Why your organization is struggling…

A number of years ago, I read “Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die” by Chip and Dan Heath. They wrote of a great example that they attributed to Stephen Covey from his book “The 8th Habit”; it describes the results of a poll of 23,000 employees drawn from a large sampling of companies and industries:

  • Only 37 percent say they have a clear understanding of what their organization is trying to achieve and why;
  • Only one in five was enthusiastic about their team’s and their organization’s goals;
  • Only one in five said they had a clear “line of sight” between their tasks and their team’s and organization’s goals;
  • Only 15 percent felt that their organization fully enables them to execute key goals;
  • Only 20 percent fully trusted the organization they worked for.

While sobering enough findings, imagine what this actually means in the day to day of business. Covey provides an illustrative human metaphor by saying:

“If, say, a soccer team had these same scores, only 4 of the 11 players on the field would know which goal is theirs. Only 2 of the 11 would care. Only 2 of the 11 would know what position they play and know exactly what they are supposed to do. And all but 2 players would, in some way, be competing against their own team members rather than the opponent.”

So if these survey results reflect anything like reality in your organization (and there is a strong likelihood that they do), is it any wonder your organization is struggling?


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