When you need to rally the troops behind a new company goal or mission, what do you do? It can be a daunting--and potentially crippling--undertaking.
Douglas Ready, a senior lecturer at MIT's Sloan School of Management and the founder and president of leadership development firm ICEDR, explains in Harvard Business Review how to get your employees energized in such situations. The secret, he says, lies in three organizational capabilities: being purpose-driven, performance-oriented, and principles-led. Developing the three together is referred to as creating "collective ambition."
"The simple message of collective ambition: Place organizational purpose at the heart of your business model and make sure your vision, strategy, brand, and values are all closely linked to it," Ready writes.
Below, find out how you can get your employees passionate about a new direction.
You want your company's purpose connected with that of your employees. This requires you to have a precise focus on one core purpose, Ready says. Once you share that purpose with your employees, it will "serve as the glue [that] binds the organization together and the grease that would enable bold and decisive action," Ready writes.
Get every leader on board
If you need to get all the employees to adopt a new direction, you're going to need to get all the leaders to do so as well. If your other executives have their own agenda, the overall effort won't work. You need every leader and employee to be "engaged and united" with the same purpose.
Build one collective voice
Your collective ambition needs a unified voice. Ready writes that one of his clients held an event to find out what workers thought about the company's values and purpose. The response was incredible--the leaders got questions and constructive criticism from thousands of employees. And ultimately, the employees all came together to solidify the company's identity under a new direction.
Let it all out
Now that you have your employees recharged with a new sense of purpose and have all the leaders on board, it's time to get things done. "Organizations are literally teeming with the potential to do great things, to go beyond what's expected and to become game-changers," Ready writes. Go out and realize that potential, he says.