In past articles, we’ve taken a look at the importance of defining WHY your organization exists crystallizing its CORE VALUES and establishing the OVERARCHING GOAL for your organization. This article attempts to pull it all together & demonstrate the benefits to an organization of developing and employing these tools with an admittedly oversimplified example.
The three components mentioned above all play an important role in setting the direction of your organization while providing guidance for all processes, procedures and decisions. This “Navigation System” lets everyone both inside and outside your organization know what, why and how you do what you do. By providing your team with this framework, you’ve built a foundation upon which your organization can be aligned; that is, everyone working in the same direction toward a common goal and for the same reason. Granted, you can’t just toss out some magic pixie dust and have such a scenario suddenly appear. More about that in a future post.
As an example, let’s assume the following about The Holy Cannoli Bakery:
Given even just these simple parameters, can you envision how easy it is to make decisions in this organization? Decisions about who is hired & where to find them, branding & marketing, client selection, sales process, performance metrics, etc. all become exponentially more clear. For example,
You may be thinking, but not everyone is interested in expanding their waistline & tipping their scale. Exactly! As Simon Sinek states, “"The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe".
When you provide your team with a framework within which to function, decisions and creative solutions become more clear. Everyone is “on the same page” and working for the same cause. Your team is comprised of people championing your “WHY” and who share the same core values. Egos and silos take a back seat because everyone is working for something they personally believe to be important and is larger than they are.
As a leader, if you truly want to empower your team, align your organization and raise the levels of innovation, initiative and accountability you have to do your job and set the course. Developing your organization’s “Navigation System” helps leaders do exactly that.
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This article discusses, what I refer to as, the 3rd component of your organization’s “Navigation System” - - the overarching organizational goal. Here are 11 reasons why defining your organization’s overarching goal is important:
Establishing a goal for your organization let’s everyone inside and outside of your organization know where you’re going. Whether the goal is tied to capturing market share, outperforming a competitor, a specific award or yet another metric your team becomes clear about what they need to do and why.
In my experience, when you have “the right team” they will often up the ante. As the leader of your organization you may set, what you believe to be, a goal that is challenging and maybe even a stretch. When your team is passionate about your cause, they will often consider, be interested in and challenge you to set a goal that is even more challenging. What’s even more exciting is that your team takes ownership of that goal and develops an innovative strategy to reach it. That’s often what happens when your team embraces your cause because it’s part of who they are.
Your overarching goal not only lets everyone know where you’re going as an organization, it also provides another piece of your organization’s framework within which decisions can be made. Again, decisions may not be easy, but they do become more clear.
An overarching goal is also a tool you can use to empower your team to act in your absence and reduce the tendency to micromanage. When your team understands where your organization is headed they are more apt to make decisions in keeping with your, and your organization’s goals.
An overarching goal also becomes part of your interview process for top talent. Part of what makes these people tick and keeps them engaged is knowing what success looks like in your organization. It’s from your overarching goal that most other metrics are derived. Again, your team becomes clear about what’s important and where to invest their time and focus. Hence, performance reviews also become a lot easier for all involved. And, discussions in a performance review are rarely a surprise to your team members since they’ll likely have a fairly accurate sense of their performance relative to established metrics.
You may also often find that once people outside your organization learn & understand your overarching goal, they’ll help you reach your goal and maybe do so in ways you may not have thought of. You make it easy for your vendors, clients, alliances, etc. to participate in your goal. You help them help you become better positioned for success. And, a great team comprised of top talent responds to success and is more apt to be retained by your organization.
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