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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Excellence Is An Enduring Pursuit - It Requires An Enduring Approach

Is excellence important to you? Do you want it to be?

Although leaders vary in their definitions of excellence, and how best to achieve it, most agree that excellence is a never-ending pursuit and that whatever their challenges and opportunities are today, they will be different tomorrow.

Leaders often face these ten challenges:

  1. Communication—people lack clarity and direction, limiting innovation
  2. Accountability—measurements of and responsibility for results are insufficient
  3. Engagement—people don’t seem to care as much or aren’t sure of their role
  4. Alignment—activities aren’t connected with mission and strategy
  5. Direction—disconnect between planning, strategy and execution
  6. Transition—a desire to “pass the torch” successfully
  7. Control—things “feel” out of synch
  8. Frustration—excessive friction in daily work
  9. Risk Management—profit variability versus growth rate
  10. Consistency - not sticking with an ongoing method, persistence

Your challenge at the moment is a symptom of a deeper need to systematically increase your capability to address future challenges.

Since excellence is an enduring pursuit, it requires an enduring approach. A business excellence program is an organized approach to grow a leader’s ability to deal with an ever-changing—and increasingly challenging—business environment. The program needs to grow with the business and enable leaders (and all employees) to align their plans and activities to support the strategies and achieve its goals. Over time, the practice of activity alignment becomes a habit, increasing your ability to continually learn and improve performance.

BOTTOMLINE: An enduring business excellence program has four components: 1) a repeatable methodology to drive leadership; 2) external coaching for accountability; 3) a system to align the activities of every team member every day; and 4) a community of like-minded people to accelerate learning. Only when these four synergistic elements come together can leaders expect to see enduring change in themselves and in their organizations.

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