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3 Keys to Growing a Sustainable Company

3 Keys to Growing a Sustainable Company

By Chris Maheu

11 years ago




The famous astronaut Neal Armstrong once said, “You only have two problems when going to the moon: first, how to get there; and second, how to get back.  The key is don’t leave until you have solved both.”

Like you, I found myself smiling at the simplicity of this statement.  Armstrong took one of the most complex missions of our time and brought it to simple terms via a clear message.  As I work with senior executives within organizations, I find that many tend to create complexity in a world when simplicity is needed.

Growing organizations need to be reminded of simplicity and need 3 actions to define their future to sustain a growing company: Clarity, Alignment, and a Plan.

Create Clarity

When defining Organizational Clarity, Patrick Lencioni states that a company needs to answer 6 simple questions:

    1. Why do we exist? (Core Purpose)
    2. How do we behave? (Development of the Social Contract)
    3. What do we do? (Commitment to the Purpose)
    4. How will we succeed? (Strategy and Accountability)
    5. What is most important, right now? (Thematic goal and Tactical Plan)
    6. Who must do what? (Responsibility and Accountability)

Lencioni goes on further to say, “More than getting the right answer, it’s often more important to simply have an answer—one that is directionally correct and around which all team members can commit.”

Build Alignment

At the Flippen Group, we often work with individuals in aligning their behaviors with their stated goals.  We introduce the concept of Organizational Alignment where a person’s individual goals become aligned and true to the organization’s goals or better stated, to link individual performance metrics to strategic goals.  When the alignment increases, the right behaviors and core values are practiced and the culture grows.

Create a Plan

Strategic intentions will only be aligned with operations if a plan is developed and followed.  We are not talking about a plan measured by pages and weight (we often see 6-inch binders called Strategic Plans collecting dust on shelves!).  We are talking about a simplified map of activity that encourages appropriate behaviors to exceed established metrics.  The plan should have an imbedded level of accountability that is widely known and recognized throughout the organization.

I’m reminded of the quote from Leonardo da Vinci that, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication!”

Chris Maheu

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