No organization can achieve the next level of business growth and development without clarity and coherence. While they seem to be simple concepts, underestimating the innate power of clarity and coherence is a critical mistake many leaders make.
The innumerable business variables, competing agendas, and differing expectations among executives and employees about what is important in the business create the bedrock for suboptimal performance. Not sure if your company has room for improvement? Answer these questions and judge for yourself:
- Do the executives and employees of your company truly understand the passion and purpose behind the company?
- Do your company’s business model, core management philosophies and strategies leave room for ambiguity or are they crystal-clear?
- Do the teams clearly define the work processes to ensure flawless coordination and update them regularly to reflect the ever-changing strategies?
- Are internal politics and egos undermining success? Has the company proactively cultivated the desired culture?
- Is execution in sync with the strategy? Is the company using internally or externally focused performance metrics?
- Is the company continuously transforming its strategy, capabilities and execution while staying true to its DNA?
To be an effective leader, you must connect coherently all the strategic aspects of your business so the other executives and employees can follow and contribute to the thought process and reliably execute the strategy. You can become a coherent company by following the Cohegic Method, which has five essential facets: Spirit, which is static and at the center; direction, engine and execution, which are dynamic and constantly changing; and the fifth facet, cohesion, keeping all the facets aligned.
Spirit articulates why the organization exists and details its business model. Many companies fail to crystallize their spirit, which leads to a corporate identity crisis. Spirit is the foundation, the DNA of the organization. It is the unchangeable, nonnegotiable aspect of your company.
Direction specifies where your organization is heading, why and with what speed. Many organizations don’t link their strategies with goals and visions. As a result, various teams head in different directions.
Engine is the infrastructure needed to execute the strategy. Without clearly defined work processes, achieving high efficiency and quality will remain a pipe dream. When companies design roles and responsibilities based on internal political considerations and not strategic imperatives, they undermine their ability to perform and poison the organizational culture.
Execution is about discipline and a sense of urgency. Managers at all levels in your company must follow-through by inspecting and monitoring key activities and indicators to drive the right performance. Execution is about delivering the right results.
Cohesion is the most overlooked facet in companies. You must ensure the spirit, direction, engine, and execution stay in-sync, and the stakeholders (investors, board, customers, management, employees, suppliers, community) remain on the same page as your company transforms continuously. Your company can never stand still.
Every issue you face, and every decision you make falls within one of these five facets. As a leader, you must understand them, understand how they work as a system, and help your organization answer the difficult questions associated with each facet. Answering them will be an eye-opening experience and the new appreciation will form the springboard to go to the next level by becoming a coherent company.
Ravi Kathuria is the author of the highly acclaimed book, “The Coherent Company: The Struggle for the Next Level — A Business Parable,” and founder and president of Cohegic Corp., a management consulting, executive and sales coaching firm.