As a leader, you need to make sure that priorities are aligned throughout your organization, and that people are working on those priorities. To accomplish alignment, do the following:
- Provide context continuously. This means the big picture – what is our business strategy? What is the role of different parts of the organization in achieving that strategy?
- Check priorities regularly. Tell your associates what your priorities are. Say, “This is what I am focusing on.” Then ask each of them, “What are you focusing on?”
Without the context and priorities, people will do what they think are the priorities and they may be very different from what you need from them.
For example, a manager might do what will reflect well on her career. Or a manager might want to create overly complex or sophisticated processes, instead of what will help achieve overall business goals. People have conflicting demands; make sure they are working on the right ones.
I worked with a large organization on strategy and structure of a rapidly-growing division which was structured around serving a specific market, and the intent was to strengthen the focus. But in conversations with the CEO and COO it became clear that the overall business strategy called for a new purpose and structure that would add tremendous value to both the overall organization and to specific market. The context provided vital direction.
If you really want to sharpen focus, send a short email to each associate noting what you discussed, agreed to with time frame.
Copyright 2018 Bob Legge
I am a trusted advisor on strategy implementation and executive effectiveness to leaders of Fortune 500 companies, mid-size companies, nonprofits, education, and government. My work helps leaders drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce faster, sustainable growth and value.
If you want to seize new opportunities, dramatically improve your leadership effectiveness, and free-up more time for yourself and your family, contact me.
My website is www.boblegge.com
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