To reach organizational success, people need focus.
Great companies know why they exist and what is important to them, and they have successfully passed this knowledge on to all of their employees. They’ve visualized the future and developed specific steps that will lead the company to it and make sure every business unit and individual knows what they need to do to achieve it together.
They need a clear statement of purpose to believe in and specific direction they are willing to move toward. They also need to know their participation in the common goal is meaningful. Without such unification, organizations remain average at best.
The responsibility for the necessary focus and alignment falls to the executive management team. They ensure consistency and follow through flows down through the entire company and communicate the desired direction and how each individual’s actions contribute to achieving the goals and objectives.
While many companies have a mission statement, and may even have tied it to a vision for the future, they need assistance strengthening their team to makes the vision a reality.
Our Focus and Alignment Workshop immerses executive teams in that process for two days. As a result, teams clarify the critical components of a successful organization and emerge with strategic direction and renewed enthusiasm and commitment leading to effective and productive outcomes.
During this two day workshop, we ask teams to participate in five tasks:
1. Develop a purpose statement
This statement will guide the executive team and in turn, help them guide and inspire others in the organization.
2. Define core values
Articulate what is important and expected behavior for members of the organization.
3. Visualize what the company will look like in 10 years
The vision must be realistic, credible, attractive and stated as if the future is the current reality in order to inspire enthusiasm and encourage commitment.
4. Establish a mission
State a clear and compelling goal that will unify the organization’s efforts. The mission should be achievable yet challenging and stretching for all.
5. Develop goals
Identify results-oriented steps that will move the organization from the current state toward its mission and visualized future, and assign accountability for goal achievement to members of the executive team.
Completing the workshop will leave participants with a sense that their enhanced teamwork has built a foundation for future strategic planning and team performance. They will be able to confidently and concisely state the vision and goals for the organization and know specifically who is accountable for what goals.
The process of the workshop is as valuable as the outcome. The team meets first in small groups, allowing each individual to work with every other participant at least once during the sessions. Then the large group comes together to achieve consensus on each product. Open dialogue builds teamwork and results in a unified strategy that will stretch the company to achievable greatness.
Focus and Alignment is Critical
Decentralization, the frequency of mergers and acquisitions, rapid technological change, and leadership turnover have changed workshops like these from a luxury to a critical competitive edge.
Direction and consistency are difficult to maintain when subordinates are geographically far away or forced to quickly assimilate to a new professional culture. Focus and alignment gives leadership the tools they need to make decisions quickly and independently while still keeping everyone on track.
The overwhelming pace of change can be disastrous for companies not prepared with a clear purpose. Knowing company direction and vision enables decision-making that leads to consistent, coherent execution of strategy. Leadership turnover is also enhanced through focus and alignment. Understanding the values and purpose will result in increased probability that a company will select the right successors with smooth transitions.