How To Get Moving – part one

Moving As One is about setting up your organization for success and creating coherence so it will respond effectively to its environment.

Good vibes
Let’s assume you and your management team have defined the Vision and Mission for your organization. They describe why your company is in this world and what it aims to achieve. It is concise, inspiring and memorable. You have shared it with your organization and stakeholders and  the feedback is excellent: you notice that the new vision and mission create positive vibes. You have hit a sweet spot…now what?

How to get moving…
The question for many executives then, is how to get their organization moving and build a responsive organization. As with all walks of life, this starts with the first steps and these had better be right.

Make people thrive

The ‘how’ for creating a responsive organization starts at the level of each and every employee. As everybody in the organization is part of a team, alignment starts with clarity for every team: how do they contribute to the vision, mission and objectives of the organization. What is their primary function and what are its objectives? 

This seems obvious. Yet many teams experience a lack of clarity to this regard. That is because people often struggle to understand the bigger picture and how their team can deal with the challenges at hand. For example: in times of turmoil and changes, sales departments may struggle with the question what product-market combinations they should prioritize and why. If leadership doesn’t help to get that clear, the sales professionals will find it difficult to move as one and be effective. Here’s a role for leadership to help make that clear, so the team can make effective decisions.

People in the right place
In sports, one player who doesn’t play well can drag the team down. In companies it is the same, even though you can’t always notice it on the spot. So first you want to ensure that every individual comes into his or her own. That is because you want every person to contribute to the best of his/her abilities and potential. To do this, you need to know to what extent each person is set up right for their job. This comes down to answering these four questions:

  1. are people doing what they want to do? This is about aligning personal objectives and purpose with those of the team and the entire organization. People who are unhappy with what they are doing increase organizational friction and stress levels.
  2. are they doing what they can do? In other words, do their skills, abilities, and  potential match their work? You don’t want to challenge them too little, as it will bore them. Neither do you want to over-challenge them: it creates too much stress. People need to be challenged just right, so they are inspired and energized to stretch themselves.
  3. does the organization enable them to focus on their job. This seems an obvious statement, yet in many organizations people get distracted all the time. E.g. too much of a meeting-culture or constantly changing priorities prevent people from working with dedication.
  4. does everybody know how they are doing, and how they can progress and learn? Feedback should be continuous and not confined to an annual appraisal session. It should be motivational and constructive: motivate people with their achievements and inspire them to learn from things that have not gone according to plan. 

It’s a scientific fact that people come in a state of flow if they do what they want to do and can do, have the opportunity to dedicate themselves to it and understand how well they are doing. That’s why specifically these four questions need to be addressed.

Understand where every person is
If each person is ‘mapped’ along these parameters, e.g. by their team leaders, it automatically improves the interaction among your organization. That is because such mapping can only occur if people connect with and understand one another. You will find out whether people feel they are in the right place or not. It gives you an opportunity to understand how you can help them in their ambitions, aligned with the company vision and mission.

Team dynamics
Creating clarity for each team and assessing to what extent everyone is in the right role are the first and necessary steps in actively creating a responsive organization.

Once the teams are complete and everyone’s roles are clear, it’s time to look at the team dynamics. Which is what next week’s blog will be about.