How to win again
It’s simple, really.
At inVision, we believe that there are three main ingredients that hold the key to the success of any organization, regardless of size, industry, or location.
Ironically, there is a certain complexity in our simplified focus and each part requires a system to make it happen. Dr. W Edwards Deming boldly stated in his book The New Economics that 3% of all opportunity for improvement comes from the “shop floor” (or the office), while 97% of the opportunity comes from applying systems thinking to strategy, innovation, and how we work together.
How often do organizations make the mistake of focusing all of their energies on the 3% and miss the opportunity of the other 97%?
To help the organizations we work with, we have distilled this down to our NAVIGATE – INNOVATE – ACTIVATE approach:
- NAVIGATE a clear direction (a focus on strategy)
- INNOVATE meaningfully unique ways to increase speed to market
- ACTIVATE your organizations ability to win.
1. Navigate: To navigate its strategic course, all organizations need radical clarity of their “Why” (as Simon Sinek would say) – defined as a purpose, a reason to believe, and, in essence, why the organization exists. A solid and defined “why” aligns the organization to a common purpose.
Once the “why” has been established, the development and communication of goals, objectives, and actions follows. This trio supports the organization’s “why” and provides direction to employees on the steps they’ll need to take to help achieve the “why”.
With the strategic “game plan” in place, a conscious effort must be made throughout the organization to carve out the time needed to execute the plan. Leaders need to determine how often and how they will hold themselves accountable. We call this the “rhythm of accountability” and it is integral to the success of the plan.
2. Innovate: To grow a business, any business, there needs to be an ongoing focus on shipping new products or services that are “meaningfully unique”: Unique meaning different than what others are doing and meaningful meaning customer will pay more your products or services. We apply a systems view of innovation, infusing an organization’s culture and creating a never ending cycle of new products and/or services being brought to market. Taking a repeatable, systems approach to innovation takes innovation out the hands of a few and enables everyone in the organization to innovate and ensures a never-ending pipeline.
3. Activate: The leaders of the company need to learn how to win. Just like a head coach of a winning team, success starts and ends with leadership. The leader’s job is to set the direction (see “Navigate”, above). Of equal importance: the leadership needs to purposefully focus on creating a winning culture within their leaders. Define what it looks like to win, and ensure that the entire leadership team can trust each other and hold each other accountable. Actions speak louder than words: Leaders’ behaviors must be consistent with the culture and direction. If leaders aren’t on board, they need to leave.
It may seem simple, but it’s not easy. When a company focuses on these three areas, they win with measurable results, profitable growth, and an engaging culture — people, purpose, and profit aligned.