In 1995 I had the opportunity to work with Stanford business guru, Jerry Porras, coauthor with Jim Collins of Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies If you haven't read this book or Collins' sequel, Good to Great, I highly recommend doing so. These guys know how to cut through the fog and ask the few simple but profound questions every organization needs to ask:
These questions motivate major strategy decisions such as deciding to launch a product line or pursue a merger. They also guide everyday decisions such as what kinds of people to hire. They are great questions for start-up organizations and even better ones for organizations that have become stale or victims of their own success.
From a communications perspective, these are also the perfect questions from which to articulate your organizational identity or what I call "Authentic Branding." When your organization is clear about articulating its core assumptions, every employee is likely to be"on message." Marketing and public relations themes become obvious. Too often, branding reflects only the imagination of designers and wordsmiths. Branding should reflect your organization's soul!
Unfortunately, the universe of people who are both good strategic thinkers and skilled facilitators is smaller than one might hope. How can you recognize a good facilitator?
Most of the intractable problems faced by teams and organizations come down to human factors-- people in the wrong roles, dysfunctional team dynamics, poor communiciation habits. These problems can build to the level of gridlock, with expensive and morale-deadening consequences. Change management practices can unlock the hidden power in your organization or team, and make the work experience more satisfying for everyone. Make a quick assessment of your own work experience:
If your answers to these questions aren't satisfying, we can help.