Thermometer or Thermostat
a metaphor for leaders & teams to take note of

What’s your default? What do you choose? What’s your preference?
How might making different decisions make the difference?

thermometerWhat is the role of a thermometer?

To take the temperature. That’s its job. Nothing else. Yes, it may well indicate when things are out of sorts. However there is no option to implement any change. It simply states the facts.

  • It’s a recorder of information.
  • It’s an indicator that action might well be needed
  • It reveals how things are in the moment with no concept of future state.

thermostat What’s the role of a thermostat?

To adjust the temperature. That’s its job. Too hot? Too cold? The thermostat comes into its own as it can in an instant remedy the situation. At the flick of a switch, the spin of a dial, the push of a button the thermostat can change the dynamics of temperature. How can that flexibility be used to best advantage?

So what’s your choice?  To be a thermostat  thermostat or a thermometer thermometer

And here’s are interesting questions to consider?

  • How might this metaphor be applied for example to a work situation, a team meeting, a project challenge, a difficult situation, diffuse a situation?
  • When might both be needed?
  • When might one be particularly needed?
  • Who of your colleagues can you identify typically prefer to be the thermometer or thermostat?