Thoughts from the Field - SILOS, POLITICS AND TURF WARS TOOL
By Jeff Gibson
August 2006

DEVELOPING YOUR THEMATIC GOAL - JEFF GIBSON, VP OF CONSULTING

It's only been six months since Silos, Politics and Turf Wars was released, but we've been using the Thematic Goal model with our consulting clients for several years. Our hands-on, real-time experiences have helped us to refine the model to where it is now. Because we've received some additional questions on how to properly establish a Thematic Goal, we created a tool with additional instructions (see below).

Over years of using the model with various companies, we have come to realize that developing a Thematic Goal and the accompanying Defining Objectives usually goes in one of two ways: it is either relatively straightforward, or it's extremely difficult. For whatever reason, it is rarely in between. Sometimes the team agrees upon the appropriate Thematic Goal quickly, or they struggle with it for quite some time. If it takes awhile, don't get frustrated. You'll find tremendous relief when you finally establish the Thematic Goal that is right for your organization.

When you're facilitating the Thematic Goal discussion, it is important to keep an open mind. Sometimes it's tempting to shoot-down the first response, while in reality the top of mind response may be the right one. Or, it can be tempting to select a Thematic Goal that is too tactical, when something more high-level and "thematic" is necessary. To make this process easier, we suggest that each team member write down their suggested Thematic Goal before sharing it with the rest of the team. This allows for each member to think through their answer and not be influenced by what his or her colleagues have said. Once you hear all of the suggestions and talk them through, it's likely that a pattern will emerge and your Thematic Goal will become clear.

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