We often consult with organizations that want to achieve significant strategic goals. Yet they find themselves faltering early on and never quite realize their ambitious plans. Whether it is a project, initiative, program, strategy or organizational change, the end result is less than expected. The problem does not lie in the motivation. The organization wants to change. They want to get the projects done. They want to execute their strategies. So why can’t they?
Organizations facing this issue lack what I call “The Clarity Perspective.” Companies tend to get mired in too much data, with too many process steps and no ability to step back, take a cleansing breath and view the situation from an observer’s perspective. The Clarity Perspective is an in-the-now observation to view the situation with an objective and clear understanding of where the strategy or initiatives are going and where they need to be headed.
Where to Begin
What I see on a regular basis is “analysis paralysis”, or data that needs to be presented a certain way but too infrequently lacks clarity filters focusing on three to five decision points that can drive a company’s success. So what can be done? Below are my recommendations:
- Leadership and organizational teams need to step back frequently and rise above the noise to view what’s going on.
- Make sure decision points are clearly identified upfront. They cannot be vague, and all teams must buy in to the key decision points. If decision points can’t be made, then it’s time to step into “The Clarity Perspective”, correct the situation or challenge why you can’t create the decision points.
- The primary leader needs to know how to step into “The Clarity Perspective” to ensure the team stays on track.
The people and the crew on the Titanic counted on the Captain to have “The Clarity Perspective” when directing the ship. What happened? He assumed the ship couldn’t sink—a disastrous decision point filter. As an assumption it was wrong. Establish quality assurance decision points to gain “The Clarity Perspective.” This means, ask yourself, “What needs to be in place to have a successful strategy/initiative/key program?” Call it success criteria or key success factors, but evaluating the current state of your company’s activities makes more sense if put into terms for the activity at hand. Decisions affect the direction and overall outcomes of an organization.
Being able to rise above the noise in order to make the right business decisions is “The Clarity Perspective” and drives an organization’s success. I’ve observed first hand CEOs that quietly observe the discussions of their leadership team, and then, with one or two questions and a clarifying statement of direction, set the team on the right path to achieve success. Simple but incredibly effective.