Three perspectives of The Glue and The Grease

I wrote about the concept of the glue and the grease.

Curious I found three posts on the concept of the glue and the grease.

I am starting to like the concept of the glue and the grease more and more. Next is to the conept into a few presentations.

The organizational glue should remind people why they come to work every day. I’ve seen a number of organizations where the vast majority of employees can recite the mission statement or purpose, but stating a mission doesn’t make it glue. Author and visiting professor at London Business School, Gary Hamel, might suggest that the stronger an organization’s mission, the less need for layers of management because employees are driven more by the mission than by their manager. It should also be noted that a strong mission is intended to mean how sticky the glue is or well the glue bonds; not how firm or aggressive the mission’s language. The glue will create a unified culture that’s prepared for disciplined execution.

The grease drives productive change. In practical terms, the grease is a methodical plan, detailed in a series of work initiatives that are aligned with the organization’s purpose. Another word for methodical could be disciplined; it’s a plan that’s not only well thought out; it’s executed with an almost regimented series of targets and milestones.
The ‘glue and grease’ – what a horrible expression!!!

The first time I heard a former colleague of mine use that expression to refer to the role of communication I didn’t like it either.

But I’ve got to say that until I find a better expression for it, it’s a pretty accurate description of what our (then) comms team was supposed to be to others: the glue that brings everyone together, and the grease that lets knowledge flow easily.

But the ‘glue and grease’ only happens when the sharing (and learning) in KM comes together with communication.



In this article, we’ll describe those elements and why they matter—and why one matters most of all. (Spoiler: It’s purpose.) Drawing on the companies we’ve studied, we’ll show how some of them focus on two priorities—what we call the glue (collaborative engagement) and the grease (disciplined execution)—to achieve their collective ambition. Our hope is that their journeys will inspire you to do the same.