Avoiding Corporate Death: Part IV
September 06, 2012
Great companies do certain fundamentals well – all of the time. Most companies have several areas of underlying health concerns – often unidentified (and untreated). History has shown that ignoring one or more of the following principles can contribute to the ultimate demise of an organization.
“Beat the Odds” Principles that Affect Corporate Health:
1. Establish a Corporate Purpose: Purpose is the organization’s “north star” – a perennial, perpetual guiding light. Properly thought-out, it is often expressed in terms of what the organization contributes to society.
2. Live and Defend Your Core Values: Long-lasting organizations not only declare their core values—they live them.
3. Create the Future: Successful companies look around and look far over the horizon to imagine a future for their organizations – and then to help create it.
4. Articulate an Inspiring Vision — and Lead! An inspiring vision makes people want to sign up to be part of the effort.
5. Develop the Right Strategy, Business Models, and Competencies: Great leaders approach strategy, business models, and competencies as a whole system. Strategy on its own is little more than hypothesis; the business model and the competencies are the capabilities needed to deliver on the strategy.
6. Align and Energize the Organization: If employees are to align with the company’s objectives, they must buy in to them. They can’t do that properly if they don’t hear regularly about progress against the fundamentals. It’s crucial to constantly communicate the results of Principles 1 – 5 to the entire organization.
7. Measure Only What You Want to Achieve: Many performance metrics fall short because they don’t focus on the right things.
8. Decide! Act! Get on with It! The U.S. Marine Corps rule is: “If you have 70 percent of the information, have done 70 percent of the analysis, and feel 70 percent confident, then move.” No action means no chance of success. There’s no substitute for crisp, disciplined decision-making followed by well-paced action.
9. When in Doubt, Apply Common Sense: Common sense is key when doubts remain about issues or activities. Before making a decision or setting a new strategy, A.G. Lafley, Procter &Gamble’s CEO, always asks managers to give him two different approaches and present the pros and cons of each. Common sense? Absolutely. Practiced consistently by managers? Unfortunately, no.
Don’t guess where your organization stands on these fundamentals – use a diagnostic process to ASSESS and find out.
Note: the above is excerpted from the book: Beat the Odds: Avoid Corporate Death & Build a Resilient Enterprise.
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