I’ve been sick for several days and lying in bed watching daytime TV, particularly the Food Network (I’m a bit of a foodie). A lot of the programmes are about an expert going into an restaurant/bakery/bar that is having trouble and helping them get back on their feet. Having watched a few of these, it has become really clear that in every case, the issue is one of relationships. From the father who won’t listen to his daughters’ ideas, the father who won’t accept that his son doesn’t want to work in his bakery, the brother and sister who don’t see eye to eye, the husband and wife whose relationship is suffering – in every case dealing with the relationship issue helps to unlock the improvement.
Now, I know these are manufactured reality situations, but there does seem to be a deeper truth in there, and one that is borne out by what I have learned about social networks in organisations during my Masters research. So if there’s a particular issue in your organisation, maybe looking at the relationships involved is a good place to start.