As I dropped off my kids at school today, all the kids were still outside. After a presentation by a class, one of the teachers recognized the principal’s birthday and invited everyone to sing happy birthday to her. She counted “1, 2, 3” and sang. All the students joined into the grand chorus of happy birthday.
There was just one problem.
Apparently, there is more than one version of the “Happy Birthday” song.
Have you heard the one that goes…
“Happy birthday to you…CHA CHA CHA, happy birthday to you…CHA CHA CHA”?
Is there a dancing style that goes along with this?
I haven’t done any extended research on this subject, so I’m not sure where this version of the song comes from.
The problem was this: other students were singing the more traditional form. They were simply singing, “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…”
This ended up with mass confusion. It ended up sounding like “adlskfjwl;efriovncoinwefionasdofinlkaejsf!!!!!!!!!!”, whatever that means.
And the same is true in our organizations, businesses, non-profits, and churches.
When we do not have clear alignment in strategies, vision, processes, etc, the signals we send to employees, customers, participants, and others will always be confusing.
If you want some help with this, I recommend checking out “The Advantage” by Patrick Lencioni. Click on the book title for the link.