Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

Today’s business environment changes rapidly. Functioning successfully in it compels businesses to quickly make accurate decisions

Each of these decisions is made within a specific context, and with a defined set of criteria, against which various options are evaluated. The context is the company’s culture as described in 3 foundational documents:

  • Its Purpose – Why the business exists and how it makes a difference for customers;
  • Its Values – The company’s core beliefs which define how it behaves and why; and
  • Its Vision – The aspirational future objective for the business which determines its direction and its goals.

Making a choice is quicker, easier and more straightforward when these 3 culture defining documents are the common context for decisions. 

Leaders typically revisit this context when they launch a strategic planning process. It provides a compass as their plan evolves, aligning goals with culture to ensure that the company’s profit and purpose motives are synchronized.

Unfortunately, it’s typical that when the resulting plan is communicated to the organization, only the goals and actions, the “what and the how” of the plan, are shared with everyone. Little is done to infuse the context of the plan, the deeper, more meaningful “where and why” of it, with all personnel. 

Without knowing and understanding this context, the front-line people in the business cannot promptly sort and evaluate the input they are receiving. To make decisions, they must rely on continuous involvement by their leaders, which inhibits their ability to act with urgency. This forces them to stop and think about every move they make. Or worse, everyone in the organization makes rapid decisions based on a variety of contexts, none of them being well aligned. Execution slows significantly. 

When every individual in the business is infused with the right context for making decisions, they will respond in appropriate alignment and make the right choices.

How rapidly do your people make decisions and act with urgency?