Does Everyone Know
Where The Sled Is Going?
Recently, while attending a manager's meeting of one of my consulting
clients, I thought about how so many people in the work force do not
understand the direction of their respective organizations. They show up
each day at work, but only go through the paces without seeing a bigger
picture. Ways in which they can make an important contribution to the
organization are diffused or absent.
Well, we focused on central discussion points,
which I'd predict are similar to the ones any organization should discuss on
a periodic basis.
|During this 2˝ hour meeting, the conversation centered
on reviewing our agreed-upon goals, evaluating how we were going to
achieve them, and identifying barriers to achievement. May I stress that
this meeting was a conversation among the participants? It was not about
the lead dog telling the rest of the dog team where their sled should
be, how fast they should be running, or their position on the dog team.
Everyone on the team was no less or no more important than the other.
What was this conversation all about? How did all members of the work
team feel equally valued?
Helping all members of a work team see the bigger picture relies on
establishing agreed-upon objectives. For the company with whom I was
consulting, that called for mutual discussion on these key points:
- Increasing the percentage of operating profit
- Comparing performance and policies to competitors to assure we're better
- Improving the rate of inventory turns in all departments
- Meeting individual sales levels by designated personnel
- Growing the customer service commitment
- Mapping each employee's training hours and the content that is needed
- Building the balance sheet for a more secure and solid company
Each person talked, listened, took notes, expressed concerns, asked
questions, and agreed in principle to the objectives.
Now, will there be some changes during the year? Sure. Will there be some
months that get off track? Sure. That's human nature and business
uncertainty. But as that wavering occurs, this business will be able to rely
on its key-objective template.
Now the challenge will be to constantly review the objectives, communicate
them across the board to all employees, and maintain a high level of
appreciation and enjoyment during the ride.
And remember the old joke: in business or in life, unless you're the lead
dog—OK, I won't go there.
Michael McKinley, CSP, CPAE, is a professional speaker who builds and
delivers personalized presentations on business topics for corporations
and professional associations.
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