The Art of Strengths Coaching

G is for Balancing The Global Purpose and The Local Practice

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Great organisations get the right balance between the global and local. They combine the best aspects of a big organisation with the spirit of a small enterprise. How do they make this happen?

The centre communicates the purpose and the principles. The way that people practice these is up to them, within parameters, in their part of the organisation.

But this comes with a proviso. People must show how what they are doing is following the principles and contributing to the purpose.

Let’s explore how to make this happen.

You can communicate the
purpose, principles and practice

Imagine you lead a large organisation. You can communicate the big picture, whilst also encouraging people to take ownership for the local practice.

Great leaders encourage people to think global and act local. This calls for creating an adult-adult relationship, however, with everybody taking responsibility for making their best contributions to the company.

Imagine that you are addressing everybody in the organisation. You might say something along the following lines to explain the approach to people.

Welcome To Today’s Session.

I am going to give an overview of our organisation’s purpose and the part you can play in making this happen.

Later I will give some examples of how people have contributed to this purpose in the past and how they can contribute in the future.

But first let me give an outline of our overall approach to working together.

The Purpose

The purpose of our organisation is:

* To

The picture of success – the specific things the organisation wants to
achieve by a certain date – that will be an expression of the purpose are:

* To

* To

* To

The positive benefits for all the various
stakeholders of achieving these things will be:

* To

* To

* To

The Principles

The key principles we aim to follow to achieve this purpose
– together with the reasons for following these guidelines – are:

* To

* To

* To

The Practice

The way you practice these principles will – within parameters – be up to you in your part of the organisation.

But there is key point. You must show how what you practice supports the principles and contributes toward achieving the purpose.

Different leaders have different ways of communicating this approach. If you wish, however, try tackling the exercise on this theme.

Imagine you are leading a large organisation. This exercise invites you to do the following things.

Describe the organisation’s purpose.

Describe the picture of success – the specific things the organisation wants to achieve by a certain date that will be an expression of the purpose.

Describe the positive benefits – for all the various stakeholders – of achieving these things.

Describe the principles people can follow towards achieving the purpose.

Describe the practice in terms of the positive results people can deliver that will show they are pursuing the principles and contributing to the purpose.

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You can make clear contracts with people
about the specific outcomes they will
deliver towards achieving the purpose

Great leaders get the right balance between the centre and the satellites. They also manage by outcomes, rather than by tasks.

They translate the purpose into specific goals. Each satellite then makes clear contracts about their contribution towards achieving the organisation’s goals.

People are given great autonomy. But, as mentioned earlier, they must keep showing how what they are delivering is contributing towards achieving the overall picture of success.

Imagine you lead a large organisation. If appropriate, you can invite each of the teams to tackle the following exercise. This invites them to do the following things.

Describe the specific outcomes they will deliver that will show they are following the principles and contributing towards achieving the purpose.

Describe the specific things they will do to proactively keep people informed about their progress towards achieving these goals.

Describe the specific kinds of support they would like in order to help them to achieve the goals.

You can then meet with each of the team leaders and make clear contracts about their agreed contributions.

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You can ensure that people continue to follow
the principles and contribute to the purpose

You can make sure things stay on track. How to do this without micro-managing? One approach is to invite each team to make quarterly presentations. They are to outline:

The specific things we have delivered in the last quarter towards achieving the purpose.

The specific things we plan to deliver in the next quarter.

The specific challenges we face, our plans for tackling these and the support we would like to do the job.

Success breeds success. So share success stories that show how people are following the principles. If appropriate, communicate these both inside and outside the business.

Great organisations get the right balance between the centre and the satellites, but this can be challenging. One approach is to focus on the purpose, principles and practice.

People can then keep showing how they are contributing towards achieving the organisation’s picture of success.

Here are the exercises that each team can present to show how they are contributing to the purpose.

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