You Can’t Handle The Truth
by Manfred Gollent
Most people know this quote from the movie “A Few Good Men”. There is some similarity that can be found in companies and organizations. When I discuss organizational performance with clients, 90% of the time their feedback is anecdotal, and may or may not represent the fact based picture. When I then offer to make an organizational assessment based on our D.I.AL.O.G. assessment instrument, I challenge my clients with questions like:
- What will you do with the results of the organizational assessment?
- Are you willing to be transparent with your organization about the outcomes?
- Will you and your leadership team be willing and able to deal with the facts no matter how inconvenient and unpleasant they may end up being?
While seldom the case, I sometimes got the answer:”We’d rather not get into that.”
Still, if we want to improve anything, the first step is to understand where we are and what the current status quo is. The only way to choose the best course of action is to know where you are, and where you want to go. If one of the two is missing, unclear, fuzzy, or not well-defined, the improvement effort likely becomes a futile activity, wasting time, resources and energy = cost.
Do you really know how the people in your organization perceive their leadership?
The purpose of leadership is creating results through people, emphasis on the word “through”. The effectiveness of leadership is dependent on how the relationships are developed and functioning. Maximum organizational performance requires authentic relationships. Get the facts, not stories!
Do you know if the strategic direction is clear to everyone in the company?
This is another issue that impacts the motivational and functional environment in an organization. People want to understand where the company is going. When they do understand the strategic direction, tactical measures will be executed more effectively and efficiently. Again, get the facts, not just stories!
Do you know if there are gaps of understanding between managers and workers that may impact business performance?
Have you asked yourself: “Are we all really singing from the same sheet of music?”
Malcolm Baldridge implemented a highly influential set of criteria that are being used to evaluate companies and organizations for the prestigious Award of Organizational Excellence. The same criteria plus “sustainability” are utilized in the organizational assessment instrument D.I.AL.O.G. to provide a comprehensive “X-ray image” about an organization. However, the big question remains: Will you be able to handle the truth and generate productive change from it?