This is the time of year when many organizations begin to reflect on the past year and make plans to improve in the next year. That Strategic Planning process takes many shapes depending on the organization. For many it means weeks of preparing, sometimes months, while for some it means a few hours to tweak what works and keep going. The right process isn’t in the planning process but in execution of it. A weak plan executed well is still better than a great plan not executed well.
2015 has been a year of discovery for me in helping a successful company, Iconica, find the ingredients to being wildly successful. Iconica is a group of Architects, Engineers, and Construction professionals who have a clear vision of their value proposition, and who are there because of their passion for it. There is still much more opportunity to be discovered by tapping into that passion.
Many of you may have heard of Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why. It’s a good reminder for helping your organization to dig deeper to the purpose, to find out exactly why you do what you do— the root and purpose for your existence. Matter of fact, if you are a client or prospect of Iconica you may hear us ask you about your “why.” We feel that knowing your “why” is critical in helping us align our services and our team to ensure the success of our projects. You can see Sinek’s compelling explanation here.
Another excellent resource I discovered this year is a local Madison, WI author – Paul Herr’s book Primal Management. http://www.primalmanagement.com/. Paul tosses out much of the research from the last 40 years of Employee Engagement, and explains that it is emotional drivers that really influence why employees are engaged or not engaged with your organization. I believe that not only is Paul onto something— that he cracked the code— but that emotion drives your clients decisions to buy from you. Emotions can be a catalyst to working with your entire community: business partners, vendors, contractors, other organizations, and people in the communities where you live and work.
Emotions? That’s a hard thing for many organizations and their leaders to get their heads around. They struggle with how to make it actionable, and how to give their teams a clear vision of how emotion can impact their organizations in a positive way— or better yet, in a potentially transformative way.
To help with that, Primal Management identifies 5 Social Appetites.
1. Cooperation – that warm family feeling
2. Competency – feeling of self-esteem
3. Skill Deployment – elevation experienced by a win
4. Innovation – curiosity and the feeling of eureka pleasure
5. Self-Protection – feeling of security
To help you process these ideas into actionable thinking and apply them to your organizational stakeholders,Clients, Employees and Community, I composed the information below. As you review this keep in mind that like any behavioral assessment – people are people, and many of us have multiple emotional drivers. Finding a key one or two gets us closer to being in alignment, and helps you to better serve your team.
Finding the Emotion in Clients, Employees, and your Community
Clients To be effective in cooperating with clients it does take trust and relationship building. But once aligned on a cause and solving big problems or creating incredible products, that synergy is a great way to create value…and get paid for it.
Employees Many people are strongly aligned with wanting to be part of a team, and are very good at it. Behavioral assessments like DISC are very good at identifying that trait.
Community Of the five, it may be the emotion which is most aligned with your business partners and greater community. How can we work together to better tackle bigger problems…serve more clients?
Clients Let’s face it— for some customers it is about making them not just “look” good— but better. You deliver products or services that make them feel better about themselves and their organizations.
Employees Being part of a team it’s important that your employees feel good about their accomplishments. And, some of you KNOW there is a healthy “I,” or “It’s about me” component. As long as their goals are aligned with your business goal – embrace it.
Community Business partnerships typically have this emotion as a key component. Professionals want to align themselves with other professionals to make them feel and look better.
Clients It’s my view this is a huge driver of why clients would pick you. They want to WIN. Money, success, prestige… Winning can be defined in many ways. They pay you because they believe you can deliver better than your competition. The key here is understanding why they want to win so it doesn’t become just about the “how” or “what” but that it goes deeper— to help them feel as though they are winning.
Employees Anyone that has invested years of their life in school or learning a profession and skill seeks some level of emotional satisfaction of applying those learned skills to win. If your employees talk about their favorite sports teams and giving each other a healthy hard time – then chances are you have employees who KNOW the feeling of winning and want to align with a team that WINS often.
Community We generally pick our partners because they fulfill a role to help us win more clients. They help improve our bench. Leverage that to help your partners invest more in you and your organization— at the same time— help them FEEL that YOU and YOUR organization will help them achieve their goals too.
Clients This emotion for your clients may depend more on if your product or service helps your client create something. And think about that deeply because many clients are looking for ways to be more innovative. Where ever possible engage your client into your processes and connect your WHOLE team in the emotion that is driving your client.
Employees Curiosity isn’t just for the “creative types.” Accountants, technicians, detailed minded employees play a role of ensuring that your innovations make sense, are profitable, manage risks, and that they happen. That eureka feeling can be very powerful to pushing down decision making and adding fuel to new ideas.
Community For organizations like Iconica, a commercial builder, clearly our key partners are huge to our ability in the design and execution stage. Getting alignment is often the key to execution. Get your partners engaged WITH your client— to carry the same vision and be VERY curious about ways to deliver exceptional value…leverage that eureka feeling as THE common goal.
Clients One way to think of Self-Protection is to manage risks. Bring to your clients the processes and knowledge to cover your clients best interest. The bigger the project typically means the bigger the risks. Have very open and direct conversations with your client to KNOW their business and emotional risk. At the top of the list may be making the wrong decision in who they hire – address that issue upfront.
Let’s face it while many of us want and hope to experience various emotions defined above, the bottom-line is we bring a paycheck home and NEED to feel secure we can keep doing that. Especially in the times we live in today and for many, the fear that the last few years have created in us. I think this is a core emotion for all of us, and employers that can talk directly about what it takes to be a “secure” organization can put the power to be a partner into making that happen.
Community Aligned also with the need to work together and bring home a check, it can be a little harder to share this emotion. It can sound like a weakness to say I need you, or we need each other. The sooner you can…the sooner you can have the conversation on how to work together.
In providing you with this information it is my hope to help you and your team engage each other in ways you may not have yet. It’s my belief that creating an emotional alignment offers a change to build on success. A chance to find that emotion and to… believe.