Friday, November 13, 2009

If Companies Were Football Teams...

There are a couple of slides I'd like to share. They are from one of the two presentations I held at the DokumentInfo Technical Documentation Conference in Gothenburg (November 10-11). The presentation was mainly about producing technical documentation, but there were a few slides related to strategy. The statistical information is from Stephen Covey's The 8th Habit.

According to a poll of 23,000 American workers, only 37% knew the strategic goals of the company they worked for. Only 20% were enthusiastic about them.

Only 20% of the people asked knew what their mission was. That is, only one person in five knows what they are supposed to do in order to achieve the company's objectives.

Only 13% of the people asked described their environment as highly cooperative.

In his book, Covey brought the statistics alive by comparing companies with soccer team. Let's do something similar using a photo from stock.xchng.

There are 18 football players in this photo. If companies were football teams, only seven of the players in the picture would know which goal was theirs, and which belonged to the other team.

Only four of the players would care which goal was theirs.

Only four of the players would know which position they are playing in, and what they are supposed to do when playing that position.

Sixteen of the players would compete with their own team members in some way, rather than focusing exclusively on competing with the other teams.

Think about it: This is the "highly competitive" environment you and your company is facing. Can you spell opportunity? If you can align the forces in your company, make them move towards the same goal, you will be a winner.

Doing this takes some specialized knowledge, which you can get by studying and experimenting, or by hiring a consultant like me. It also takes perseverance and courage, which you will have to supply yourself. But do think of the payoff: A great company, with great people, and a great future. And fun, I can promise you that. It won't be an easy journey, but it will be the most fun, exhilarating challenge you have ever had. An accomplishment to be truly proud of, pride you can share with every member of your organization.

Why not begin building a better company first thing when you get to work tomorrow? If you decide to do that, let me know how it works out.

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