You probably have big goals for your company in 2015, but may yearn to approach them in a fresh way. Here are 5 ways CEOs and business leaders can shift themselves and their teams into the right mindset to make transformation happen.
1. Focus on your purpose.
Contemplate your personal and organizational goals for the coming year. Do they match where your passions lie? Remember, when generating ideas, the brain typically uses past data to predict solutions. While this is a comfortable technique, it does not breed innovation, so pay special attention to your goals and their origins. You can have multiple purposes that will evolve over time. Just make sure that, no matter what drives you, you dedicate a portion of your daily activities toward meeting your key purpose.
2. Revisit your mission, values and vision.
Can you instantly recall your mission, values, and vision? If the answer is no, then you are not consciously working in the spirit of your company's purpose and, odds are, neither are your employees. Ask yourself, do they still apply? Do they motivate you? Do they align with your purpose? If not, how would you refine them? The mission represents the ideal current state for your firm. Values describe the core principles upon which you operate and the vision should paint a picture of your future.
"Make sure that, no matter what drives you, you dedicate a portion of your daily activities toward meeting your key purpose."
As CEO, your purpose sets the path for your leadership team, down through your employees. But without a clear sense of purpose (yours or theirs), they can't connect on a personal level with the mission, values and vision. Setting the example of self-reflection will trigger a positive ripple effect throughout your organization.
4. Don't forget partners and customers.
Internal focus is only part of the equation. Now that your organization is unified in purpose, make sure that your partners and customers know what is important to you. It never hurts to reiterate where your company is headed, and what this means to those you work with and serve.
5. Foster intimate brand knowledge.
Stop an employee in the hallway and ask for a 30-second elevator speech about your brand. The outcome may disappoint you. Hosting a conference is an impactful way to ensure that all key players (internal and external) share a clear, concise and standardized brand view. CA Technologies, an international software company, does this very well through their annual CA World conference in Las Vegas. Months prior to the event, they re-align their brand messaging with the company's mission, values and vision. During the conference, they communicate their goals, objectives, strategic initiatives, and future direction. Post-event, attendees receive steady brand-related communications via reminders and updates, establishing a habit of unified messaging.
The New Normal
Information overload is the new normal, without time for the luxury of self-reflection. But, without it, we can't be sure that our goals, objectives and strategic initiatives are in line with our purpose. What you focus on is entirely up to you. Make sure it's on the right things.
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This article originally appeared on Chief Executive on January 30, 2015