It’s interesting how people think about planning. For many people, it feels similar to a budgeting exercise. It feels like hard work to others. BUSINESS PLANNING. There are certainly components of it that fit that model. It’s important that we don’t lose sight of the impact that our focus as we do planning will have.
When you think about all of the things we now know as it pertains to new schools of thought, cognitive psychology, it’s pretty clear (for a number of reasons) that people move toward the things they think about. Good or bad. You get the corresponding results. We understand the importance of this from a personal perspective. For many, it’s at the state of being obvious. It’s hard to argue with the fact that your life wonâ€™t be any larger than you can dream it will be. Whatever you can fathom and see yourself succeeding in, you have the potential to do. Secondly, our momentary focus and inner dialogue impacts our expectations, which strongly drives out behaviors.
I would ask the question… “Why is it that we don’t associate this truth with organizational behavior?” After all, organizations are clusters of… yup, people. Have you painted a picture for your people that is compelling and exciting? It’s hard to align the behaviors of a group of people to a singular focus without that picture. Sure, it’s easier to chalk all this up to being just a bunch of “soft issues.” I’d challenge that as well by saying that the things we often don’t measure have a greater impact on your client experience than you could imagine. Client experience = brand.
If you can get your people thinking and talking about what they are moving toward, they will begin to create positive progression in the organization. Without that, you’ll have pockets of stagnancy where change is strongly resisted. The business impact is that it will be harder to effectively implement major strategies. People don’t support change until the dissatisfaction with how things currently are, the new desired future state and agreement on the first steps to get there outweigh the resistance.
Focus your meetings at all levels of the organization around how you’re progressing toward your desired state and your discussions will be far less tactical and more results oriented. Then, talk about the supporting activities. This small change will yield large returns at a practical level.