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  • Henry Haugland

Is Your Team All on the Same Page?

If you are a football fan, you know what happens when all 11 players leave the huddle without knowing exactly what they need to do once the ball is snapped. Everyone has to be on the same page or else the results are going to be ugly. In our businesses, if everyone understands the strategies and values as well as their individual roles in delivering successful outcomes, we leverage the talents of all of our people. Could most of your people provide a coherent description of your strategy and how they contribute?

A few years ago I asked a friend who worked for Amazon if he could describe their key strategy. The response was “We want to figure out what you want and provide it quickly.” If you ask an Amazon delivery driver what their strategy is you will hear something similar. Amazon has devised a compelling way to communicate with all of their employees and more importantly – all of their customers.

If a company the size and complexity of Amazon can deliver a clear, concise description of their strategy, why can’t most companies do the same?

In your business, is it easy for everyone to understand where the business is going? Can they clearly see what they should be doing and can they measure their success? Can they visualize how their efforts contribute to everyone’s success?

Dynamic dashboards are becoming increasingly available to senior leaders who are discovering that live reporting makes it easier for them to visualize what is going on in their business and spot opportunities as well as risks much earlier. The ability to see what is happening as well as why, is powerful. This visualization leads to new insights and new knowledge.

However, are your mid-level managers making do with reams of spreadsheets and pdfs that they have to download? Do their reports make it easy for them to visualize and connect with data that should be meaningful to them? How do their reports make it easy for them to communicate with subordinates?

Business reports are our principal vehicles for communicating with our people and our external audiences. Collectively, they are the language of business. They are an integral element in building and sustaining culture.

The vast array of emerging BI tools makes it easy and cost effective for companies of all sizes to tell their stories more effectively and get everyone on the same page.


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