Sadly many leaders – living with the P&L, the board or the boss breathing down their neck on margins, CAGR, COGS or whatever measure their business lives and dies by – forget that the other 99.99% don’t understand where the business is today. And if you don’t understand where your business is starting from.. how on earth can you comprehend how changes will impact your business, your team or your job?
The building blocks of any company – its strategy, its operating model, its structure and how it makes money – need to be fundamentally understood by every ‘change agent’ in the company. Ideally every employee, but hey, let’s think critical path for a moment. Anyone who leads a team, a function or an organizational unit needs to understand how the business operates today. How it’s doing – financially, operationally, organizationally and most importantly of all, competitively. By establishing a starting place, you help employees understand a need for change, a context for change, and as change starts to occur, a framework for why certain levers are being pulled (whether that s a RIF, an acquisition, an organizational change or even a new piece of technology), and what goals are being impacted. If you understand where you are, and where you’re trying to get to.. the journey gets a lot clearer for everyone in the car. Without that understanding, it’s all just road, trees and ‘are we there yet?’
Without an understanding of the car you’re trying to drive, what it is, where its going, how it’s doing and how it works (why you need accelerate up the mountain pass), you might as well be pushing spaghetti up a hill. Without this, how much spaghetti gets left on the road, and who sorts it out when you get there….well that’s a whole other project.