Do you often discredit your personal ambitions for organization’s growth as an executive? Suppressing your individual goals might not be a healthy choice for organizational success.
Most of us scramble to get the next big promotion, fat paycheque and a far-reaching project. Personal goals are innate to humankind. They give us a sense of direction and focus in life. To consider them antagonistic to organizational goals would be irrational neglect of human tendencies that form a major element of workplace.
Businesses that do not recognize its importance risk high employee turnover, low morale and underperformance across the board, testified in part by a recent McKinsey survey.
For organizations, it means goal-setting for each employee that is in perfect harmony with their personal growth – fostering their learning and development, leveraging their skills to the hilt – and consequently, enhancing productivity and competitiveness of the organization in the market.
It is, however, a utopian perspective. According to a recent Pew Research, a majority (59.5%) of employees don’t know or understand the mission, vision or values of their organizations.
Double whammy for the business strategists, consultants and executives is it falls on them to rise up to the challenge. Being the professionals entrusted with arranging conditions for organization’s success – they have to align not only employees’ but their goals with company’s success. What does it mean for an individual business strategist? How do you embed your organization vision and mission among the top priorities in yours and employees’ day to-do list? A few pieces of advice from industry experts might just help you get there.
Do you take responsibility for not only the tasks performed by you individually but the larger goals your work is supposed to achieve in company’s growth?
It is about taking ownership of your work. Developing ownership or CEO’s mindset is the most coveted management philosophy in frontline business operations today, and also a matter of significant contention. It involves fostering entrepreneurial thinking among employees, which has become the foremost priorities in thought leading organizations. Popularized by the rapid adoption of Google’s OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) in organizational goal setting. Interestingly, the OKR components don’t hold any value unless there is a tangible number achieved to it:
For example: My Objectives for the next quarter will be measured by the 10% increase in ‘customer conversions’ that I bring to the organization.
OKRs have proven themselves to be the most efficient strategy to align personal and organizational goals.
While a lot is available on the importance of aligning personal values with organizational goals, what’s missing is a set of universal guidelines that aspiring business consultants and strategists can follow to get a strong foothold in the corporate world, right at the beginning of their careers – a key area of focus for The Strategy Institute. These principles use time-tested, world-class business framework models, to present an easy guide for business strategists and consulting aspirants prepare for a prosperous career.
Define personal goals – Firstly, know your endgame. Tell yourself what all do you want to achieve and become before you retire. As a strategist, if you wish to lead a company, merely saying “I want to become a CEO” is not enough. Chart out the plans and contingencies in play and work through them in harmony with your organizational goals. An indicative example: achieve certain sales threshold in your allocated area to become the Regional Sales Manager in 3 years. Next, a Sales VP for a global company in the next 7 years. Move forward to become a Market Evangelist of a global scale for 5 years. After that, finally taking up the CMO position – exactly 15 years from today. Calculate the value you will have to add to in yourself (in terms of the skillsets and network expansion), and to the enterprises you join throughout this time period. Take feedback and suggestions from your mentors and friends. Tweak when necessary.
Set short- medium- and long-term goals to achieve the deadline – Industry research shows three goals play a pertinent role in career dynamics of a professional. These include devising ultra-short (immediate 6 months), medium to short (3 years), and medium to long term (5 years) goals. As a business strategist, if you are able to translate these goals in line with your department and organization objectives, you will set the stage for an overall structural shift of productivity and transformation within your enterprise.
Add on practical Departmental Proof of Performance to showcase your achievements – Set outcomes, metrics and tangible data points that you must achieve from your workplace activities to exhibit your productivity for your goals. This will go a long way in ensuring that you and your team fulfill management vision, mission statement and values. It will also significantly enhance the overall organizational culture by instilling a sense of achievement, discipline, bonding, and engagement.
Upgrade learning and skills within predetermined timelines – In the digital world we live in, this component is easy to come. Keep the pulse of latest industry happenings. Don’t be left behind. Ensure not only yours learning and development, but of all teams and departments, to enable every single employee get up to speed with organizational directives and vision. You can devise your own short online videos with C-Suite appearances. The results of such synchronized, ‘coming together’ strategy will talk for themselves.
According to Forrester, 70% of efforts oriented toward aligning personal and business goals don’t attract a complete management buy-in because they’re often not aligned to immediate challenges facing the business or simply don’t provide quick returns. The solution? Choose your battles wisely. Just because you think you have a great idea, don’t turn it into a vanity project. Remember, your role as a business strategist is to get the leadership believe in your vision, a two-way street, considering it is also your job to believe in theirs.
The secret to being a successful business strategist in today’s world boils down to the essential trifecta of disruptive thinking, creative ideation of business goals and a clear communication with the senior leadership. Internal memos of organizational directives are a thing of the past.
Strategic solutioning is what will keep organizations afloat in a rapidly disruptive era. Get on board with the world’s most prestigious business strategy certifications for aspiring professionals looking to get hired beyond the ordinary sales and intern roles. Get certified, stay ahead!
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