As a TrepExec leader my management mantra is very simple “Continuous performance, continuous change and continuous growth”. This simple but powerful model is the center of success, where each pillar builds off each other. Performance creates credibility, credibility generates change that creates the competitive advantage, and competitive advantages generate growth opportunities.
Performance is a powerful tool for any leader and/or company. The power that a leader gains within their leadership role is generated from the success of delivering on commitments. Forget about all the great ideas or innovations that were already deployed. If we do not deliver on our commitments a perception of weakness will start to overcome our ability to achieve our vision.
Like with anything in life, balance is an absolute if we want to maximize our fulfillment of success. One extreme side of performance management is to micromanage every activity and force commitments to be met no matter what. This will only last for a short period of time and then our leadership aptitude will be compromised to the point of unbalanced control and loss of the organizational support. The other side of the extreme is a very lose environment of accountability for agreed to commitments. If we as leaders do not have the capability to create a culture of accountability, eventually our leadership weakness will be exposed through the company’s bottom line performance…loss of profitability!
Starting with our vision and strategy, the organizational structure must be designed to maximize the success. Striking the balance of both extremes will yield a level of performance that is demanded by each individual themselves within the organization. No matter how low within the organization they are. The following are some steps that may help in generating the culture of accountability and delivering of commitments:
- Communicate the company’s vision and strategy. It all starts with the leader of the company continuously defining a vision so colorful that everyone internalizes it as achievable. Once the vision is felt and the people believe, then the company has a very powerful engine to deliver on almost any challenge. Remember there is a way to communicate a message and way to communicate a vision…successful leaders deliver comprehensible visions.
- Communicate to our change agents and critics often. It is very critical that we identify our change agents and our critics. Messaging success stories and the vision to our change agents will add the motivating energy needed for them to continue their mission. Our number one challenge is to change our critics to change agents! Therefore, we will need to message to them continuously and keep them in our loop as much as we do with our change agents.
- Clear lines of accountability are created by clear process. People are amazing, and their ability to work hard is natural as long as they feel they are adding value and not wasting their time. We, as a leader, must make sure that our company’s processes are not impacting or clouding our vision and strategy. It is critical that the level of accountability is transparent and not forced upon your workforce. Re-work your processes with the use of the people to generate an alignment to the vision and strategy. It is critical for our workforce to be involved in the re-engineering and continuous improvement activities to solidify the accountability within our organizations.
Most important…let our organizations innovate! Growth spawns from innovations that come from everywhere. Once we have the organization intuitively delivering on commitments and operating at a high level of performance, continuous change will boost the growth engine. Build a culture that understands that change is critical for success. Companies that understand the importance of change maximizes it growth opportunities and profitability. Profitability allows the company to reinvest into itself and its people. Once our organizations are delivering on commitments and embrace change the rewards are continuous and exciting! Remember to keep the balance…it is our job.
What extreme does your organization fall into today?
Global High Tech Executive, GM, Entrepreneurial Leader – Strategic Vision, Process Improvement, P&L, PLM, Sales Growth