Effective leaders create systems that make it easier to achieve results. When was the last time you did a “systems check”?
As leaders we tend to settle into acceptable patterns, especially around areas of the business that seem fine. We often step back and allow systems to just do their thing, even when they’re not perfectly aligned to our mission and goals.
Think about this in terms of your own team — do your systems support your mission? Have you engaged the patience and due diligence to understand how your systems align or misalign to your strategies, your WIGs, and your client needs? How about your employees’ needs? Consider the following systems-alignment questions:
- Are the right people with the right skills doing the right work?
- Are the right roles and responsibilities in place for people to work well together?
- Are people recognized and rewarded in the right way?
- Are the right resources available to succeed?
- Are the right decisions being made by the people closest to the work?
- Do we have the right processes in place to get the most important work done?
While you likely don’t have direct control over all the systems and processes you’re working with, mindlessly accepting them as the status quo won’t do. Your job is to understand the rationale for and nuances of any system that feels misaligned to your mission and goals, and influence (or, if you have the authority, make) improvements.
FROM MESS TO SUCCESS: ENSURE YOUR SYSTEMS SUPPORT YOUR MISSION
- Consider how existing systems support your company’s mission, customers, sales force, brand, reputation, product development, and other vital functions.
- Identify one system that, if improved or streamlined, could have a disproportionately positive impact on multiple stakeholders.
- Take a deeper look at the aspects of that particular system that feel misaligned or overly burdensome. Perform your own due diligence to understand the nuances beneath the surface.
For more on this clip, watch this short video from Scott Miller, author of Management Mess to Leadership Success.
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