Lack of vision, poor strategy and a weak culture are the hallmarks of organizations struggling with purpose challenges. Managers typically report alignment, accountability, and employee engagement as critical issues. Employees often cite poor leadership, ambiguous goals, and the inexplicable changing of priorities as significant concerns. Both perspectives are correct, to some degree. Regardless of role, the"constant spinning of wheels" is a frequent refrain across the enterprise. When employees don't know where they are going, confusion, frustration, and disillusionment predominate.
Executives engage Transformation Associates to help sort things out. We objectively assess the challenges reported and craft a tailored roadmap outlining the specific actions required to course correct. Ultimately, we navigate the multitude of "organizational realities" en route to creating a clear, unambiguous, and meaningful path forward for all.
Which of the following observations resonate most with you and your situation? Schedule and an introductory call with a transformation advisor to learn more.
Hallmarks of Organizations With Purpose Issues
Lack Of Vision
Companies lacking vision are akin to rudderless ships set adrift and at the mercy of the seas and the tides.
While sometimes incorrectly viewed as a "nice-to-have," a compelling vision is critical to engaging, energizing, and focusing the efforts of managers and employees alike. Experienced executives recognize the importance of and take ownership for the development and communication of an aspirational vision that clearly and concisely describes the company's long term goals and values to employees, customers and investors.
The absence of a clear strategy for achieving organizational goals is a recipe for disaster.
A good strategic plan enables an organization to focus its limited resources on the things most likely to achieve both short and long-term goals. While never perfect, these calculated bets should clearly outline organizational priorities and allow functional leaders to define their respective operational plans.
Executives who ignore culture do so at their peril and are doomed to experience long-term, negative consequences.
Underlying beliefs, values, and behavioral norms are critical elements of an organization's culture. Strong cultures determine why and how things are done. Cultures evolve slowly over time and are highly resistant to change. Successful organizations ensure executives nurture and proactively shape organizational culture.
Employee Perspective On Purpose Issues
Executives without both good managerial and leadership skills are doomed to the organizational scrap heap.
Employees look to those in positions of authority to set goals and provide clear direction. Employees intuitively understand that traditional managers strive to keep things under control and eliminate surprises and that leaders seek to drive change and realize a better tomorrow. Today's executives need to do both and bring employees along with them if they are to excel and achieve organizational goals.
The absence of clear, realistic and attainable performance goals diffuses efforts and demotivates employees.
Employees want clear, realistic and attainable goals. Moreover, contrary to popular opinion, measuring performance against objective and clearly defined goals is welcomed by most employees - particularly high performers. The trick is measuring both actionable leading indicators and outcomes. Good leaders give employees clear goals, the latitude to execute and the tools to gauge their performance.
Frequent changing of direction without adequate explanation is a surefire indicator of managerial inexperience.
The constant changing of priorities is often cited as necessary by management as they throw around the phrases such as "we need to be nimble and responsive to customers." However, in reality, more often than not, this is due to poor planning and a lack of managerial maturity. Employees want experienced leaders in positions of authority who are empowered to set the direction and priorities for their teams - not vacillate like leaves in the wind.
Manager Perspective On Purpose Issues
Organizations lacking governance and control practices inevitably learn their importance the hard way.
Strong governance practices enable effective organizational decision-making, allocation of resources and operational execution. By ensuring transparency, prioritization, and alignment with strategic business priorities, organizations maximize their probability of success. Governance should not be confused with ineffective bureaucracy; rather it must be viewed as a strong business enabler.
Lack of Engagement
Disengaged employees are destructive and can drag down the overall performance of teams.
While it is frequently challenging, and often frustrating, managers must continuously motivate and engage employees at all levels - their success and the success of the organization depend on it. However, there are times when managers should cut their losses and release disengaged or destructive employees before things spiral out of control. The wisdom to know when and how to cut losses is what separates an average manager from a great leader.
Lack of Alignment
Employees are largely rational beings and tend to act in a manner that serves their best interests when given a choice.
Most successful organizations clearly articulate their values, behavioral norms and performance expectations. In addition, they ensure both functional and cross-functional strategies, objectives and priorities are aligned. All of which are reinforced by carefully designed rewards a recognition systems that ensure individual goals are not pursued at the expense of overarching organizational goals.
Each organization has its unique strengths and weaknesses - no two are identical. Canned solutions to addressing Purpose related challenges are doomed to failure. We work closely with clients to create a tailored approach that leverages their specific strengths and addresses particular issues and challenges. Are you ready to start your transformation journey?