As a leader, you already know the importance of self-discipline. It’s what gave you the drive to get you where you currently are, despite self-doubt and setbacks. When you apply personal discipline, you take control of your feelings and overcome your weaknesses through your time, focus and energy. It separates the dreamers from the doers and is a fundamental factor for success.
While you’re reaping the benefits of personal discipline, you may be wondering, “Can these same principles be applied to my company as a whole?” Imagine if everyone was on the same page and had the motivation needed to be as productive as possible. Think about how smoothly things would go if communication was never misinterpreted and all of your processes were smoothly functioning to better serve your constituents. Organizational discipline allows your company to be sustainable, predictable, stable, consistent, and emotionally connected to your customers, your community, and your team.
There are five disciplines that every successful organization needs to focus on:
Your business strategy is your articulation of the way you do business. It consists of two parts: where you want to go (your goals), and the roadmap that gets you. Mastering these Disciplines makes your business sustainable. Strategy is about more than margin, profit, or revenue — it’s about sustainability: your business outlasting your competition and, ultimately, you. We call this winning.
Does your current roadmap match the goals you have for your organization? What changes do you need to make to it to get you there? Make your goals more actionable by defining WHO does WHAT by WHEN. Break it down even further by developing 90-Day Action Plans for each employee with clear outcomes that they are responsible for.
Business Development goes well beyond sales. The more a business focuses on customers instead of sales, the more likely it is that the business will succeed. Mastering this discipline results in predictability, the holy grail of business. If you only focus on sales (profit), you’ll lean toward competing on price. Focus on your relationship with your customers, and not only will you learn what led them to buy from you in the first place, but you’ll also learn what keeps (or could keep) them coming back.
How can you take customer service from an afterthought to a cornerstone? What can you offer that your competitors can’t, which will not only attract new customers but could keep them coming back?
As a leader, you don’t build your business, you develop your people, and they build the business. When CEOs get this right, everything flows from there. This Discipline is all about stability.
A company that lacks stability in this discipline:
- is often distrusted by its staff;
- struggles to find the right people to hire;
- lacks clarity in defining the organization’s roles;
- has a team that works to the absolute required minimum.
An organization that is stable in this discipline has:
- high employee morale;
- a very high staff retention rate;
- customers and employees who are treated with the same respect.
Is employment and retention at the core of your business culture? How can you regularly and consistently assist in the development of your people’s skills and assets? Is your leadership helping or harming your employees’ potential?
Execution is about creating familiarity and a level of assurance that you have your act together, you’re in control, and you’re dependable. Mastering this Discipline creates consistency in business. If there’s a general lack of consistency among team members, departments and divisions, you’ll have too much variation in customer interactions. This can give each customer a wildly different experience with your company.
This is extremely problematic for the sustainability of your company because today’s consumer demands reliability from your organization. Consistency provides familiarity and a level of assurance that you have your act together, that you’re in control, and that you’re dependable. Are your processes and expectations clear? Do your employees know what is going on and are on the same page as management? How can you make communication stronger internally? How can you ensure follow-through without micro-management?
Mission is not having a great mission statement, but having a clear purpose that everyone inside and outside the company understands. This allows a company to create deep and lasting emotional connections with all stakeholders. A company should spotlight its impact on the world and answer its employees’ question, Why do I go to work every day? This is a more profound existentialist question about what the company does in the here-and-now.
What are your company’s core values? What is your purpose for existing? How do you give back as an organization?
Another term for Organizational Discipline is Organizational Routines
If your team has a negative connotation to the term “discipline,” frame these focuses as new organizational routines. Routines often start with the management team. The actions of leadership signal to employees what is acceptable. Your constituents want to know that you are consistent in how you do things as an organization.
If you and your organization would like assistance in creating greater discipline, call for a complimentary 5 disciplines assessment at 515-222-9193. I will conduct a free strategy session to review the results.