserved.


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