It’s Tough to Please Everybody
Are you a people pleaser – you know, one of those individuals who tries to make everyone happy? On a personal level, it can often be frustrating; you’re trying to do what will make Fred happy and make Mary smile and make Jenny like you, and you get worn out in the process. You’re doing too many different things for too many different people and for maybe not the right reasons. You want people to like you, but in the end you’re not as happy as you probably ought to be.
In business, many of us find ourselves in similar roles whether we want to be there or not.
It often happens when there are different teams or divisions within a company with conflicting goals. Operations wants to cut $15 million this year. Retention wants a 94% client retention goal hit. Marketing wants a conversion of 43% of incoming calls into new sales. Human Resources wants a 15% reduction in employee turnover. Business strategy wants to realign your division to be more functionally-oriented than product-oriented. If your organization tried to deliver on all these divisions’ goals, it would either need to be an octopus or Houdini – it most likely cannot be done.
Organizations can have seemingly conflicting goals and be successful, but more often than not, when they have conflicting goals, they’re a mess.
Consider the concept of the Balanced Scorecard (BSC). With a BSC, the concept is that the organization focuses not only on profit but also on employee satisfaction, customer service, quality, etc., realizing that all of these areas impact profit and long-term success. Organizations successful with BSCs push that “balance” all the way down to the division or department level. They don’t just expect it at the organizational level.
In the example above, the organization had a set of balanced goals, but each division had goals that were not balanced. If you have balance only organizationally, then you could have issues where all the goals manifest themselves in departments with conflicting priorities. The alignment of goals doesn’t exist, and internal conflict results.
Aligning Balanced Goals Throughout the Organization
If each division or department had balance in terms financial, service, employee, and quality, then there would more likely be a commonality of focus, an alignment of goals, and a teamwork atmosphere where all were pointed in the same direction.
Create a culture of common focus. Create balance at all levels of the organization.