One Essential To Building Great Organizations
Most of the leadership books I read about organizational development forget to mention the one essential to building great organizations. Perhaps it’s too obvious.
Three things that don’t make organizations great:
- Great people don’t automatically build great organizations. It helps, but I know lots of great people who end up sucked into the black hole of a lousy organization.
- Great purpose doesn’t make an organization great. Many organizations set out to make the world better but die in the town of their birth.
- Efficiency doesn’t make an organization great. You can be efficient at doing things that don’t work.
The essential thing:
Great organizations have leaders who work on the business, not just in it.
15 practical ways to work on the business:
- Aspire to build an organization where people love coming to work.
- Maintain an outward focus. Great organizations serve themselves so they can better serve customers. Sick organizations sink inward and die serving themselves.
- Prioritize people development.
- Engage everyone in building effective and efficient architecture. Don’t work in isolation.
- Blow something up once in awhile.
- Experiment, evaluate, and adapt. Try something small and see what happens.
- Eliminate secrets. Practice transparency with kindness.
- Remember to make a profit.
- Communicate values and vision over and over and …
- Expand yourself by bringing outsiders in. Connect with other leaders and industry experts.
- Identify and celebrate culture. “This is the way we do things around here.”
- Enjoy the journey, even as you nag about what’s next.
- Overflow with gratitude, even as you explore how to be better.
- Hold yourself and others to high standards.
- Bring up elephants and pick at scabs with forward-facing curiosity.
One more thing:
Work on personal development. Personal transformation precedes organizational transformation.
How might leaders work on the business?
What are the three most useful suggestions in the above list?
These 3 jumped out at me, they are all good and surely could Transform a mediocre organization on an upward path. These 3 hit me the deepest..
Aspire to build an organization where people love coming to work.
Hold yourself and others to high standards.
Prioritize people development.
Thanks Tim. I see all three of those in the organizations I work with. For me, the first one is the first one. It’s pretty hard to develop something if you haven’t committed to develop it. (aspire)
Dan great subject.
As a CFO I had two types of CEO Leaders over the years:
1. Ones who focused on the stock price and were obsessed with Wall Street’s view of our company. These are more short term caretakers or opportunists.
They look to mergers and deals to fix things, not operating initiatives.
2. Those who focused and cared about the real business, it’s people and tried to improve it daily. For them the stock price was way down the list but would improve as they improved the business. These are the only Leaders you want to work with!
Brad James, The Business Zoo
The three that really resonate with me are 1, 7 and 13: aspire to build an organization where people love coming to work; eliminate secrets. Practice transparency with kindness and overflow with gratitude, even as you explore how to be better. We have peaks and troughs yet if people are coming to work for any reason other than they love it I think it nearly impossible to compensate for this in any other way.
#5 Always the best and can make the explosive effect invigorating. I have Blown thing up as in broke something that made everybody get up and jump in to fix. The after affect of the instant team work and group dynamic gets all involved.
Also as tweak of a quote from Mythbusters host “Marc likes big boom”
Also #11 if you have the culture it self propels itself. Even in a environment that has multiple groups you can shift people or task around and culture is more contagious than individual attitude.
Good morning Dan;
My objective as a leader is to continuously re-evaluate new ways to distribute authority to time tested worthy candidates. In doing so, you as a leader divest control giving decision making authority to capable staff resulting in effective/expedited problem solving.
This however will never happen unless you first get to know your people while getting to know their individual & unique talents & skill sets.
This approach puts you as well as your organization in the very best position possible to be successful and stay successful.
Isn’t it funny how organizations whom genuinely subscribe to a ‘People-first’ leadership philosophy consistently enjoy much greater success, fewer internal problems, and a healthier bottom line. We all were put on this earth with an inborn desire to help our fellow man realize his full potential. When you do, there is ‘NO’ other approach that inspires your people to be their
Got to go my friend, “time to count the inmates…”
I think our organization does some of these pretty well, but the ones that I would see us being most adverse to are 5, 6 and 15. We are afraid to “blow something up” even if it isn’t working. We experiment and make small changes, but I think that when you take too many small steps that fail, you lose credibility and buy-in (hence the need to blow things up once in a while). Last, we have elephants and scabs and elephants with scabs that we tend to ignore, hoping that we will outrun the elephants and the scabs will heal. They are only dealt with when an event (like a grievance or disciplinary action) brings them up. Of course, I am a line level supervisor at the present time, and while our managers communicate the values and vision often, I am not sure what their position is on the elephants and scabs.
How does one go about building things together and not in isolation, when your position is not anywhere “near the top”? I love building architecture and projects together, but I find it hard to get others to do the same… how do I help them understand that we build better together?
Excellent checklist! I wish the latest organisation I worked for had had one of these hanging on every wall from offices to meeting rooms, even in rest rooms!!! Worth printing out, if your organisation is thriving to grow from mediocre to great!!
Leadership is a quality that everyone should process. Being a leader is not cushy along with it comes responsibility and accountability. Leaders have the responsibilities to maximize the potential of the people with whom they graft & encouraging them to follow the wisdom of others. Leader should be honest and integrated in order to succeed and inspire others to follow them.
• Vision. A smashing leader must bring vision to life 4 that they must be future focused i.e. they must know, what is to be done, How it is to be done & For whom it is to be done. This can be done by casting their vision and ensuring that they have the right people in right place.
• Emotional Intelligence. Good leader is always wiser with people with whom they work with for this they must be well versed with Emotional Intelligence skills. True leader should know how to use power of other people emotions along with their own this will help them more productivity and collaboration which will help them to grow further.
• Effective Communication Skills. Savvy leaders are the one who is a mint listener, ask question and speaks if something is to be said. In leadership communication is a key, leader must be able to communicate with others but being a mint listener will surely going to help.
• Inspiring Gratitude, Personal Responsibility, and Sacrifice in your Corporation are essentials leadership at work.
Mr Chris Salamone https://goo.gl/S8dMjD formerly served as a faculty member at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and served as a leadership curriculum adviser at The University of Central Oklahoma. Chris Salamone works to improve the lives of young people around the world through his many philanthropic endeavors. He functions as chairman of the Lead America Foundation and extends a considerable amount of financial support to fund the education of 300 children in Haiti.