MESSAGE FROM THE AUTHORS
month we asked Is
Your Organization Vital? Vitality is what makes a company
worth working for. And as a trusted leader, you know that
fostering a vital environment is a critical responsibility.
how can you foster vitality in your own organization, whether
it’s a large corporation, small firm, church, or even
a summer camp? Naturally, your enthusiasm has a lot to do
with it. But to help direct your enthusiasm, get familiar
with the building blocks for a vital organization.
this article we’ll discuss the first three of seven
building blocks for a vital organization.
are you doing August 2? You're invited to join Rob's Trusted
Advisor co-author Charlie Green for a webinar
on Trusted Advisor Relationships and Trust-based Selling.
The 1-hour talk will include material from Charlie's new book,
Trust-based Selling (coming this
December, from McGraw-Hill), as well as some key concepts
from The Trusted Advisor.
Sign up for the free webinar at: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=47857&cbClass=6800&signupkey=2659
It's at 12:00 noon EST, 9:00AM PST, August 2.
always, your feedback and comments on this newsletter are
welcome at email@example.com.
Building Blocks for a Vital Organization, Part I
We’ve identified seven building blocks of vitality –
and we’ve found that the more of them an organization
has, the more likely that workplace is to be teeming with
vigor. The first three are:
What Makes the Business Tick
essential that people throughout the organization clearly
understand the profit and margin formulae that make the business
other words, if you’re in the airline business, your
employees, one and all, should understand the calculations
of revenue and cost per available seat-mile. If you are in
the semiconductor business, everyone should understand the
critical importance of book-to-bill ratios.
“The more of these building blocks an organization
has, the more likely that workplace is likely to be teeming
One small way to do this? We’ve seen companies use excerpts
from industry reports – cut, pasted, and distributed
to each employee -- very effectively to that end. We’ve
also seen companies take out subscriptions to various industry
reports for key employees – making it clear that those
employees might be expected at some point to hold their own
in a conversation about the contents. One company we know
of has even used a regular five-question “quiz”
– emailed to everyone in the organization – to
boost understanding of what makes the business tick. A small
reward is offered to the first person to reply with the correct
answers. After the reward is won, the answers are sent in
a subsequent “send-all” email.
the Performance Indicators and Rewards
everyone in your organization clearly understand the key performance
indicators and rewards? This follows on the formulae described
above, but takes it one step further.
are the most important things to measure in your company and
your industry? Could everyone in the organization name those
things? Is there a link between those measurements and the
way rewards and bonuses are handled at your company? Does
everyone understand the link between the two?
marketing company we studied offers special rewards organization-wide
when certain performance goals are met. When the company signed
its 1200th client, for example, everyone in the organization
received 250 share options.
Roles and Responsibilities
should be a clear delineation of roles and responsibilities.
Does everyone understand who does what and why? Or do areas
exist where the boundaries are blurred?
know that in today’s world, it’s a given that
organization charts change rapidly. At the same time, though,
it’s important for employees to know where to turn when
they have a particular question, problem, or need. A client
of ours posted a list of the people in charge of various functions
on its intranet, but then failed to maintain it, to the point
that some people were still listed as vice president of this
or that for months after they had left the organization.
option? A “Go To” chart, updated and distributed
regularly, or posted on the intranet. Less complicated than
a map of who’s who in the organization, this chart simply
lists a variety of problems, concerns, or possible situations,
with the correct person to contact posted alongside. It can
be as simple as “If you have a problem about X, Go To
Leslie. If you have a question about Y, Go To Lynn.”
These charts are often created for the company as a whole;
they can be equally effective on a smaller scale, say, at
the departmental level.
tuned for our August issue, when we discuss building blocks
4 and 5, Understand How Business is Done and Prepare
If you have something to say about organizational vitality
let us know.
forward this newsletter to your colleagues and friends who
are interested in organizational and leadership issues. Your
feedback is always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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