It is 2011 and most organizations are feeling intense pressure to cut budgets, maintain programming, keep morale up, and improve results. Across the board from government agencies to non-profits and from educators to business communities, stress is high and hope is low.
It is clear that doing the same things, the same ways, expecting different results is more than crazy. And just as clear that doing something different is risky and will challenge comfort zones.
As I am typing this I am thinking of organizations and communities that continually repeat historical cycles of ineffectiveness & dysfunction. Below are 3 common causes:
- No clear and motivating vision uniting everyone in a common purpose. The lack of a unifying vision frequently allows & even encourages individuals, and departments to think more about their own needs than the mission and success of the organization as a whole.
- A lack of communication. Even after spending millions of dollars to create new programs many organizations fail to connect-the-dots communicate what they are doing and why they are doing it both internally and externally. That failure limits the potential success of the program, and wastes both time and resources.
- A mix of ego and historical complacency. Inability or unwillingness to confront often results in the construction of internal barriers that prevent titled leaders from listening and responding to employees or from communicating & problem solving with peers. Those barriers silence truth about opportunities in the organization & limit the ability to overcome challenges and grow. Many times missed opportunities include reducing risk, increasing efficiency or maximizing results without added expense.
The great news is that there are organizations that have created unprecedented results by:
- Intentionally tearing down silos throughout their entire organization.
- Engaging everyone at every level in a shared vision.
- Strategically empowering EVERYONE in the organization to make suggestions and take ownership in that vision.
I have watched them benefit by:
- Intentionally setting aside egos.
- Letting to of historical turf-wars for the good of the organization and the customer.
And I have watched in joy-filled AWE…
- As the vision begin to grow and gain momentum.
- As the resulting enthusiasm became almost virally contagious.
- And as teamwork and results were elevated to unprecedented levels.
Now imagine that kind of positive “virus” infecting and connecting organizations across your community…
- Imagine knocking down walls that are limiting your success.
- Imagine accessing more funding because of strong partnerships.
- Imagine having more knowledge and support for your programs because of relationships.
- Imagine increasing education, quality of life, economic development & workforce development in your community.
Put the pieces together and be a part of something bigger than you, bigger than your silo, bigger than your organization.
None of us can accomplish alone,
What is possible when we are working TOGETHER!