The 4 Key Ingredients Of Great Organizations

I’m an avid student of business. One of my ongoing personal goals is to better understand what drives consistent success at large organizations. 

Over the years, I’ve read many great theories about how companies perform including Discipline of Market Leaders by Treacy and Wiersema, the 7-S framework from Waterman and Peters, Strategic Intent and Core Competencies by Prahalad and Hamel, Good To Great by Collins, and a number by Michael Porter: Five Forces, Strategic Fit, and Value Chain.

As I discussed in the post Fundamental Flaws In Management Education, the business world has changed. And while all of those models provide valuable insights, they don’t fully capture what makes companies successful today

In this environment, companies need to evolve into what I call an Aligned Enterprise which I’ve defined as:

An organization that acts cohesively and embraces change in its environment.

I’ve identified 4 key characteristics of an Aligned Enterprise (which I refer to as P.A.C.E.):

  1. Purposeful leadership. Establishing and maintaining a clear and compelling vision for where the organization is heading and why it’s going in that direction.
  2. Adaptive design. Infusing the realities of the marketplace (customers, suppliers, technology change, etc.) into the creation and evolution of products, services, and processes.
  3. Customer-connectedness. Incorporating customer insight, feedback, and participation throughout the entire organization. 
     Customer-responsiveness. Increasing the magnitude and speed with which an organization learns from, and responds to, customer feedback.
  4. Employee engagement. Building strong commitment from employees through alignment of hiring, on-boarding, training, coaching, communications, and incentive programs.

I’ll write more about Aligned Enterprise in future posts. Before I do, I’d love to hear what you think about the model. Does it resonate with you? Is there anything missing? What examples would you point to? 

The bottom line: How well is your organization keeping PACE?

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