Volume XXI, Number 31 (Issue 1035) July 31, 2023
On a Scale of One to Ten
I get it. Strategic planning, though regarded by most leaders as important, is seldom considered to be a top priority, let alone having the potential to be transformative. Never mind the adage “those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” So, let’s be generous and give it an eight in terms of its importance on a scale of one to ten. After all, with so many other initiatives commanding leadership’s attention, it cannot hurt to put that time and resource draining process off until… I had considered making this a multiple choice, but you can fill in the blank for yourself.
Developing one’s people is also deemed to be one of the important aspects of organizational success. The question at hand, however, is do you see it as a top priority? Demographic trends might suggest so. Employee turnover, attitudes, and declining satisfaction scores might suggest so. An increase in customer complaints and deterioration in customer renewals might suggest so. A lack of innovative ideas emanating from all levels of the organization might suggest so. Suboptimal performance, especially that which is attributed to a lack of productivity might suggest so. Lack of management depth and bench strength might suggest so. Of course, those arguments are merely part of a salesman’s classic counter to a “no” or “not now” response when it comes to investing in one’s people. Or are they?
According to the late Peter Drucker, there are seven factors that require sustained focus if an organization is to be successful in the long haul. Those seven are:
1. Customer Satisfaction
4. Management Development
5. Employee Attitudes
6. Public Responsibility
7. Futurity of the Organization
Few, if any of these, require explanation. If any is needed, it might be for the last item, “Futurity of the Organization.” So let me unpack that just a little. When Drucker spoke of futurity, he had at least two things in mind. One, a clear, compelling vision for the future. Two, continuity of leadership (succession planning). So here is the question: of the seven, what one element do they hold in common?
If your answer is anything other than “people,” you may want to consider the question a second time. That is because people, their engagement, dedication, innovative thinking, knowledge, wisdom, connections to clientele, business partners, and each other are essential ingredients in the not-so-secret sauce that drives success. Thus, any organization and leader that is putting off investing in their people, their growth and development, is playing with fire. Furthermore, if you are not acknowledging their role and value, if you are not giving them the tools and placing them in positions to utilize their strengths, then you are missing so much of their potential. Consequently, you, your team, and your organization will fall short of achieving its potential too.
So, on a scale of one to ten, how important are your people? Before you answer, consider two more points.
1. Those assets go home at the end of the day.
2. They have options.
Soli Deo Gloria
“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35
J. Keith Hughey
Web site: www.jkeithhughey.com
Transforming Potential into Unmatched Performance
Copyright 2023 by J. Keith Hughey. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for reproduction and redistribution of this essay as provided under the copyright laws of the United States of America. The entire early library of Monday Morning Musings issues may be found at www.jkeithhughey.com. Your comments are welcome and encouraged.