February 15, 2011 Tony Morgan

Avoid the Mushy Middle

Just read this from Diego Rodriguez, a partner at IDEO. He wrote:

“Trying to appeal to everyone by playing in the mushy middle not only will make you less appealing over the long haul (because being boring is not attractive), it also makes it very difficult to get started (because the enormity of the task makes everything too daunting to tackle), and makes it really tough to ship (because you have to do so much in order to meet the needs of so many people).”

Check out the rest of his post on the importance of why you need to always have a strong point of view. (The video link is classic.)

The mushy middle is no fun. In addition to everything Diego mentioned, things can get pretty funky in organizations that try to appeal to everyone. Where there is no priority of purpose or strategy, folks will begin trying to pull towards their personal passions. People will polarize around their preferences.

Unity develops around strong vision. (Strong vision will make some people mad.) We think we’ll bring people together if we try to make everyone happy, but that tactic ultimately leads to dissension and division.

Can you give an example of where a leader stuck with a strong point of view and it unified people? Join the conversation by sharing your comment.

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Tony Morgan

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.
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