The Secret to Making a ‘Magic’ Organization

Two Keys to Exceptional Performance

Some organizations simply seem to prosper without trying. They have the Midas touch. They just seem, well… Magic. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a small business that has captured the market in your town, or a large multinational whose presence has swelled across the globe.

The roots of exceptional, sustainable success are usually the same from sports to business to personal achievement. Individuals wanting to build exceptional organizations follow the same principles of being exceptional that anything else does.

How do they do it?

The other day I was looking at the Magic Quadrant – a tool used by technology analyst Gartner. They use it to graphically depict a market at a certain period in time and size-up the technology vendors in that space. And even though I have seen this tool many times, for many different markets, for some reason, this time the principles of exceptional organizations – those principles of Performance, Aligned – jumped off the page.

The Two Keys

  1. Completeness of vision
  2. Ability to Execute

Now, those are deceptive little statements, but intentionally engineered. We would do well to pay attention.

Completeness of Vision

Yeah, I know there are many, many creative and visionary people out there. I’ve been in their organizations all over the world. I have heard them talk about what they are working on, what they are striving to accomplish and build – I have even read many of their vision statements (most of which are uninspiring and lame).

The number one difference between the exceptional organizations that I have interacted with and all the rest is not simply having a vision, but having a Complete Vision. And, at least I believe, it’s an iterative process.

There is plenty of material available on building visions, so I will just mention one thing that I think is important to note: Everything has two creations; once in the mind and then in the physical / social reality.

How COMPLETE is your organization’s vision? How about your personal one?

Ability to Execute

Quite a few years ago, Strategy+Business listed out the top management ideas that they thought would lead us into the new millennium, and one of the foremost of those was execution. I agreed then, and I still agree. In fact, I agree now more than ever.

With a seemingly limitless access to information, knowledge and ideas, the only thing holding us back is execution (…and maybe that ‘Completeness of Vision’ thing mentioned above).

I suppose to be fair, the ability to execute isn’t enough – actually pulling the trigger and getting it done is what counts. Ability, employed.

But the trick to building the ability to execute is simply to execute in the first place, and when you do, your organization muscle will stretch, tear and repair in a similar way the muscles do in our own bodies.

The ability to execute is found in execution itself.

image: iStockphoto

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