Liz's Latest Articles
It’s been an incredibly busy time for my team and I recently as several clients are at some phase of their strategic planning efforts. Either they are gearing up for their planning retreats, they are working to implement their new plans, or they are identifying areas of their current plans that need modification. No matter which phase they are operating in, there is excitement, anxiousness, and yes, confusion. And, most of the excitement, anxiousness, and confusion are caused by the leaders.
In facilitating a client’s strategic planning retreat recently, one the the board members, known for having a healthy ego, kept pushing for a legacy event that would carry his name. This board member was more concerned with having his name on something than on developing or providing a valuable service to their members. As he started to pressure others to support his wishes, I asked, “What’s a greater legacy: Developing the one-time event you’ve been discussing — or — creating a program that will help drive your organization forward while benefiting thousands over the next several years?” No one needed much time to identify the answer.
This is more of a rant than an observation, but I’m seeing it more and more. This missing skill isn’t generation specific. It cuts across all generations and all industries. Leaders, your writing skills, or lack thereof, are one of the main reasons your teams are frustrated, confused, and disengaged, and why projects take longer and cost more than projected. Your team members don’t know what the heck you want them to do or what you’re trying to communicate. Your poor writing skills are costing your company money.
As I’m writing this, we’re approaching the end of a fiscal quarter. Because of that, my team and I have been watching our key metrics and our dashboards to see how close to our plans and budget projections we are. We’re watching the numbers more closely now even though we’ve watched them all quarter long. We’re watching them more closely now to determine which strategies to continue and which strategies to adjust.
This past week, I’ve had two colleagues share stories they’ve experienced directly or observed first-hand. Each tale provides insight into the decline in the quality of our workforce. Each involves a villain (i.e., actually the villains are really unwitting perpetrators, but they’re causing devastation), a direct victim, and an unintended victim.