Consistency of Purpose: The 2nd Step to Operational Excellence

Consistency of Purpose: The 2nd Step to Operational Excellence

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Everything in life should serve a purpose. From something as simple as tying a shoelace or as big as changing the world, purpose is what defines life and drives it forward one stage after the other. If the purpose is clear and the efforts are consistent, then the sky is the limit. This can be especially true in the workplace. Everyone in a company plays a different role and serves a different, unique purpose. They each are assigned tasks daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Our second step in Operating Rhythm is Consistency of Purpose. Consistency of Purpose is the continuous effort of completing tasks that help both you and your company achieve your goals. From every meeting held to every PowerPoint completed, Consistency of Purpose should be used to complete these tasks; working towards the mission and strategy of the organization.

While the path towards completing goals should be smooth, this flow can often be interrupted, particularly in the long run as the organization expands and grows. Notably, Consistency of Purpose is more often than not disrupted by the leaders or management of a company. Imagine that your company is a huge freight ship. The cargo that is carried is the work you do for your customers. It is important to remember that different parts of the ship are used at different times and for separate purposes. You can equate the leaders, or management team, to the control system. If the control system changes course too suddenly too many times, the ship cannot react properly. Too many of these course changes could even lead your cargo to falling overboard. In comparison, changing paths and directions too many times on tasks can lead employees to become confused and unproductive. Below are four bullet principles that can be used to ensure that initiatives are executed to success by management through consistency of purpose.

  • Stay away from too many paths and confusing paths. It is important for organizational leaders to stay the course; there is no need for sudden changes.
  • Use universal language within the organization. Different words mean different things to people at different levels in the company. An example of this can be seen when a boss tells an employee to “contact” a particular client. The worker proceeds to send an e-mail to the client. The next day the boss asks how it went and  the worker says that they have not received anything back yet. The boss wanted the employee to the call the client.
  • Have clear and direct initiatives for the workers, and not too many. The main point is to articulate the details with your employees and follow up.
  • Always follow the organizational structure. When trying to get better visibility, do not cross organization boundaries and make report requests or assign special tasks to people that are not your direct reports.

Following these bullet principles can make the path towards Consistency of Purpose run smoothly. It allows a company to embark on the same journey towards common goals and stay in tune throughout the process. Consistency of Purpose will keep company tasks on track towards the ultimate goal of Operational Excellence.


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