There are things that work and many more that don't. Let's discuss what we've experienced . . . not our opinions . . . but actually what our days and nights as marketers, business leaders, parents, people are teaching us. Please give us a hand. Tell us about your experience with this stuff.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Leading an Organizational Breakthrough

Great organizations are not only built on the genius of one or two people.  If that were not true, Apple's stock would be moving toward zero.

However, few organizations understand how to harness the insight and intelligence of their managers who are so close to the product/service and sometimes closer to the clients?

Over and over, its been my experience that if I use a proven facilitation process to get my team to address strategic, tactical and business issues, the team doesn't just do well, they exceed my expectations.  And the team can be high-end professionals or line managers.  In total, they know more, are committed more and will respond to any effort which sincerely allows them to identify opportunities and strategies to become better than we currently are.

What is actually required of the leader is two things:
  1. They must set the bar:  what are we trying to do or where are we trying to go.  And most importantly they must make it clear that 'the train has left the station, so get on board'.
  2. The leader must engage their team in a process that brings the most important ideas to the forefront and ensures that the plan to reach the bar is representative of his team.  This is not only important for 'buy-in', but truly, the best ideas will come from the team.  (note:  I define 'best' as ideas which meet the bar criteria and which will get executed.  There are great ideas that can't or won't be executed by the team and those ideas mean nothing.)
So our math here for organizational breakthroughs depends on the leader setting the bar, providing a team process for planning/execution and making sure they don't get in the way too much.  People don't just surprise you sometimes, they can surprise you almost always, if given a chance.