Finding and maintaining organizational clarity is not easy. And it seldom is wholly structured and mechanical. More often, corporate leaders who constantly wrestle with the overall responsibility of the organization and whose subconscious minds are continually whirring with the possibilities and connections arrive at insight in a flash. They could be cooking, running on the treadmill, showering, walking between holes at the golf course, or playing with their children. Further, they discover this type of indirect work is necessary to make these connections and drive breakthrough thinking.
This doesn't mean that a formal process to find the "Aha!" of clarity is useless. When organizations are stuck, chaotic, and far from organizational clarity about what the problem is or how to proceed, it can be helpful, unifying, and momentum-building to hold a leadership retreat of some sort to attack the issues without further delay. A key aspect of making such an event successful is ensuring everyone is clear about WHAT issues will be addressed before trying to find clarity about HOW to address them.
Good facilitators of such events:
1. Make sure the vocabulary is the same as people talk through where they are in relationship to where they want to take the organization.
2. Help organizational leaders through a process of generating ideas to get through the mud and feelings of stuck-ness. And they do so by mixing up the learning environments and providing unstructured time so that both the brain's conscious and unconscious processes get used.
3. Focus up the intensely cerebral output from a leadership retreat into something organizational leaders recognize and can execute.
Organizational leaders that want to build and preserve organizational clarity should understand that clarity can be discovered in a flash of insight, through a deliberate process, or a combination of both. In both, the mind's conscious and unconscious processes are helpful. And in both, it remains essential to ensure that the WHAT and the How of finding clarity are in concert instead of against one another.
When a flash of insight drives organizational clarity, the leader has to become a patient communicator so that others can share and build upon their insight. When a deliberate process leads to greater clarity, the leader must invite others to be patient as they have their "Aha!" moments to which they will invite others. After all, organizational clarity isn't built on win-lose scenarios but rather on common discourse and collaboration.
Tags:Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, organizational wisdom, organizational development process, Maestro-level Leaders, The Third Turn Podcast, Kristin Evenson, Third Turn Blog
August 11, 2022