Friday, July 15, 2011

Stop Waiting For A Map

"Please stop waiting for a map. 
We reward those who draw maps, 
not those who follow them."
- Seth Godin

This is one of my favorite quotes from the book Poke the Box (a definite must read for all individuals that breathe in and out).  

Leaders have a responsibility to initiate the drawing of maps that will move their organizations forward.  Unfortunately, these maps often appear in the form of lengthy, comprehensive improvement plans.  These plans are largely ineffective and stakeholders rarely get passed the first page.

I believe leaders should create a very different type of map.  Create a map that is similar to one that you would use in a GPS device.  These maps provide structure for reaching your destination but still offer you choice and flexibility.  They are relentless in getting you to your destination no matter how many times you fail.  They will reroute you no matter how many times you get lost in the journey.  Better yet, they typically fit on one page/screen. Leaders must take a GPS approach to moving organizations forward and exceeding goals.  

Put away the volumes of improvement plans that have done little to move organization forwards.  Instead begin creating a map for your organization by...

  • Involving stakeholders in creating a map that will move your organization forward
  • Including checkpoints to make sure that you are on the right track
  • Honoring that all of your stakeholders at different starting points
  • Differentiating development opportunities 
  • Embracing failure that will eventually get you closer to your destination
There are many other factors involved in the creating maps.  What would you add?

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