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Friday, October 22, 2021

Lean Quote: Clarity is a Game Changer That Drives Success

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills once more in sight, and the enduring constellations above them once again.  —  Hal Borland

Most business owners in the small/medium market spend more time working in their business than on it. They struggle to break the daily routine and succumb to the "not enough time" conundrum. In comparison to their counterparts in bigger businesses, they do not have the resources, professional development, or systems in place to break out. But there is a way to change the game!

Clarity is a game changer and drives success – for businesses, organizations, divisions, and individuals alike. If people don't know what you want to accomplish they can't help you achieve your goals and will substitute their own (goals) in place.

Clarity makes for easier and better decisions. Good decisions are made by following a process or framework. Great decisions are a function of how clear the objective is. Lack of clarity breeds options, at some point developing options wastes resources, with no way to determine which option delivers the most value, a cause for indecision.

  • Clarity leverages internal and external resources empowering others to act, innovate, and offer solutions that support the vision and goals. By sharing clear goals you change the equation for problem solving and innovation from one-to-many (aka top down) to many-to-one (frontline empowered). The result is exponential growth in organizational horsepower (the ability to do work, solve problems, and move toward the vision or goal) as you involve a greater and more diverse group of people.
  • Clarity reduces conflict and stress, improves efficiency. We can all use a little help here. A common challenge in business is balancing resources with work. Typically, there is more work than there are resources. Conflict arises, causes stress, and requires intervention (management) to resolve. Clarity provides the basis of a self-governing process that reduces conflict (prioritizing the work by amount of return on goal/vision) and the need for management (the system for determining which resources will be deployed to achieve the targeted outcome) is lessened.
  • Clarity greatly enhances your ability to find and retain the right people. People are the backbone of any organization. Hiring the right people for the right job and having the right diversity of people has proven to be more important to success than an idea. The easier and more clearly you are able to articulate where you want to go and what you want to achieve, the more powerful your appeal as an employer. People who are inclined with the same values and purpose will be attracted to your company.

The challenge becomes finding a way to introduce a strong dose of Clarity to your leadership style.  Defining what you want the future to look like is not easy. It forces you to reflect and really understand what is important.

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