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The “M” Game – Soft Systems - Cohesive System

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, Oct 16, 2023

Your Cohesive System develops through knowing that the daily behaviors of your team members affect their cohesiveness.

This may seem obvious.

Your Cohesive System intimately connects with Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Having facilitated The Five Dysfunctions of a Team exercise with most of my business coaching teams, I’ve discovered firsthand the powerful impact learning, behaving, and following through on these principles can have to build team cohesiveness and growth.

The Five Dysfunctions Pyramid is foundational for building trust, overcoming conflict, galvanizing commitment, accepting responsibility, and ultimately achieving results.

Many of you have experienced the power of the Five Dysfunctions of a Team exercise with your leadership team.

milos-tea-logo-1Patricia Wallwork CEO of Milo’s Tea shared her experience with the Cohesive System succinctly in The “M” Game. I particularly like her, “Behavior Equals Results” If you appreciate this, you know exactly why the Cohesive System is so impactful:

“Overall, our ability to win has come down to one thing: the cohesiveness of our people. Having the right people in the right places doing the right things every day when they come into work is the single most important piece to our growth. Why? Because people equal the behavior in your company, and the behavior equals results.

Our ability to achieve this level of cohesiveness didn’t happen overnight, however.

The first day of our two-day Kick Off, when our leadership team tried to articulate our Core Purpose, we couldn’t agree. We were talking in circles, debating facts. I knew we had a problem—we didn’t have the right people at the table. Without that, we couldn’t achieve the level of cohesiveness required to have a productive conversation about these critical elements.

Getting the right people at the table would come to be the biggest part of our Metronomics journey, and it took time to get it right. It took us years to establish our first 3HAG largely because of it. Today, every person on our leadership team who was at the table with me during that two-day Kick Off is no longer at my table. Some of those individuals were instrumental in getting us started, but as we grew and scaled, I was honest with them, and they were honest with themselves. Some are now serving in other areas of our enterprise. Others are being remarkable elsewhere.

As a high-growth company, the Cohesive System—and ensuring we have the right team members at the table and aligned—is a constant conversation. We are always providing feedback through group meetings and peer one-on-ones to ensure everyone understands who we are and who we want to be. For a cohesive team, Metronomics provides the disciplined structure to live the strategy and keep it top of mind and out in front of every single person every day.”

I no longer listen to what people say I just watch what they do Behavior Never Lies - ChurchillPerhaps you’ve read the book Behavior Never Lies. Read that again, “Behavior Never Lies!”

The real definition of who a person is is defined by their behavior, not their words. Words explain while behavior defines the real message a person is speaking. The real essence of truth is not what is said, but the behavior a person demonstrates.

How often have you given someone a second, third, or fourth chance?

What happens when you give someone another chance?

Unless you are Jean Valjean from Les Misérables, most of us discover the person continues to pursue the same pattern of behavior they’d previously followed.

I’m not sure how many salespeople I allowed to continue for months despite evidence they weren’t producing, mostly because I didn’t want to go through the rigor and challenges of finding someone new.

Metronomics Compound Growth System (House) Arrow Cohesive SystemThe Cohesive System can take on many forms yet is best illustrated by The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. If you’d like to learn more about other cohesive systems, read SmartTribes – How to Deliver Accountability, Consequences That Work - More SmartTribes, Workplace Drama – END IT!  David Emerald Womeldorff – Dallas Growth Summit, or any of the blogs I’ve written on Propeller: Accelerating Change by Getting Accountability Right.

Your soft-edge systems—the Cultural System, the Cohesive System, and the Human System—frame the house to provide a clear, solid structure for all teams to achieve their goals. Need help developing your Cohesive System for your business?

Contact us to help you create an amazing work environment to fuel your growth!

To discover at what level your team is functioning, take The M Game Growth Check (

To create an environment where everyone is inspired to give their best, contact Positioning Systems today to schedule a free exploratory meeting.

Growth demands Strategic Discipline.

Metronomics Seven Systems - The House - Human Circled The Human System ensures each team member is supported with the same repeatable process, from recruiting to hiring, to onboarding and training, to clarity of their functional role’s Scorecard, to coaching, feedback, and opportunity for growth and rewards. More details on the Human System and another customer testimonial in our next blog.

Building an enduring great organization requires disciplined people, disciplined thought, disciplined action, superior results, producing a distinctive impact on the world.

4Dx Cadence of AccountabilityDiscipline sustains momentum, over a long period of time, laying the foundations for lasting endurance.

A winning habit starts with 3 Strategic DisciplinesPriorityMetrics, and Meeting Rhythms.   Forecasting, accountability, individual, and team performance improve dramatically.

Meeting Rhythms achieve a disciplined focus on performance metrics to drive growth.

Let Positioning Systems help your business achieve these outcomes on the Four most Important Decisions your business faces:












Positioning Systems helps mid-sized ($5M - $500M+) businesses Scale-UP. We align your business to focus on Your One Thing! Contact to Scale Up your business! Take our Four Decisions Needs Assessment to discover how your business measures against other Scaled Up companies. We’ll contact you.

NEXT BLOG – The “M” Game – Soft Systems: Human SystemThe M Game - The Metronomics Monograph 

Topics: Cohesive System, Shannon Byrne Susko, Behavior Never Lies, The "M" Game, Metronomics Soft Systems, Milo's Tea

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Certified Gazelles Coach

Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

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