IN SEARCH OF EXCELLENCE (2)
Discipline, the core to Strategy Execution
Are you a hedgehog or a fox? The world is divided into 2 categories of people. You’re either a hedgehog or a fox. By characteristics, the fox knows many things, cunning in nature, able to devise a myriad of complex strategies for an attack upon the hedgehog. The fox daily preoccupation is to crafty produce winning formulas to get to the hedgehog. He’s ever sure of winning the battle in spite of the looming opposition.
The hedgehog on the other hand looks like the porcupine, very simple, organized and tries to reduce all complex situations and challenges into simplistic ideas relevant to his vision or plan of existence. He’s seen minding his own business with a daily search for family relevance and survival. He’s never selfish but focused, determined and has his eyes always on the ball.
This parable explains and challenges all to address the question of who we are and what we have to do pursuant to being better in our everyday walk with God, life dreams, managing team and organizational expectations which often place demands on us. Remember the hedgehog is not stupid but rather understands that the essence of profound insight is simplicity. He (hedgehog) sees the essential and ignores the rest.
What we make of this story pursuant to the Strategic agenda or direction of any quest must remain relevant and motivational to drive all hands on deck to push for the objectives set by any team, group or organization to be achieved. Kindly stay with me as I try to demystify and make clearer the pathway to the realization of this monumental objective of searching for excellence through DISCIPLINE ACTIONS.
To start with, let me echo that certain fundamental factors of discipline must be enshrined and be embraced by any organization and or groups that aim at achieving excellence in performance whatsoever. These factors among other things would as well guarantee maintaining excellent culture, promoting good organizational values and retention, all of which resulting in impacting headline imperatives or objectives invariably.
KEY FACTORS IN ACTION:
When individuals fail to do nothing in the middle (in the context of teams or groups) they create more weight for the top leader to move or execute the vision. It is therefore very suggestive to admit that, individual commitments within a group setting is paramount to move the agenda from strategy to execution.
ALIGNING PERFORMANCE FOR SUCCESS-
All individuals, team and group performances must align with the strategic vision being pursued (anything short of that is chaotic)
That the mind doesn’t reach toward achievement until it has clear objectives guided by discipline. It is possible to see the energy and commitment levels of the team dissipated with its resultant effect being apathy. That is, the team’s focus on the agenda may shift to other things that may not inure to benefit the team or organization directly in achieving the set imperatives. Hence the need to deliberately and strategically ensure the team remains focus on the important whiles leadership deals with the whirlwinds.
LEADERSHIP OF TEAMS–
That there’s onus responsibility on leadership to devise appropriate mechanisms to rope in everyone on board pursuant to the agenda. Whatever must be done necessary to train, equip, motivate, incentivise and harness the team’s efforts to bring synergy is ultimately crucial for leadership to meet the anticipated expectations and therefore cannot be overlooked.
THE DISCIPLINE FOR EXECUTION
As emphasized in my earlier series, I did mention that, if there’s one thing that would guarantee the success of any quest, that is DISCIPLINE. It’s the bridge between thoughts and accomplishment…the glue that binds inspiration and achievement…the magic that turns financial necessity into the creation of an inspired work of art.
Having said that, it’s noteworthy a fact to claim that, initiatives and strategies that often fail or die are as a results of executional indiscipline. Therefore, the discipline to execute the strategic priorities of the organization must rest on its key leaders and change agents to ensure the right things are done pursuant to the agenda. It is said that, all good to great teams and organizations manage to build great fortunes by being discipline in the following areas of execution:
Discipline#1: By focusing on the wildly important
Many things will compete for attention during the implementation processes and the team must not be distracted from its main agenda and goal. Focusing on other things that may not inure directly to the benefits of the strategic goal is considered an executional indiscipline. Quite sure, there will be more good ideas that there’s the capacity to execute. Therefore, the focus must be narrowed and limited to deal with the objectives and goals being pursued and ensure the whirlwind activities are curtailed.
Discipline#2: By Acting on lead measures
The action force leveraging or building relationships to achieving the goal must be predictive and influenceable. Hence, all individuals, departments, stakeholders must join hands and draw in initiatives that would impact the expected results positively.
Discipline#3: By Keeping a compelling Scorecard
The discipline of engagement will bring everyone on board for it makes sure everyone knows whether progress is being made in terms of the results. Remember, people play differently when they keep score. A compelling scoreboard tells the team where they are and where they should be, information essential to team problem solving and decision. Scoreboard compels action and drives team success. Without scoreboard teams’ energy dissipates, intensity lags and the team goes back to business as usual.
Discipline#4: By Creating a culture of Accountability
The 4th discipline speaks to where the actual execution happens for the other disciplines set up the game. When teams operate with a great deal of accountability, members don’t veer off their core mandates of doing what seems important to them. Team accountability means making commitments by all to move towards achieving the objective and it’s done by constantly accounting, reviewing and planning the performances of teams against set imperatives to measure progress.
To that effect, an effective execution strategy must embody taken decisions to deal with the following as an organization:
This serves as a capstone and never the cornerstone, roles and responsibilities of teams must clearly be defined, who does what, accountable to whom, span of control would all ensure greater performances.
Once people had clear idea of what decisions they should and shouldn’t be making, they are held accountable. Again, decisions reached at whatever level and or forum shouldn’t be second guessed for this would amount to shirking responsibilities with its resultant effect of apathy. Decisions speak to delegation as well and as the organization grows bigger, its leaders must learn to delegate responsibilities or decisions. Inadvertent failure to delegate leads to decision paralyses and accountability crises.
Dissemination of Information-
The horizontal flow of information across all parts and units of the team, group, organization etc. is regarded very crucial for without that, its units and parts behave like silos culminating in forfeiting the transfer of best practices across.
Linking Reward to Performance-
Performance driven organizations with great reward schemes and incentives encourage and enhance creativity, innovation, excellence and focus by individuals and teams. This singular initiative cures the dysfunctional administrative behavior of micromanaging, second guessing and unaccountability within organizations.
In conclusion, be admonished that the strongest principle of growth lies in our choices. Stay connected as I introduce in my next series the topic, The Socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on Churches (subtitled: A necessary Evil pt1).
Discovery…thinking solutions, shaping visions!
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