The Election Trail

by Jan Yuill

We are on the home stretch. January 23rd is decision day here in Canada.

For me, an election campaign is at the 5th interface – Strategic Vision and Customer Service. That is, leadership takes the vision to the ‘customer’ (i.e. constituent) and makes lots of promises about their mandate, plans, policies, programs, etc., if elected (macro-task). There is lots of glad-handing, kissing of babies, flipping of pancakes, knocking on doors, etc. as candidates ‘get to know’ voters – very specific, very personal (micro-people).

But this interface is one of the two most difficult. It involves all four fundamentals (macro-micro-task-people), so doing it well is never easy, and requires lots of team effort, careful listening, even more careful articulating, constant communication, and so on.

However, I find it especially interesting, that some of the derailments that we are reading about in the papers are at the 6th interface – Resource Management and Membership Potential – the other interface where all four fundamentals are involved (macro-people, and micro-task). When people of the organization (in this case, the political candidates) are accused of mismanaging resources (funds, policy, etc.), that’s the 6th interface.

Even though the top priority right now is running and election campaign (i.e. the 5th interface), the other two quadrants (i.e. the 6th interface) can really mess things up when they are not in balance!