When you speak to many CEO and ask them what keeps them up at night, they will say execution. It is taking longer and more resources to get anything done. Never mind if they need to move quickly to respond to a market change.
The cause of this is organisations today are structured to find risks, not opportunities. A focus on risk looks at everything through the lens of “worst-case scenario”(WCS). Compliance sees the world through WCS. They drive organisations to live in a world of legal documentation, paperwork, approval systems. This paralyses the organisation. It stifles innovation and creativity and limits speed and execution.
For decision-makers, the WCS lens soon covers everything, stifling opportunity, hiding potential and sucking the power out of the organisation.
But how do you fix that?
Intention. The missing link in the WCS vs opportunity trade-off is intention. And intention begins with understanding why the business exists.
A lot of organisations will try to express their intention with a purpose statement on the wall. But are they living it? When you investigate the strategies and day to day running, there is usually no connection to the purpose.
The magic happens when you take the Purpose Statement from the wall and integrate it into the business every day. If everyone understands the intention, then all activities will move the organisation closer to achieving its purpose. The lens changes. When decisions are formulated and measured, they are looked at with the intention, not the WCS.
The results will fundamentally change how the business operates. The organisation’s strategies will transform, it will differentiate itself from the competitors, but most importantly, transform the teams and transform customer engagement.
It is extremely powerful when you have an organisation aligned and focused on achieving a single purpose. As the janitor responded to Kennedy when asked what he does at Nasa, “I’m helping put a man on the moon!”