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Les McKeown's Predictable Success Blog

  • March 6, 2022
  • minute read

Achieving organizational ‘speed to clarity’ 

Listen to Les McKeown read this blog post:

A few weeks ago we looked at the importance of speed to clarity in achieving your organizational growth goals. 

I've previously explored the three factors in maximizing your personal speed to clarity, so 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:  

1. Alignment

Without a strong alignment around a shared vision (or mission, whatever terminology works for you) organizational clarity is exceptionally hard to achieve.

If your senior leadership team doesn’t know – and agree on – 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 leaders 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 analyzing, understanding and solving enterprise-wide issues.

Absent strong Lateral Management, senior leadership teams will never achieve an efficient 'speed to clarity' and instead find themselves immersed in an eternal 'fug' of inefficient decision-making.

"Without a strong alignment around a shared vision or mission, organizational clarity is exceptionally hard to achieve." - Les McKeown, Founder and CEO, Predictable Success

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3. Cross-functionality

Not all the data needed for organizational clarity rests within the C-suite – far from it. In fact, almost all the data you need for High Quality Team Based Decision-Making is out there 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’.

So there it is: the three most likely reasons your senior leadership team struggles with achieving an acceptable 'speed to clarity'. In a later post I'll detail how to remedy under-performance in each of these areas, but for now, take a few minutes to answer this simple question:

How’s your organizational speed to clarity? If it isn’t fast enough, which of these three do you most need to work on: Alignment, Lateral Management or Cross-functionality?

Let Me Know In The Comments Below!


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  1. Hey – great to see you here!

    What about you? How’s your organizational speed to clarity? If it isn’t fast enough, which of these three do you most need to work on: Alignment, Lateral Management or Cross-functionality??

    Let me know in the comments below!

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