A few minutes ago, I was asked to attend an induction ceremony. As I perused the agenda for the early morning meeting (my unborn own child would be considerate enough to wait until after 8:45am on a Saturday morning to be born!!!) outlined eight outcomes… of which at most one were relevant to me. For me, that’s the sort of meeting that I try fervently to avoid, so I phoned the person who called the meeting to confirm whether I needed to attend… and the response that I got astounded me: “it’s procedure”.
Maybe waisting your time is “procedure” for some, but I like to not be one of those people… but it got me thinking about motivations. I realised – as I was speaking with the MBA-educated meeting convener – that she was motivated by fulfilling the criteria (going through the motions or just doing stuff), rather than actually achieving outcomes.
It really got me annoyed for a few minutes… until I got curious.
I noticed that some people sincerely believe that life is accomplished by going through the motions… it’s more than the difference between being efficient and being effective – I’m really talking about alignment. I’m talking about the importance of getting your actions and outcomes aligned with your overall direction or vision, and consistent with your values.
So where are you at? What are your values? How aligned are you? How aligned is your organisation?
There are now more than a hundred billionaires in China – and the youngest was born in the 1980s! And you can bet that they are lean, focused and disciplined to get profit… and profit is where you are better aligned to deliver value than your competitors. Fundamentally, that’s why capitalism can work so well… it rewards and challenges us to create ever-greater value.
In a world of hypercompetition, free design (as it is once you get to scale) and a boundary-less world alignment is everything… to deliver alignment you have to design it, necessitating self-awareness and the determination to understand your underlying values.
Because if you don’t, you can be sure that someone else will.