Craving WHY

November 9, 2017 — Posted by Guy Beaver

Your organization craves WHY.

People will naturally devote focused energy on a task if they see how it fits into a higher cause.

Which why statement below creates the most alignment?

1.  Retain existing clients

2.  Build a tool to measure client retention rates and client profitability

3.  Build a rewards program to keep our most profitable clients

"Meh" organizations do (1) only

  •   “Retain existing clients” is a good organizational goal, but gives us no roadmap or even how to know if we are achieving the goal.

Good organizations drill down to (2)

  •   Adding “Build a tool to measure client retention rates and client profitability” gives us a way to tell how we are doing against the goal, but gives us no specifics about how to change the outcome.

Great organizations can craft a specific goal as in (3)

  •   Adding “Build rewards program to keep our most profitable clients” gets organizational alignment with an experiment that we can measure and evaluate how we are doing. This is a tangible thing an organization can get behind and build that meets objectives with measurable outcomes.

Notice we aren’t dictating “how” to implement the tool or the rewards program to our delivery teams, but giving clear understanding of the goal and how to measure success or failure. 

Now we have a learning loop aligned with top level strategic objectives.

Organizational focus and flow are an exercise in subtraction. As a leader, you physically can't effectively dictate what work needs to be done by every individual in your organization. But you can evangelize why programs are underway so that people can line up their efforts to meet those targets.

You are the leader. Does your organization understand why efforts are underway? How do you know?

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About the author | Guy Beaver

Guy Beaver is VP of Enterprise Engagements and a Senior Consultant. He is a seasoned technology executive known for building Lean organizations that are driven by business priorities. With 30+ years experience in Financial Services, Aerospace, Health Care and eCommerce, his technology accomplishments include managing enterprise web development and delivery for world class transaction systems (16 Million users), large data center transitions, and SaaS operational excellence utilizing Lean IT practices. He is skilled at organizational change and is the co-author of Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility.



        

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