Building a Successful Organization

It’s fine and good to identify key characteristics of a best run organization, but what are some of the principles that get you there?  Here’s what I think:

  • Lead by Example: while strong leadership is essential, strong leadership is only attained through example, setting the bar and then exemplifying it.
  • Be a team: Trust each other, embrace positive conflict, force clarity and closure, force clarity and closure, and focus on collective outcomes.
  • Embody the values you desire: the only way to attract top talent or the talent you want is to embody the values for which you search; this is different than leading by example as example is a proactive whereas values should be innate
  • Know your people: the only way to build an effective organization is to know your people and while for larger organization this is a challenge, people managers must not only be vested in who their people are and making clear that their people matter via deliverables/impact and relevance
  • Growth: Not only does the bottom line have an impact, but growth throughout the organization is key to success and well-being.  A culture of continuous learning and growth should be encouraged and embodied at all levels to create a culture willing to be outside its comfort zone.
  • Competitive greatness: compete at your best when your best is required and recognize that in difficult times, in the most trying situations your best is needed more than any other time.  In fact, your best is needed every day in every aspect of your life.
  • Meet with purpose: have a clear definition for meetings (and types of) and assign roles in advance to enable the purpose of the meeting, from tactical to strategic to long-range planning.
  • Create a rallying cry: focus on near term goals that lead to long term success by creating a rallying cry for the entire organization to believe and live, pulling input from top to bottom and bottom to top.
  • Focus on the Customer and the rest will follow – always recognize that no matter where you are in an organization, you always have customers.  Listen to them.
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