Managing by Objective

“It is direction that determines destination, not intention”

[Andy Andrews]

Since we are at the beginning of the calendar year, and for many organizations, the beginning of their fiscal year, I thought I would focus on the importance of organizational vision, alignment and a plan to win as this posting’s leadership message.

One of the cultural leadership traits I have always tried to develop in organizations I manage is the concept of “Manage By Objective.”  This cultural principle essentially highlights the importance of knowing your destination, developing a plan to get there, and creating the focus that ensures you reach those objectives.

But as this week’s leadership quote notes, “it is direction that determines the destination, not intention.”  In order to achieve that destination, you must ensure the proper direction and have the right focus to ensure continued to progress toward that destination.

Most organizations have not figured this out.  Surprisingly, many slumber along thinking that the same old approach will work year in and year out.  They think to themselves, “as long as we keep doing what we do the future will happen as it should”.  They don’t have a plan.  And when they do, its ill-conceived and much more aspirational than practical.

For an organization to succeed, it must build a culture of direction.  It must be aligned.  It must know where it is going, and it must have a plan to get there.  And I’m not talking about a financial plan, I’m talking about a plan that lays out very specifically what the key objectives and priorities are, and what will constitute success.

How do you lead your organization?  Have you created a vision, a strategy, and a plan of how to get there?  Or do you simply hope that through motivation and encouragement the organization will somehow find its way?

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