Achieving organizational speed to clarity

Feb 9, 2011

This week we’ve been looking at the importance of speed to clarity in achieving your organizational growth goals. Yesterday we explored the three factors in maximizing your personal speed to clarity, and today I’d like to similarly identify the three factors in attaining organizational speed to clarity.

These three are straight out of the Predictable Success playbook, and here they are:


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1. Alignment

Without a strong alignment around a shared vision (or mission, whatever works for you) organizational clarity is exceptionally hard to achieve. If senior leadership doesn’t know – and agree – precisely what the organization’s overall goals are, it’s very hard for them to collectively think issues through clearly and succinctly.

2. Lateral Management

Senior execs who are strong vertical managers (i.e. manage their own functional area well) but weak on lateral management (i.e. don’t play nicely with their peers) routinely sandbag information and insights in silos, thus preventing the senior leadership team from seeing issues clearly at the organizational level.

3. Cross-functionality

Not all the data needed for clarity rests within the C-suite – far from it. In fact, almost all the needed data is out in the trenches. To add another layer of complexity, not all the information needed is sitting neatly in one department – it’s dotted around the organization, like a computer hard drive that is highly fragmented. Working cross-functionally (initially artificially by using cross-functional teams, then as a natural way to make decisions) is the equivalent of an organizational ‘defrag’.

How’s your organizational speed to clarity? If it isn’t fast enough, which of these three do you need to work on: alignment, lateral management or cross-functionality?