What is a great organization, really?
When speaking with owners and CEO’s about their goals and aspirations, we hear things like:
- Build a great culture
- Have great employees who love what they do, and where they do it
- Provide great customer/client experiences
Catching on to the theme? More and more, we hear clients say words like “great,” “awesome,” and “amazing.” What does it really mean to be “great?”
In Matt Perman’s blog, “What is a Great Organization,” he cites Jim Collins, author of Good to Great: “A great organization is one that delivers superior performance and makes a distinctive impact over a long period of time.”
Extracting elements of this overarching statement, this means great organizations share at least these three common traits:
While each of the elements listed above are context sensitive (What does “superior” mean? What industry? Market? Time horizon? “Right place at the right time?”), in our experience at eQ, each of these is a lagging indicator produced by factors that can exist, irrespective of external factors.
It begs the question, how can you take your organization towards “great?”
Create clarity: Have an overarching vision, along with goals, strategies, and tactics that link directly to the vision. This provides a foundation for short and longer term success.
Foster Alignment: Building a talent-rich organization whose personal and professional goals align with those of the organization mitigates risk associated with personal agendas or unintentional disconnects.
Tap into DNA: Building on the Alignment bullet, in the context of high performance, the DNA to which we refer includes the behaviors, motivators, and competencies of the individuals in the organization. It is imperative there is tight alignment between each person’s DNA, and the benchmarks for DNA of high performance within the roles of the organization.
Define high performance: Having clear definitions of high performance for key roles allows individuals, teams, and the organization to recruit and hire effective, increase the speed of proficiency for new hires, and to create transparent pathways for growth and development.
Embrace accountability: In high performing organizations, accountability exists in 360 degrees. In these organizations, accountability is not used as a weapon. Conversely, all employees see accountability as part of a commitment to support colleagues, and inherent in the journey to creating meaningful impact for clients.
Are you ready for the journey towards becoming a “great” organization?