Marcus Buckingham has made a name for himself by reminding us to focus our lives and work on what we are good at. The Strengthsfinder© model has become a healthy way to help people identify and live out their God-given abilities. I have observed dozens of people experience ‘aha’ moments as strengths-based training has helped them gain clarity on what they excel at. By clarifying their strengths, it often also helps them understand what they shouldn’t focus their time on.
Similar to understanding our personal strengths, organizations which understand their collective strengths will be able to achieve greater levels of success. Can your business list the five strengths that sets you apart and defines your corporate DNA? Doing so means that you have spent time determining what you are good at. In turn, this also means you have decided what you were not going to be good at.
Jim Collins defined this as your organizational hedgehog (understanding what drives your economic engine, what you can be best at and what you are passionate about). Knowing what you are good at allows you to say yes to the right opportunities and no to the wrong ones.
Here are three signs that your organization may be suffering from a lack of strengths clarity.
Organizational design guru Jay Galbraith summarizes this nicely; “Strategy is the company’s formula for winning”. By definition, a formula is designed to solve a specific problem. No formula solves every problem. By determining your organizational strengths, you end up with a formula for the kind of problems you are designed to solve. It will also help you understand the problems you were not designed for. Most importantly, strengths clarity will provide your customers with a clear answer to what problems you will solve for them.
“Strategy is the art of sacrifice.” Mike Maddock
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