These true innovators are challenging “old school” with focus groups, open brainstorming sessions, online surveys, opinion polls, informal conversations, cross-functional teams, unexpected partnerships and no-holds-barred blogs that help harness the involvement, voice and creativity of others.
- Steal a page from the Fortune 500 playbook.
The term Fortune 500 refers to an annual listing by Fortune magazine of the top 500 publically traded companies in the U.S.
While this list is important to a number of financial groups and investors, academic and business researchers study these companies to discover the secrets to their business and financial success.
What would companies like Apple, Harley Davidson, Johnson & Johnson, Oracle, General Electric, Kroger, Wells Fargo, Walgreens, Walt Disney, UPS, Kraft Foods, DuPont, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks and Google be able to teach us?
These companies have institutionalized standard operating procedures and financial controls that hold up to public scrutiny.
They act like someone is looking over their shoulder — because they are.
If you are a business owner, make sure all your decisions, actions, practices, measures of accountability and financial dealings would hold up to open inspection.
- Align with purpose.
Self-reflection is a daily practice of an evolved leader.
When we become honest about our motivations, decisions, behaviors and treatment of others we become able to move to the “we” of leadership and the real work at hand: aligning others toward the shared purpose of an organization.
In simple terms, purpose can be divided into three pillars: the brains, bones and nerves of the organization.
The brain is the vision and strategy. The bones are the organizational architecture, which means having the right people, processes and structure.
Finally, the nerves represent values and culture.
Although ego affirms a leader’s ability to take charge, checking the ego demonstrates a leader’s ability to take charge of him or herself first.
Only when that happens can we all return to the ideals, purpose and importance of our individual and collective work.
Julie Krivanek, owner of Denver-based Krivanek Consulting, specializes in strategic planning, management consulting and leadership development for the global produce supply chain.
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