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This is Part Two of our conversation with Lisa M. Shasteen, Attorney and Partner at Shasteen and Percy and Dr. Gino Collura of CEO Effectiveness.

Gino:

So switching gears and taking a look back in the business community, right, in your opinion, Lisa, what are some ways business owners can encourage input and creativity from their team members? How do we get around that concept, right, of the frozen middle?

Lisa Shasteen:

Yeah. The frozen middle being the people that sort of stop the ideas before they filter up to the top where the strategy really lives. And I think the important part of that is to be open to reach out and be proactive about making sure you contact people in your organization, every single individual in your organization. I don’t care if you have a thousand people in it. They’re all human beings. They have families, they have children, they have husbands, wives, significant others, whatever they have, and they are contributing a valuable part of themselves to your organization and they have thoughts, they have ideas, and it’s important. Those are gifts. Those are absolutely holiday presents for you to open. And if you don’t open them and people in the middle are stuck on procedure…

Lisa Shasteen:

I mean, as a lawyer, one thing that really bothers me in an organization and in any kind of operation is the legalistic interpretation of everything. I mean, the just minute regulatory detailed pinching kind of thing, because you have to keep that big picture in mind and if you can’t get those ideas up, your company cannot thrive. These are the people that can come up with the post-it note. It’s like this would be a lot more convenient if we could just stick this piece of paper over here and it would stay, right? I mean, because we don’t have tape, they won’t allow us to have tape. If we just had the glue on the paper… I mean, but you’re missing that if you enable a bunch of middle managers who are saying no a lot. I think the interesting thing is to say yes to ideas and then analyze them. You can say no to ideas, but at least hear them out.

Gino:

Wow. And it’s interesting. It goes back to your earlier point about facilitation as compared to control, right? So being able to say yes to ideas doesn’t mean you’re approving or on board with the ideas, but you’re saying yes to the dialogue about those ideas, which that’s fantastic. That’s really, really good.

Stay tuned for Part Three coming up.