FROM THE BLOG

Your 2019 Strategy and Goals: Why the High Gears of Leadership Become the Crying Tears of the Company

Isn’t it exciting? Planning for the new year and how your business will fly! Ideas flow, numbers crunch, there’s a battle for selection and then…BAM! The 2019 goals and strategy emerge from the womb of the leadership team like a glistening new baby whose cry sounds like pure joy and happiness.

But then, January shows up with a huge frown and that baby’s cute cry turns out to be colic. Why? Because you realize the people responsible for execution don’t fully understand the value of your strategy and goals. Nor do they understand the value they bring to the table personally or departmentally. This is so common and is why the high gears of leadership become the crying tears of the company; there is misalignment which puts the year at risk. Some would say, “Wait Al, my folks know what to do to make this happen. They know their roles!” – Sorry, that’s not enough. People need to know more than “what to do.” The managers and employees who will do the heavy lifting need to more deeply understand the value and impact of the strategy and goals as well as the value and impact they personally provide to them. They also need to be able to communicate and connect with leaders around that value and impact. Only then can you truly align your organization horizontally and vertically.

At ValueMapping™, we live in this world everyday. This “value alignment” challenge exists in organizations across every business and non-profit landscape, regardless of size and scale. Fear not however, there is a path to shed the crying tears and shift back into high gear for 2019 quickly and efficiently.

Ask The Right Questions Right Now – The ValueEquation™
This does not have to be complicated, nor should it be. First sit down again with your leaders one on one (saves potential ego bruising) and ask them:

  • Word of Value: What one word most clearly defines the value of each of these goals/strategies?
  • Why: Why did you choose that word?
  • Impact: What will be the impact of that word to your teams, our customers and our company?

These questions force them to narrow their thoughts to more clearly focus on what matters – the relationship between value and impact. This creates a very efficient way for you to clarify their understanding of your vision or to determine if you are not in sync. Check out the video below for an example. The ValueEquation provides an opportunity for meaningful dialogue and wipes away assumptions. Its simplicity and directness works for any type of goal or strategy in any business, non profit or government sector.

 

Scaling Organizationally
Once you’ve had this dialogue with your leadership, have them ask the same questions of their management and staff and cascade down. This is the core of where all the hard work will be done. Look for key indicators of misalignment:

  • The why behind the Word of Value is not clear or is out of sync with the desired direction
  • The Impact is unclear, unrealistic or unknown
  • There is heavy disagreement

That’s not to say the words don’t have to be the same, that’s unrealistic. However the why and impact have to have some common ground. They inform the intent which is where the truth lies. If the people charged with executing your strategy and goals are disconnected or don’t understand the value of those goals and strategy, all your efforts are at risk. Departments and teams must understand and be able to communicate the value of their work functionally and cross-functionally otherwise risk silos, redundancy and potentially, failure.

Keeping Your Direction in High Gear
A ValueEquation looks at a single moment in time. As such, it is important to revisit the alignment of your goals and strategy. Make time to regularly check in and ask these questions. Don’t leave anything to assumption, especially if the goals and strategy changes which occurs so often. If you want to ensure your organization is walking step in step to achieve the business outcomes you’re investing in, then make time for meaningful dialogue by focusing on value expressed through impact.

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