03/18/2014 10:18 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

We're Very Committed, But Are Not Quite Sure What We're Committed To (Friction Source #2)

In today's blog I will look at the second source of friction and drag that may be destroying value in your organization, and exhausting you in the process; We're very committed, but are not quite sure what we're committed to. (Originally introduced in this blog: "The Gap: How to Unintentionally Destroy Value and Exhaust Yourself in the Process.")

We all have goals for our organizations, which I refer broadly to as aspirations. In the early days, I used to think it would be really difficult to get a group of senior leaders to agree a shared aspiration. As it turns out, this is not too difficult at all. Most leaders aspire to pretty similar things. In fact, if I showed you the aspiration statements of every client we've ever worked with, you would be hard pressed to determine their respective industries, let alone organizations.

The real challenge is that we don't properly scrutinize our aspirations. Specifically, is every single person in your organization crystal clear on what success looks like? Do you actually have the capability to get there? Do you have the bandwidth? Are you all confident you can get there? Are you all truly committed to this aspiration?

The "5C" model to the right shows how all of the clients in our database, in aggregate, have rated their aspirations against five key dimensions. It turns out that we're super committed; we're just not sure exactly what we're committed to, or how we're going to get there.

Take this simple 5C test with your colleagues. If you are not all scoring in the 90 percent plus range on all five dimensions, then you are leaving real stakeholder value on the table, and probably exhausting many in the process.