Friday, November 16, 2012

The age of alignment

It's a busy day here at the OBX Thinking World Headquarters so I'm reposting this from 2010. Seeing as most businesses are putting the finishing touches on their plans for next year now, I thought this might be appropriate. Enjoy.

Planning is a monumental waste of time.

Every year thousands of executives and managers spend millions of hours developing plans that are scuttled the minute a competitor offers a rebate, a new technology emerges, or the CEO reads a best-selling management book.

Rather than developing detailed plans, spend time defining your company's vision, mission, values, goals and objectives – those things aren't (or at least shouldn't be) subject to the vagaries of the daily business page – then communicate them with every member of your team to ensure they're in alignment.

If your team truly understands your mission, values and goals, they can act within their areas of expertise to do the right thing when new challenges and opportunities present themselves.

By not boxing people in with a list of tasks and timelines, while still holding them accountable specific measurable goals, you're allowing employees to initiate action and take a deeper level of ownership in their jobs and the company. You'll create more commitment, more satisfaction and a nimbler workplace that can rise to meet challenges in a moment's notice.

It all starts with knowing what you stand for. And making sure everyone else knows it, too.

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