How many business owners feel they have truly harnessed the power of their organization’s executive team?
Through methodology we use at Sandbox and through the ‘Revealing True Greatness’ workshop series I do, it seems important to share what I have been seeing with CEO’s and C-Suite Executives who are looking to leverage their most senior level assets within their organizations.
There is an effort that needs to be made with the visionary of an organization to understand what it is that makes them unique and essentially understand what makes them tick. Everyone is different and anyone that has decided to take on the risk, workload, and stress of building a company is certainly not common.
Once the visionary is understood to an extremely deep level, diagnose how connected the next level of executives are to the visionary’s ambitions and how well the visionary has been able to communicate and align people to the direction.
This step is typically where we see significant opportunity for organizations to leverage their most significant internal resources. Many executive teams are working hard, managing their area of the business, managing people, managing processes, and performing the administration needs of their desks. Few have a full understanding of what the real dream is of the visionary. Even fewer have ever been in a conversation with the visionary about what the business truly wants to accomplish other than the financial outcomes in their strategic plan.
At times the visionary may have communicated their dreams using what I call boardroom operational language. However, communicating a program to people around ‘maximizing shareholder return’ is a great outcome, but most people within the organization will find it difficult to jump out of bed and rally around this message.
The trick, if there is a trick, is aligning the organization towards the visionary’s dreams through the ideas and language of the people within the organization. Let the people help shape what the desired future looks like with the visionary, then allow everyone to shape the path they need to take to get to this desired future. Once you have landed on this path, identify responsibility and measure everyone against the steps you all agree to take to achieve what you have set out to do.
Formalize, communicate, measure and celebrate successes.
9 steps to leveraging business alignment
- Deep dive with the visionary to uncover their uniqueness, ambitions, brilliance, shortcomings
- Plug in the executive team to understand where the gaps are and what needs to be aligned
- Provide a vehicle for contribution and ownership from major influencers within the organization to be able to influence the overarching strategic plan
- Create a rally cry for the organization around an idea and a measurable result
- Roll out internally using a methodology that allows everyone to feel like they own the direction of the organization and understand how they can contribute to something larger than themselves
- Celebrate the smaller achievements with everyone towards a larger measurable goal
- Keep the organization stimulated and focused on the steps required to achieve the desired outcome through constant communication and meeting rhythms
- Celebrate the achievement of a successful outcome of the larger goal
- Reset for the next stage of the plan, do it over again, align, formalize the plan, execute, measure, celebrate
- Theme the year around the larger idea and measurable outcome, make it happen
I have just completed this process with a couple of visionaries and their next level executives. It is extremely rewarding to see the excitement and energy people have towards the organization and visionary as they go through this process. Most people functioning at senior levels are driven people looking to contribute and be a part of something unique, something that aligns with their values and something that they feel they have an emotional level of ownership towards. To truly benefit from these people give them a reason to care about what results they can create for you and themselves.