ILLUMINATE THE MESSY MIDDLE
Not long ago, my Balance Point Group partners and I went through the process of creating a tag line for our company.
Tag lines are deceptively difficult to write because you’re asking very few words to do some pretty heavy lifting, so each word has to be just right.
After considering several options, we arrived at the one that resonates with us and describes precisely what we do: Illuminate. Cultivate. Elevate.
In this three-part blog series, I’m going to break down the elements of our tag line as they relate to leadership development and I hope it reveals some ideas you can apply to your own journey.
I recently had the opportunity to work with a team of leaders in the health care industry who were moving forward with important change initiatives around service, quality and access.
This group had a clear understanding of the organization’s current state as well as its opportunities for improvement. They had also created a vision around their future state and were ready to charge ahead…or so they thought.
The problem was, they hadn’t taken time to shine a light on the messy middle – the critical part that would get them from Point A to Point B.
To help them illuminate their path forward, I gave each person green, yellow and red markers. Next, we worked together to create a simple map, listing stakeholders and then went through a process to indicate individual level of support of the change initiative and individual stakeholder change competency.
Each leader plotted where their stakeholders were on the level of support and change competency scale (green / yellow / red) and doing so immediately revealed the challenging middle that needed to be addressed; the stakeholders who had been ranked as yellows and reds.
In living color, each person saw where their attention should be focused, and it gave them direction and purpose.
At the end of the session I asked if the team’s confidence level had shifted with regard to seeing the change initiative through to fruition.
To a person, they had a significant increase in their competence and confidence around the project. They knew what they needed to do next and they had the proper lighting to accomplish the task.
The simple process of illumination can help you reach your destination effectively. Taking twenty minutes to do so will save you hours, possibly even days, of frustration.
What change initiative are you leading and what does your roadmap look like?
Does it need some light?
How do you plan to go about shining it?