A sustainable organization is a healthy organization. A healthy organization is in alignment. Organizations that are in alignment are sustainable, innovative, customer responsive, and proactive. How healthy is your organization? Are your employees working in their own individual silos or is everyone in sync with the goals of the organization?
Organizations working in silos are often faced with many challenges. And these silos often cause a rippling effect throughout the entire organization. That rippling effect has a negative impact on the entire business including loyal customer base and business results. Ask if these elements of your business are in alignment.
Strategy – What’s your game plan for the next 18-24 months? How has your organization defined success: where do you want to go, what do you want to accomplish, and how are you going to make that happen? How will you measure it? A key to accomplishing your strategy is that each individual in the organization needs to know what the strategy is, what plans are in place to make it happen, and what his/her responsibility is in bringing that strategy to fruition.
Structure – Are all departments or business units in the organization working together to achieve strategy goals. Does your structure support your strategy? How do you know?
Process - Whether you are a service or product based organization, process is a critical element to an organization’s success. Organizations need to do the right things (efficient) for the right reasons (effective) based on current conditions and current customer needs. Process improvement is critical to sustainability because bad processes will kill good people. People come to work to do a good job; however, bad processes often prevent them from doing so. Is your organization doing the right things for the right reasons?
Rewards and Recognition Systems - Do they reward the right actions and behavior? For example, if you want teamwork your rewards should not be heavily weighted to individual performance.
People - Employees’ attitudes directly influence the way a customer is treated and how the organization is perceived. Employees present the face of the organization to the customer; therefore, it is critical to understand, measure, and manage their commitment to results and their level of loyalty to the organization. Do you measure employee engagement? Research has shown organizations that have applied the concept of employee involvement and individual worth have gained a position of growth and profitability and have engaged employees.
Business Results - This should be a metric that reflects the future strength of the organization. Examples of these indicators could be increased market share, volume of sales from products/services, customer loyalty index, employee satisfaction index, etc.
Leadership is the key that holds this entire model together. Leadership designs the future, creates innovation, and creates sustainability. Leadership’s role is to determine what the right things to do are. Management’s role is to do the right things now.
What is your game plan? Do your people have the attitudes, skills, and knowledge necessary to implement the strategy?