I am sure many of you remember when the newswire was buzzing with the lone-wolf behaviour of one of the (Canadian) Tenors during the signing of Canada’s national anthem at a All-Star baseball game in San Diego in July. During the anthem, Tenor Remigio Pereira substituted words to make a political statement. This change was made without prior knowledge of his fellow quartet members. The backlash has been huge and now the future of the Tenors is in question.
In this instance, one member of the group took it upon himself to act on his own, without permission or the support of his fellow teammates, to express his own political belief. Not only
were his actions self-motivated, but the timing of his message was poor and the desired result not what he intended.
This is a very public example of how one member of a team can have a significant impact on the team. In the case of the Tenors, trust was broken, member of the group no longer want to perform with Mr. Pereira, and their future must now be re-created.
Within most businesses, there are teams which are key to creating and sustaining the business, its reputation with customers and its internal culture, to name only a few factors. When someone on a team does something rogue these three steps can help salvage the situation.
- Act swiftly — If the rogue behaviour has the ability to cause damage, your swift and decisive action is vital to making a wrong a right. A rogue act requires you to step in, initiate an impartial investigation to determine the facts and to hear all perspectives. Sometimes a 3rd Party is needed to conduct this investigation. The investigation should be quick and to the point so next steps can be taken quickly.
- Be transparent — In all actions and communication associated with the incident, it is important to communicate clearly and often so everyone within your team, your business, and key stakeholders understand what is happening. You don’t want to breech confidentiality or individual rights, but you also don’t want people second-guessing you. When you are transparent with the rogue team member, they also know where they stand and what actions will be taken and what to expect. Transparency and frequent communication goes a long way to build trust, repair your reputation and minimize the negative impact the rogue actions could cause.
- Follow Through — Once you have dealt with the situation, its important to follow-through. This means confirming the conclusion of the incident, ensuring all actions plans identified to prevent a repeat are in place and to check in with each member of the team or key stakeholders to get their perspectives, feedback and comments. This debrief process is often over-looked, yet I have found it to be the most important.
Sometimes you can’t repair the damage done and a break-up is the right thing to do. When this happens, the swift action, transparency and follow-through will help you re-focus on the future and take the right steps forward.
We have lots of experience assisting organizations during and after a critical incident. Contact us to learn how we many assist you.