» Sliders and Sort Sliders and Sort – David Marquet

Sliders and Sort

Leadership Nudge – SLIDERS AND SORT

Today’s Leadership Nudge is “Sliders and Sort!” Sliders and Sort is a tool the team uses after the leader has said, “Hey what do you think about this?” This tool helps the team organize information about a decision.

Let’s say the decision is about buying a new house. The leader says, “I want you guys to go and find a new house for us to purchase.” The team could pepper the leader with these kinds of questions.

“How many bedrooms?”

“How big should it be?”

“What location?”

“What color?”

“How old or new?”

That’s not what we do in Intent-Based LeadershipTM organizations. The team goes off and thinks about the decision and organizes their thoughts.

In this example they may come back and say “There are three criteria that are really important: square footage; privacy; and how much maintenance the yard needs.” They organize their information with sliders and may ask for feedback from others. Then they bring the sliders back to the leader and use the sliders for structured feedback.

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Early in the process we avoid dimensions on the sliders. You don’t want to be overly precise, because that scares people. And fear shuts down creativity. Instead, the leader says “I’d like something pretty big, very private, and I don’t want to deal with a yard,” that’s all the team needs. They’ve organized the criteria, and they have the gut check.

Now, what happens when the leader says, “I want everything – I want this, this, and this!” Now we need to understand what is really important to us. That’s where we use “sort.” We put our criteria on separate cards. We go to the leader and say “put these cards in order of priority.” We don’t allow the leader to make them all equal. This constraint forces the leader to choose.

My leadership nudge to you this week is this:

The next time you have a decision to make, as team members, don’t go pepper the boss with a whole bunch of questions. Organize your information first with Sliders and Sort.

Let us know how it goes!

Enroll for the Leadership Nudge – www.davidmarquet.com

I’ll be doing a one-day workshop in Copenhagen on 27 May – more information with my Danish partners here: goAgile.dk

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