Sharpen your culture to drive impact

We’ve all had those dayparts, weekparts, channels, etc., that dog us.

Sometimes I felt like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill only to have it fall back down (and sometimes get squashed).

If I compare those moments to when things were successful, one of the big differences was getting the organization to focus, align, and commit.

Which is much easier to write now than it was to do then.

Focus usually came by clarifying what we wanted the business to look like in the future using customer-based occasions.

With this clarity in mind, using a portfolio management approach allowed us to determine which occasions we wanted to invest in, maintain, or divest from.

While marketing often led the discussions, all critical stakeholders participated to ensure that issues or problems could surface beforehand and that execution could be done at a high level.

Three things made this work:

– Trying to be honest about the current load on the organization and if or how any additional work would impact that load.

– Recognizing that without investments or simplifying the work process, asking more for extended periods would ultimately work against the organization.

– While it didn’t necessarily need to be “zero-sum,” if there was interest in having a bunch of bets, there needed to be corresponding divests.

The focus and alignment made it easier to manage the business and, more importantly, unleashed the real power of the organization.

Because what’s the point of doing all that work to have no impact?