CEOs today know things move at the speed of light. They also know the faster things go, the more chance there is for mistakes and miscommunications if their organization is not well defined and aligned. Meeting goals remain paramount to every smart leader, of course. Here are some insights we have learned serving CEOs for the past few years.
Organizational transformation is your eventual destination, but your journey will last more than a few weeks or months.
- This journey always requires total buy-in from the C-Suite. Without a full commitment from everyone, gaining traction and creating improvement will not happen.
- This journey always involves alignment (through strategy) that works best if all levels of management develop it throughout the organization.
- This journey involves belonging (through shared values) developed by both saying what the organization believes in and putting these beliefs into action throughout everyday activities that everyone can feel and experience.
- This journey involves becoming (through peer relationships) that allow each person to contribute their best thinking and watch their ideas grow in the organization.
Great CEOs set the standard through how they interact with those on their team. People learn best by watching someone do something new that they feel drawn toward and believe they can do as well. This is why it’s so important for senior executives to make themselves approachable and observable.
Today, we’re obsessed with speed, and on one level, that’s understandable given how technology has helped make this possible. For example, what once took our firm 50 to 100 hours of consulting time can now be accomplished in 20 minutes using our software program. We can conduct 1,000 online interviews in 20 minutes and produce a comprehensive final SmartPlan360˚ Program™ report with executive summaries and strategic recommendations.
What’s not healthy is senior-level executives looking for quick fixes or shortcuts at the sacrifice of their people. All analysis, regardless of the gathering process, needs to point toward continuous improvement, and that takes time.
Real organizational shifts and transformations are never the results of a unique experience, no matter how automated or robust the program. The best health and growth come more gradually and allows the organization to inculcate the values and new direction that senior executives desire.