In life there is a natural order. Nature follows patterns and sequences such as the four seasons that we know are cyclical and constant. In business there are also natural patterns as well as a natural order or sequence that we can tap into to get things happening quickly within a business.
Many businesses are looking for a strategy to help them identify the way forward—and how to engage their people along the way. If you need to mobilise and engage a group of people quickly there is a particular order or sequence that you can use to get momentum occurring faster. Here are 5 important actions that you can take to make it happen.
Clarify the vision forward
The leaders of any business set the tone or the culture for everyone to follow. If the leaders do not have a clear vision that is about the way forward, it is really difficult for people to follow. We need to get clear on our vision and capture what the vision is, and more importantly why everyone needs to be aware of the future direction. This needs to be captured in a way that makes it easy for everyone to understand and share with others.
Share the vision and engage staff
Once you clarify the way forward, you need to find a way to get staff involved with it. The last thing you want to do is create a new vision statement that gets read out to the people across your business—this is impersonal and quite often de-motivating.
The best way to share and motivate people about the future is for the leaders to do it in person and to tell a story of why this is the vision and how they need everyone’s help. The key is that it needs to be communicated in a way that emotionally moves people to motivate and engage them in wanting to move toward the future. I know of one client that ran a series of workshops sharing the vision. In these sessions, they gathering ideas and feedback from their people about what were some of the easy wins they could make as well as what were some of the challenges going to be. The leader did not tell them what these were, they asked their staff to get involved and participate in helping to map the way forward—which created engagement.
Develop processes that empower people to act
Nothing happens until people take action. One of the challenges many staff complain about is the red tape and complex processes that have been put in place that slow things down. Empower individual teams to identify what processes would need to be changed to help reach the vision—and get staff to identify the best way to re-engineer these processes. As the leader, take the time to ask for their ideas and ways to make this happen. Given that they need to follow the processes afterward, by having them create the improvements this will gain momentum faster.
Celebrate and recognise staff
Ensure that you identify ways to reward your people for activity toward the new vision as well as when they achieve key milestones. This can be something as simple as telling someone that you appreciated their efforts to handing out small gift vouchers for $25-50 that are a gesture of your appreciation. One leader I know uses restaurant or movie vouchers so their staff share it with their family—although this is small, it can have a huge impact of people.
Actively Promote Success to Keep the Momentum
As different parts of your business start having success, ensure that you promote these wins internally. When people start hearing about the positive outcomes, it creates both acknowledgement as well as showing that the business is moving closer to the vision. It could be something as simple as an internal newsletter, a short video sharing the wins or a more formal event that celebrates forward momentum.
A business is a collection of people—and if you want to mobilise your people you need to ensure you get your order right by empowering your people to lead the way.
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