Imagine the disaster when every dog pulling the sled across the snow heads in a different direction. They go nowhere! Your organization goes nowhere too, if everyone isn’t focused on the same destination. How can you keep your team focused and pulling in the same direction?
- Start by articulating a clear vision of the organization five or more years into the future; meeting future needs of clients, delivering the right products, using the best skills and sharing rewards.
- Translate this vision into a series of connected long-term objectives that add up to the vision becoming a reality.
- Create one-year specific, measureable goals for each objective by asking, “What will have to happen by this time to lead us to this objective?”
- Find champions to lead the accomplishment of the goals. Focus each champion on the goal. Now, collectively the team is pulling in the same direction heading toward the vision.
The organization must support each champion in the development of a success plan outlining how their goal will be accomplished by:
- Describing a S.M.A.R.T.E.S.T. goal; specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound, expected results, synergistic and true to values.
- Identifying sequential milestones that define the trail to the goal.
- Determining who is responsible for meeting the milestones.
- Assembling, when appropriate, a team to work with the champion to help meet the milestone.
All champions and team players now have a focus for their efforts in line with the organization’s vision, enabling them to pull in the same direction toward that vision.
Assist them to meet the challenge of extending efforts toward these milestones in the face of day-to-day job pressures.
Ask each team member to break their assignments into a series of actions to be accomplished each week. Have each person schedule appointments with themselves setting aside enough time to accomplish those weekly actions. Insist they treat the appointment as if it is with a V.I.P. This means they shut off all communication devices and allow no interruptions while they work. Also, have the teams meet regularly to report on actions completed, results achieved, whether they are on track, and what is coming next.
Now everyone’s actions are focused on the vision from the perspective of their goals and plans. They are pulling in the same direction. Your organization is on its way to winning its version of theIditarod.