Saturday, January 3, 2009

Getting Focus

I start this year with a blog post by John Spence. He gave a great example of his leadership philosophy and business targets for 2009.

”I believe that two of the most important factors in running a successful company are:

robust communications and a sharp focus on the key organizational strategies.

Unfortunately, it is been my experience that most leaders do a relatively poor job of communicating what they want their people to focus on. Given the incredibly challenging economic times we are in, now more than ever it is critical to clearly communicate to all of your people what is expected of them and what they need to do to keep your company strong and successful. However, you don’t want to bog them down with long speeches or a 50 page strategic plan. The goal is to keep it as concise and focused as possible.

A few months ago I had the great pleasure of listening to one of the top leaders at Procter & Gamble talk about how he communicated to his team what was most important to him through a “one-page strategic plan” and a “one-page leadership philosophy.” This particular gentleman was often brought in as a change agent, a situation that can create great stress for the new teams he was going to lead, so he created these simple documents to allow him to clearly communicate what was on his mind, what he wanted people to focus on, and what they could expect from him as their new leader. What a wonderful way to help people stop worrying about what is in the leader’s head, and instead focus on the work at hand!

Because I think this is such a good idea, I’m even doing it with my team to get 2009 started off on the right foot. Below I have pasted in the actual documents I handed out to my team. Please give some thought to doing something similar in your organization. I’m confident it will be helpful and will set a great tone for getting everyone focused, energized and ready to get down to business.”

Please see John's blog for his great excemple of

One Page Leadership Philosophy
  • Core values
  • Major Areas of Focus
  • What I want from you
  • What I do not want
  • What you can expect from me

One Page Business Plan

  • Mission
  • Vision
  • Core Values
  • Major Strategic Objectives
  • Key Measure of Success

I was going to start my year in the office by defining some of these. Now I have a better framework to do so.

I wish you all a successful and focused year of 2009!