Thursday, July 17, 2014

High Achievement Companies Focus on the Invisible - Part 2

Having worked with approximately 100 leadership teams over a 30 year period, one of the most significant items I have concluded is that high achievement leadership teams and cultures do not follow the tide or trends often spoken about, or that are present in the majority of companies.  While most companies focus on what can be seen physically, High Achievement Companies focus on building what can NOT be seen.  It sounds strange but the real power that drives high achievement is what is invisible but so clearly felt.  So what are these invisible factors that drive high achievement?  To date I have discerned five factors.  In last month’s version of “The Strategic Minute,” I shared with you that the Leadership Team was the first of the five invisible factors.  Today, I will share the second invisible factor of High Achievement Companies.

Invisible Factor Number 2:  High Achievement Companies have a strong company spirit that is clearly felt.  This spirit resonates throughout the organization with everyone reinforcing it.  On the occasion when this invisible code is violated, team members take it upon themselves to speak with their peers in a big brother like manner to guide and mentor their colleague.  This strong company spirit is grounded in the company’s Core Values and Trust.

Core Values are principles of conduct that are organization specific.  They set the bar for what is right in that particular organization and are the foundation for making the hard decisions.   High Achievement Companies consistently live to and apply Core Values to all decisions including who is hired, performance reviews, policies, compensation plans, etc.  By purposefully living Core Values, High Achievement Companies reduce and in some cases eliminate:

  •        Internal Company Conflict
  •        Inconsistency in Leadership
  •        Unclear or Inconsistent Company Reputation
  •        Second Guessing Decisions

Working hand in hand with Core Values is an underlying sense of Trust.  In High Achievement Companies, trust is evident and specifically lived in three ways:

1. Competence:  The team members of High Achievement Companies trust that their colleagues are competent to perform their duties.

2. Integrity:  The team members of High Achievement Companies trust that their colleagues will do what they say, including living to the Core Values. 

3. Fairness:  The team members of High Achievement Companies trust that their colleagues will balance their interest with the Company’s interest and/or the interests of follow colleagues, departments, customers, vendors, etc. 

What spirit is being projected by your company?   Do your team members know and live to a set of Core Values?  Is there a sense of trust among team members or do you experience infighting? The Good News is High Achievement Companies can be created.  


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