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Prove It! by Stacey Barr

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CHAPTER 5 DIRECTION: MAKE IT UNDERSTOOD AND IT WILL BE MEASURABLE

Leading an organisation is much more complex than navigating a ship across vast oceans. There are many more variables and forces interplaying, and we don't yet have the instruments and charts to detect or predict them all. But the fundamental principle of direction is the same: if the captain isn't clear about where to go and how to hold course when the seas get rough and the crew gets worried and confused, the voyage fails. Leaders of organisations need to be clear about the destination, and how to hold course when the pressure is on. This is the habit of articulating a clear direction.

Direction means strategy

A clear direction is not about business as usual. It's about strategy, and strategy is about:

  • change
  • improvement
  • working on the business and not in it.

There is a difference between a business plan and a business model. The business model is how we've designed our systems and processes and structures to create the results our organisation exists to deliver. But the business strategy is about how to change and improve that business model — to better deliver the same results, or get new results.

An organisation's strategic direction describes:

  • the results that define the success of the organisation as a whole
  • its impact in the world
  • the results that currently have the most leverage to improve the whole-of-organisation results.

A good strategic direction is where evidence-based leadership begins. And ...

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