- Focus and direction: People understand and accept the company’s vision and strategy – they all share the same picture of success and how they can contribute to it in measurable terms.
- Strategy execution: The strategic initiatives are receiving the necessary attention and energy to guarantee effective execution. There isn’t a disconnect between strategy and operations.
- Vertical: Everybody throughout the organizational hierarchy needs to be aligned with the level above – their boss’s priorities – and ultimately the strategy.
- Horizontal: Departmental boundaries, rivalries and entrenched, independent silos can prevent people from collaborating freely with peers across the various organizational functions.
- Competencies: Individual skills need to match the requirements for the person’s responsibilities.
- Values: Individual behaviour should be congruent with the core values of the company. When it’s not, scandals can occur. You need more than virtuous values; you need to underline their importance to everyone to get alignment.
- Compensation: Does compensation link to performance or is it out of whack? Are people rewarded for seniority or position in the hierarchy rather than output? At all levels, there should be a connection to performance.
Many companies, of course, have key performance indicators but often some (or many) of them are not related to the strategy or vision.
Again, you need linkage. Strategies need measures of success. Indicators not related to strategy have to be questioned. You also want to make sure you have kept your strategic initiatives to a workable, vital few that clearly relate to customers.
- The Focus Report looks at the overall effort at a glance – the various initiatives and indicators, with their status. For example, if you are watching the percentage of customer returns and it was 3 per cent last month, that is recorded so you can compare next month easily. When the status can be evaluated against some agreed-upon criteria, you will also mark if your effort was good or bad.
- The Feedback Report summarizes the results for your own responsibilities, highlighting where you have fallen below the unacceptable range in status and where you are above the satisfactory level.
- The Management Report shows how people in your pyramid of responsibility are faring, based on the principle of management by exception. People who are performing within the acceptable range don’t show up on this report as, at this time, they aren’t an issue and you have little to address.
If a company wants social licence to operate beyond its borders, it now needs to communicate what it stands for and, perhaps most importantly, how it’s contributing in a positive way to the communities in which it operates.
The answer needs to be simple and explicit. You need to be clear about what you are doing and what you will do – through facts, examples and telling stories in a meaningful and authentic way.
These values “drive” your purpose and need to be tangible and authentic to your people. You also need to provide insight on how the company will live these values.
Aligning globally helps create a unified organization and stronger sense of purpose, and adapting corporate values to local markets will increase their impact. Our values are based on respect – for ourselves, others, diversity and the future, and all our activities reflect this.
The company must actively engage the local community and its audiences to listen, learn and adapt. If this does not happen, then the organization risks being seen as tone-deaf and loses relevance and credibility.
There’s no question that multinationals are dealing with an increasingly cynical consumer mindset. That’s the reality we face. It’s incumbent on us, if we want to continue to operate in local markets, to earn trust. A well-run multinational, backed by a clear vision and actionable values tailored to local markets, will put itself in a position to succeed.