Smoke & Mirrors

Smoke & Mirrors - Lake Scene

“What exactly am I employed to do?”

“Who is my actual boss? I seem to have 3 of them!”

“I am not paid to think. I just do what I am told.”

I have heard these statements and many like them, when working with teams. They inevitably point towards a lack of clarity. People are not clear what the purpose of the business is or how they fit into achieving this. Often times when first confronted with this reality people get defensive.

They reason that the company is doing ok and people come to work every day and get stuff done. The challenge is that they are right … to a degree. Ignoring the signals does not make the problem go away and actually creates a culture of “smoke and mirrors” (Something that is described as smoke and mirrors is intended to make you believe that something is being done or is true, when it is not).

Companies just doing “OK” are under threat from competitors and struggle to retain high performing team members. People need to know they matter and that they are making a positive difference. The expressed frustrations, that team members share, often mask many underlying issues. Role clarity is the degree to which employees have a clear understanding of their tasks, responsibilities and processes at work. This clarity includes understanding their colleagues' roles.

Clarity is an essential requirement of productivity. A lack of clarity can cause stress and confusion and create tension.According to, “Employees who experience role clarity are 53% more efficient and 27% more effective at work than employees who have role ambiguity. Our research shows that overall work performance increases by 25%.” To help with this the Think Right team have created a simple sheet which each team member can fill in to help you ascertain their role clarity.

We encourage you to push through the uncomfortable challenge of difficult conversations as you seek clarity in your organisation. Failure to have difficult conversations costs businesses thousands of dollars. A report states that “Every single conversation failure costs an organization $7,500 and more than seven work days.” As you join us to explore team engagement & productivity this month, we will be sharing tools to help you have difficult conversations and move forward successfully.

Here's to your success!