Almost a decade ago, shortly after moving to Baton Rouge, I needed to venture out one evening to a meeting. I printed out my directions (no fancy smart phones or GPS back in the dark ages) and hit the road. Confident in my ability to get to my destination and then merely reverse course on the way home, I neglected to print out the ‘return’ directions. After all, as I bravely told Mr. S., “you can get anywhere in Baton Rouge if you follow Dalrymple Drive!” (note – this has now become a classic line used in our family whenever I try to give directions).
My poise and self-assuredness quickly evaporated when, at 9 PM while tearfully navigating the winding roads of the LSU Lakes, I placed a frantic phone call to Chez Schooling and asked Mr. S. to get on the internet and give me some directions to get home.
Sadly, I had no line of sight.
Lately I’ve been putting some thought into ways that we can increase and clearly communicate the line of sight for employees in our organization. How do we create a clear understanding among our folks so that they can see a direct link between their behaviors and actions and our organizational goals and strategies?
And really, as I’ve pondered over the situation, it has become pretty apparent that (obviously) we need to ensure this clear line of sight exists not just for those long term strategies, but also for plain old everyday objectives. Perhaps, to begin, we need to make sure we hand out a map so that we can:
- Make sure the front line staff members get the concept that each interaction with a customer enhances the brand experience and impacts an immediate or long-term objective
- Determine the best way to ensure that individual contributors understand how their seemingly “behind the scenes” work contributes to the strategic vision for the organization
- Ensure alignment between silos departments so that each member of a team comprehends how their daily/weekly/yearly actions and activities allow the entire organization to reach the same destination…together
It’s been some time since I got lost while meandering through the lovely LSU Lakes area; I’ve also learned you can’t quite get everywhere from Dalrymple Drive. At the beginning of that first journey in my new city I needed a map to get around. But I don’t need a map anymore. Traveling around town became, well, instinctual. Now I just know how to get around town.
And ultimately, employees fully in alignment with the organization won’t need a map either.