By Biagio “Bill” Sciacca
I hope that you find the title of this article to be an interesting question; perhaps, this is a question that you never thought of asking.
Most companies have a mission statement. I wonder how many executives know what the mission of their company is? (I quite often, in my leadership seminars, suggest that participants copy their company’s mission statement, pass it out at their next staff meeting and ask their employees how their daily activities map with that mission? I ask the executives to take the mission statements to Human Resources and ask them how the job descriptions they create fit into the mission of the company. I will say this, the few people who actually did what I suggested and then circled around to let me know the results, said that the results were stunning and the discussion was brisk — long after the first blush with this concept!)
Back to strategy. Who would ever create a strategic plan without a copy of their mission close at hand? The fact is, if your strategy is your yin, then your mission is your yang. But, if in fact, the strategy is the actionable execution of the company’s mission then the question highlighted in the title should be answered.
As a leader in your organization, after the development of the mission, your job becomes decomposing that mission into definable actions that will move your company toward the mission. That movement toward the mission (definable actions) revolve around your strategy.
Should we not look at the skills of our managers and, even though we can’t do this, monetize them as if we were going to book them on our balance sheet as an asset?
Here’s an example: Let’s assume that we want, over the next few years to have our workforce reduced, through attrition, by 5 percent. (That’s the strategy.) That means that as individuals resign, their specific tasks need to be transferred to someone else. And, that transfer may occur after the current doer of the job has retired. That means that the manger No.1 needs to assume the responsibility to learn that job properly and No. 2 then delegates that job to another person.
So, based upon that strategy of 5 percent reduction through attrition, these questions can be answered to see if your managers are effective:
• Are my managers skilled at learning new jobs?
• Do they have enough time to absorb the new job so that they may at some point transfer it?
• Are they capable of identifying the correct person to delegate that job to?
• Are your managers skilled in delegation?
As you can see, one strategy can have rippling effects and if we plan on executing that strategy (presumably to lower long run payroll costs, thus increase profits). If the above questions are not answered with any level of precision the managerial inefficiencies that arise could actually cause costs to increase.
Here are a few things to consider:
• Have an outside person look at your mission statement; the values derived from the mission; and the objectives, goals and key performance indicators of each functional area. The goal of this engagement should be “alignment”.
• Have a corporate cultural analysis compiled. They are not as expensive as what you might think and the information you get from them are excellent, if not startling.
• Continuously invest in your manager’s development. But make sure you are investing in strategy to skills congruency. Accountability Questions
• Are you willing to take your mission statement into your next meeting and ask the questions stated above?
• Will you document the results and develop an action plan to minimize the potential dysfunctionality?
• Are you willing to make ongoing investments in your management team’s development?
Feel free to email me your answers; I’d love to hear from you.
Something to think about:
CFO: What if we train our managers and they leave?
CEO: What if we don’t train them, and they stay?
Biagio “Bill” Sciacca, Ph.D., has been a university professional for more than three and a half decades. He is the author of “Goals Book: Embracing Personal Responsibility In An Age of Entitlement,” and “Goals Book 2 The Fieldbook: Putting Goal Setting To Work.” Sciacca is also CEO of Intelligent Motivation Inc. and is widely known as a speaker and trainer in leadership, strategic planning and executive education, goal setting, management and communications. Contact him at bill@intelligent motivationinc.com or 570-430-9303.