The Lentz Scale

I recently learned that my friend and colleague, Jared Lentz, has made a significant scientific advancement. Well, okay. It probably depends on how one might define the words “significant” and “scientific” and “advancement.” Still, he’s developed a scale for quantifying opinions, or preferences, for responding to new ideas for organizational dynamics. And I think this “Lentz Scale” has some legs and could actually go somewhere (it it hasn’t already done so, under a different name).

For instance, say that someone proposed a new location for our weekly staff meeting. It’s one of those things where some people might have really strong feelings in either direction and others might be largely indifferent. So, the group could be polled according to a seven-point scale with the results being used to identify who feels what, and to what extent. Here’s the seven-point scale:

  1. Advocate Against
  2. Firmly Against
  3. Softly Against
  4. Neutral
  5. Advocate, No Involvement
  6. Advocate, Involvement
  7. Advocate, Lead

So, those who are indifferent could register their neutrality by categorizing their input as a “4,” or they could shade one direction or the other by going with a “3” or a “5.” In any of these situations, though, it’s really no “skin off their nose” if group consensus dictates one way or the other. People coming in at this point on the Lentz Scale are just being given an opportunity to express their opinions.

If someone were to feel more passionate about the issue, the further ends of the Lentz Scale offer more nuance and assignment of responsibility (which is a key element of this metric, in my opinion). Those who would advocate for change can volunteer to be agents for that change, either as a part of a team (by registering as a “6”) or taking a leadership role for making that change happen (by registering as a “7”). So, in the hypothetical scenario of changing locations for a weekly staff meeting, those who come in at a “6” or “7” would potentially bear the burden of proposing viable alternative locations, scouting those locations, and accommodating the shortfalls that a new location might present.

It changes the dynamics — for better and for worse — if a person as “skin in the game,” not just an opinion poll. This is one of the best features of the Lentz Scale, if you ask me.

Those who are more resistant to a proposed change can register the level of their resistance to the idea with a “2” or a “1.” And if the employment of the Lentz Scale were to reveal several people landing on that end of the spectrum, a group (or its leader / leaders) might be more slow to disrupt the status quo.

No metric is perfect in these sorts of situations because each of our own hearts are often divided. We have mixed motives. Still, I think the Lentz Scale offers some intriguing possibilities for group dynamics. What do you think about the Lentz Scale?

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