I have been working at a consultancy firm that deals with strategy formulation and business transformation for almost a year now and I am amazed at how my thinking has been changed. I have always believed that companies need visions, if nothing else, to tell them of where they want to go and help them know when they get there. There is a quote that has something to say about if you do not know where you are going any road will take you there. Words have never been truer.
As an individual, I am a planner. I love knowing the details of things. I do not like surprises. I am a perfectionist as well. I at times will not start things until I can see the end from the beginning and that means that there are quite a number of things not yet started because perfection is a myth. I digress. There is something amazing about being part of the team; about knowing your role. We all like to feel important, whether we admit this or not, it is a fact and so my knowing how the way I sweep the office floor helps the CEO hit his number is very motivating. It makes me feel and realize I am important.
One of the examples of this is demonstrated from history. J. F. Kennedy, tasked NASA to take a man to the moon and bring him back safely within a decade. A story is told of how one day he went to visit NASA to see the progress. When they arrived, the cleaner was busy doing his thing. The security detail were flabbergasted I think, wondering what was wrong with this man who was not stopping for the president to pass. They wanted to go and get him out of the way, as is per their role but the president was curious. He told them to let them be and he walked to the man and asked him what it is he was doing. The man confidently answered ‘ I am taking a man to the moon.’
Now, at first, you may laugh but where I come from, (rather, where I work) this is a clear indication of someone who fully understood the vision of the organization and understood how his role fit into it. He knew that if the environment; the work space was not conducive for the scientists to work in, that vision would simply be a dream. I mean, the dust or dirt could cause sickness which will affect the efficiency of the scientist, which will in turn delay the project timelines… It is a ripple effect.
Look at all the successful companies/ organizations and you will find a group of people who are bought into the vision and are working together towards achieving it. Where there is no vision, people perish…
So, you have your company but you spend most of the time fire fighting as opposed to getting work done. Maybe it is time to craft a corporate strategy for you team and get the buy in from all your staff or perhaps you need to dust off the 5 year strategy document that was written and is under a pile of things that never really get looked at often. It could be time for you to realize that to get to where you want to go, you need people around you who believe in the same vision; not those who will be ready to sabotage you because they care not.
P/s: If you read this and think you may be in need of a strategy formulation; or a strategy refresh or the cascade of the one you already have, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
#feelingrathersmart #don’tbusrtmybubble #simplicityalltheway!