Organizational Excellence

People and Process Improvement

Archive for December 2010

The Big Sleep…Vision or Delusion?

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What a holiday season. I kicked back to take a nap, to get primed for the feeding frenzy of bowl games that loomed ahead.

              I woke up, not to New Years Day 2011, but 2013!

I was pleasantly surprise when I went back to work a couple days later to find the vision we had kicked around had, somehow, become reality:


We are the preferred provider and our customers’ dream supplier because we are fully engaged, completely aligned, clearly connected, absolutely committed to flawless execution every day, top-to-bottom, door-to-door.

From what I’ve gathered in so far, this transformation has taken an amazing amount of effort from the entire team. Not only the things we do every day, but our behaviors and even our attitudes have undergone incredible changes. What enabled that vision to become reality?

We boosted our capacity; we’re at full staff, full speed;

Our goals and values have been operationally defined…the team is on the same page.  We all have clear expectations and accountabilities, both task and behavioral, and they have teeth;

We evolved from suboptimized to synergistic, when we all finally realized the truth: my goals are much smaller than our department’s goals, which are much smaller than our organization’s goals;

Our senior leaders are committed to modeling, mentoring, coaching, and they can honestly say to their teams “do as I do.” And their teams did!

We have a strong, cohesive leadership team all the way through the individual contributor level;

Realizing we could not achieve one without the other, we balanced our efforts between process and people improvement;

We have an aligned strategy, coordinated efforts and consistent messages in internal communications, orientation, and training and development;

We implemented a user-friendly, value-adding performance management process that ensured flawless execution of our business plan, and have total buy-in to leverage the process because it makes sense;

We have achieved consistent execution by minimizing method variation and achieving true flow;

We initiated a strategy-driven, two-way communication process to educate and inform associates top-to-bottom, giving them all the information they need, when they need it.

This is great to wake up to! We have a strategy that is effectively cascaded and flawlessly executed. All levels are aware of the plan and are involved in achieving the goals they are accountable for. Everyone can clearly identify how their work has a direct impact on achieving our goals and making progress toward our mission….

….we keep score real-time with highly visible metrics that people are interested in because they know they affect the numbers with their work, and they have input on how to improve the numbers….

….people feel like this is a great place to work and you can tell it. We offer our associates ample opportunities to learn and grow at a personal and professional level, and we have a comprehensive strategy for both internal and external communication that is effectively and consistently executed.

What an incredible environment…this is something we can be truly proud to be a part of!


Vision, or Delusion? If we’re going to get there by 2013 and continue on toward the 20 / 20 vision, we’d better get moving! Happy Holidays to you, and a fantastic New Year from here on out!  CA


Written by Craig

December 31, 2010 at 11:47 am