“Why is it so hard to get everyone to understand this? I thought we were aligned.”
Every organization struggles to focus on what is important, how to articulate it clearly and communicate it often and everywhere. So how do you manage this dynamic? First, you have to understand that it is a dynamic to be managed, not a problem to be solved. Once this is established, a consensus on what the organization’s higher purpose is must be reached. This purpose should then be supported by the types of beliefs and behaviors under which you want the organization to operate. Lastly, you must decide what the most important thing to fix is – what one thing will get you closer to success – and then create a plan to address it.
This framework is a product of “The Advantage”, by Patrick Lencioni. We use this framework at Plenty and recommend others use it as well. We often find that organizations will focus on and change the organization’s chart of reporting relationships when searching for realignment around an issue. This tends to make leaders feel like they are doing something tangible to improve the situation. In reality, however, it usually just creates a disruption and does nothing to make the organization more successful.
If you seek to change your organization, first read and pilot an initiative that focuses on your culture. It will feel a bit “fluffy” but will produce more solid results.