The Gallup organization has been measuring employee engagement worldwide for years, and the statistics are mind-boggling:
Why are people so often disengaged?
Simon Sinek: “Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief – WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care? All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year.”
Here’s the scoop:
- When team members don’t know their purpose – their “why” – they lose interest and engagement.
- When groups and departments have nothing other than some vague corporate vision/mission statement to define them, they will lack identity.
- When leaders don’t have a well-thought-out roadmap of clarity statements to guide culture and decisions, teams drift into a reactive mode of short-term tactical thinking.
It doesn’t have to stay this way.
When I consult with individuals and businesses about Clarity, often the focus is outward-facing: marketplace positioning, branding, selling/marketing/messaging. And if we’re going to promote our business, we have to be abundantly clear about our What, our Who, our Why, our How, and our Where.
But the same is true inside any organization.
Alignment, engagement, and effective performance are all rooted in having a clear identity, purpose, and mandate for action – expressed in specific, human-ready language that every team member can understand and embrace.
And by specific, human-ready language I do not mean, “we collaborate with numerous internal and external stakeholders to bring about measurable results that lead to desired outcomes.” That jargon, my friends, is rubbish. You may as well try to rally the troops around a flag that proclaims, “We Do Stuff!”
One of my most enjoyable consulting engagements was with a Commercial Learning and Development organization that needed to create and identity and culture, and went through the clarity process to identify key words and statements that then become the rallying cry of every current and new member of the team (the story is here if you wish to know how we did it).
What was true of this department is true of any team – its leader(s) need to get everyone on the same page by, first and foremost, creating that page. That page has the key words, statements, stories, and symbols that give the team and its individuals identity and purpose.
I spoke recently with another consultant who helps companies in a different industry get their strategy straight. And there was one company whose leaders and teams were not aligned around whether the company was “national” or not. Because they were not defining their “Where” the same way, they had widely different views on how to approach their market, and this confusion affected everything – strategy, account development, messaging, and sales.
Clarity is crucial for both internal and external alignment. Setting the compass with words that give specific direction is the way to create purpose and focus efforts productively. And that’s true for entire companies, divisions, groups, agencies, individuals – even project teams.
Choosing not to invest in Clarity is very costly. It’s a daily surrender to confusion, disengagement, and wasted effort. Customers engage me to help with this important work because, generally speaking, “you can’t read the label of the jar you’re in.” As an outside Clarity consultant, I have helped dozens of companies, teams, and individual define their identity and their “why,” and put it into clear words that create direction.
Contact me to set up a free 30-minute phone call to discuss how clarity can get your team on the same page. And find out more about how clarity can shape your entire business by ordering Clarity Wins!