24 July 2015

Unclear strategies or mindless idiots?

We’ve lost count of the number of business leaders who have told us how their strategy isn’t working because it’s not being implemented properly.

They describe how hard it’s become to win in the “current climate” and how they can’t get the staff to buy-in to their vision. The explanation is a lack of aligned effort, dubious talent and weak energy levels for the task in hand – mindless idiots everywhere. Oh and “there’s no blame culture in my company”.

Excuses or lack of understanding of the real issues?

In the excuses column there are under-performing people, weak managers and horses led to the waters-edge who just won’t drink. There’s also little faith in their advisors and so where can they turn? To consultants with template approaches for saving the known universe? Not likely - better they keep their own counsel.

The truth is this: when a team isn’t winning, the place to look first is the leadership and how they manage their business.

So lets’ move to the second column: the real issues.

Having experience of many business acceleration projects over 45 man years we know that there are three things to test:

  1. How focused the business is on a single clear vision.
  2. How aligned the people are to achieving it and the planned goals.
  3. How agile the organisation is in an ever-changing business context.

Leaders of under-performing businesses are usually describing symptoms related to one of these three statements. What is really being described is a lack of clarity around how to take their business forward against an uncertain motivational outlook of the people tasked with delivering.

All businesses need to perform at the highest possible level. Commonly this is described in terms of owning and leading a chosen market space, the need to be inspiring places to work and to be resilient in the face of constant pressure. All well and good but we don’t see anywhere enough effort going into what that actually means inside the hearts and minds of the people who are expected to deliver it.

This is why we believe every organisation needs to go beyond mere achievement and obtain something much more rewarding, sustaining and resilient. The subject matter is the human beings in an organization, their motivations, fears, hopes and aspirations. We call this the psychology of accomplishment and tapping into it will make a material long term difference to the way a business performs. Understand your people and you’ll discover how to get the best out of them.

Accessing the psychology of accomplishment needs to start with those at the top and their leadership teams.

And here’s the trick – to know others, you first need to know yourself.

About Thomas Green

Thomas Green was founded on a simple idea developed over many man years during our business leadership and senior management careers and validated over the last 18 months.

Our vision and mission is to fully exploit the human ability in ourselves, those around us and our clients in order to make the most of our personal, social and working lives. We have come to understand that psychologically, we are all pre-disposed to bettering ourselves and therefore we can unlock this natural desire for achievement and embed it into business life.

We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to increase the number of occasions they feel good about themselves because of the meaningful goals they’ve accomplished in their working lives. This will allow people to thrive in the (work, social) world around them by understanding their true values and aligning them to their day-to-day actions and behaviours.

The Thomas Green Team

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