“Let’s get everyone on the same page.” I’ve heard this so many times that it has become diluted as to what it really means.
In churches that still use hymnals, you may hear, “Have everyone turn to page 721.” If we’re reading through a contract, we may ask everyone to turn to page 13 and follow along. But what does it mean as a staff or work group to have everyone on the same page together?
Many times we assume everyone is on the same page, but it doesn’t take long to figure out that that couldn’t be farther from the truth. This is what I thought, or this is what I heard, and what do you think?
After all, we as a leadership team have been meeting for some time about a particular project or plan. We’ve been talking the same language, and participating through the process together. Then we get to share with our teams what’s been going on to help bring them up to speed. However each person shares this information in so many words. If you’re a guy on the team, that would equate to a couple of hundred words. If you’re the girl on the team, that could be a couple of thousand words. Just sayin’. Henceforth, we have everyone on different pages.
So how do you stop this from happening? You can’t have everyone in every meeting all of the time. By no means do I believe that we have this dialed in. We are, however, trying a few different things to stop this from happening and eliminate the ambiguity.
First of all we started what we call cascading information meetings. After every leadership team meeting, we gather all our direct reports and share what we just discussed. This gives those not in the meeting a sense of real time communication and a chance to ask questions for clarification. Then monthly or at least quarterly, we meet as an entire group and bring everyone up to speed together.
Recently we attended the One Day Catalyst Conference with Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel. This would have typically been just for our leadership team to attend. We decided to take the entire staff to the Conference together. One of the best investments we’ve ever made. It got everyone away for one day, hearing the same common language, and made everyone feel appreciated. Your people are your greatest asset, and you need to invest in them. They need to be on the same page with you.
Are we on the same page?
Mike Klockenbrink is chief of staff at Lakeside Church in Folsom, CA. Mike worked for W.W. Grainger Industrial Supply for 16 years in many different capacities – branch manager, regional quality manager, district sales manager and regional operations manager. In January 2000, Mike quit climbing the corporate ladder and started climbing the Kingdom ladder.