Step Back to Build Better Organizational Alignment
In working with an organization that’s coached 170,000+ leaders since 1960, it’s safe to say MAP knows the common struggles leaders face. One of the biggest: goal achievement. Numerous studies show that 80 percent of organizations fall short of their goals—why? For starters, they’re not aligned around vital goals, or those few yet major objectives that will drive the majority of success. At MAP, we know that misalignment is often a symptom of a leader who is not focused on creating a culture of accountability and may be prone to micromanagement of many activities tied to and supporting goal achievement. This is that CEO or executive director who, instead, would do better to coach and empower staff in authoring, contributing to and monitoring goals. Truth is, when CEOs learn to do this, everyone engages around this system and goal-alignment grows. With everyone aligned, that’s when action and results finally happen. Want results in your organization? Here’s how to activate alignment using the MAP Management System:
Coach your people to develop the goals. For every business to succeed, change must happen. The question is, what change will it be? Bring your people to the table to help determine what vital goals must be set, what strategies must be followed, and how execution will take place. As the leader, you must certainly hold true to your vision, but it’s not your job to come up with all the goals, strategies and answers around execution alone. Task others (e.g., leadership team, management team, key stakeholders, etc.) with the responsibility of co-authoring what’s needed. Not only will you get lots of ideas and solutions on the table but you’ll find a more energized, empowered team that’s focused on the results of their collaborative efforts.
Tap your talent to make goals happen. Once your staff has established what it wants to achieve, let them take the lead in figuring out how to do it. If you’ve hired the right people, they will have the talents, skills and knowledge to do this—or at least be resourceful in finding solutions if they do not. The key is to allow their consistent involvement and ownership of the goals. Your job is hold them accountable, measuring and checking in on qualitative and quantitative progress, determining what resources may be needed, and offering guidance and inspiration along the way. But avoid the temptation to meddle too much as this is one of the fastest ways to undermine an empowered team.
Let your team do the tracking. As the leader, you’re focused on your organization’s dashboard, watching numbers, reviewing data, noticing trends, spotting anomalies and forecasting change. But task your staff to track their own progress relative to their individual goals as well as team and organization goals. This is exactly what we do with our clients in Vital Factor Team Meetings. When you let your people monitor their progress, they’ll come to understand their relationship to the goals they helped develop and set, plus the impact their actions and attitudes have on achievement. Aligned and focused, these empowered employees can then continue on with their efforts or, if necessary, course-correct.
In what ways have you been successful at empowering your team to achieve goals?