No Mission. No Vision. No Strategy - No Problem, Right? Wrong!!
If you need any evidence as to why, then we only have to look to our history. Unfortunately, if you Google ‘Battles that failed because of no plan’, you will find an overwhelming list of examples. The Battle of Little Bighorn is riddled with spontaneous moves on the field that did not have a favourable ending. What was the problem? No strategy. Some of you will have heard of the film ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ and think what a brilliant day he must have had with no plan. However, his day ended with him going nowhere, gaining nothing, achieving zero and a collection of mini failures along the way.
Whether it be a film or a part of our history, having no strategy or vision in mind can leave us unprepared for when it really counts. (A certain global pandemic comes to mind).
So, why are you stating the obvious then, Gaynor?
Well, would you be surprised to know that some organisations are still to this day operating without a vision or clear strategy in place? With any organisation, the more growth you experience, the easier it is to drift away from the very foundations you put in place. It is often only during large conferences or company away days that you revisit the vision and mission statement, but how many of your workforce feel aligned to them? Could you confidently say your employees trust your leadership team to implement these strategies and adhere to them?
We are currently conducting research into how organisations are trying to find the right formula for what can work for everyone in the long-term post-pandemic restrictions. The expectations we are seeing not just from leadership, but from their staff has changed. It may be that this blog triggers a much-needed conversation internally, or seeing these statistics makes you wonder if there is more you could be doing to secure your organisation’s future. Whatever the outcome, this is not a topic that should be left on the side lines and given the last year we have experienced, preparing for the now can enable us the opportunity to succeed in the future.
So, let’s dive right in.
First and foremost, is there trust between leadership and your workforce?
The level of trust that has been needed in organisations over the past year has skyrocketed. Any gaps that were previously brushed over with regards to communication, understanding and collaboration are now making themselves known causing leadership teams to re-evaluate how they operate as a business. In our survey, so far 73% of respondents have stated there is a reasonable level of trust in the leadership team, with 7% claiming their organisations are distrustful.
The questions we need to be asking;
- Should we be holding employees and leadership to the same standards pre-Covid?
- How are you ensuring trust is maintained while implementing a remote working strategy for the future?
Are the ones who can articulate your organisation’s mission, vision and strategy the ones that really count?
A leadership team who are aligned and share your organisation’s message is important to direct the resources needed to achieving that mission, vision and strategy. A workforce who can relay that same message daily and translate this into how they serve your customer needs is an essential ingredient for a high performing organisation. Forging the link between an employee’s role and how this directly contributes to your organisation’s purpose is therefore important. So, employees need to understand it, engage with it and be able to articulate it.
Well, unfortunately it’s not a new conversation to be had, where a disconnect happens between decisions made at the top and those implementing them. In our survey, to date, out of the options for ‘very well, well, reasonably well and not really’, only 12% have so far stated that their organisations employees can articulate their mission, vision and strategy very well. Now, whether that is management, directors, employees, or new starters, if only 12% can ‘very well’ describe these fundamentals and a further 32% can do so simply ‘well’ … what does this mean for the rest of your organisation? How do they achieve job satisfaction and sense of purpose to help engage and motivate them to provide excellent service or level of productivity?
There is no one answer as to how you can engage and enable your organisation; it takes a tailored, inspiring, and authentic approach that we value at Sysdoc. It starts with defining your overall vision and strategy to enable you to effectively identify organisational interventions needed to bring the vision to life. This helps define the business and human case for change and as we all know, change starts with people.
Aligning Leaders behind the vision and equipping them with the skills to effectively lead and sponsor change is essential to achieving long term, sustainable growth. The last year has shown us how communication and trust are two key elements to ensuring every single individual in your organisation is working towards the same collective goal. Allow us to help you assess your current landscape, so we can improve today and enable tomorrow.
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Jack Murphy joined Sysdoc as a Consultant in August 2021, following a career change. He graduated from the University of Birmingham, then worked at Amazon in Peterborough, Nottingham, and the north- east of England as an Area Manager. He has adapted quickly to his consultancy career, bringing enthusiasm and new thinking to the role. I asked Jack about how he is building knowledge and creating networks in his consulting role. (Geoff Hardy, Lead Consultant)