Business leaders often ask, “I know we need to keep people informed. But what kind of information do they really need?”
I’ve been studying this issue for more than 30 years. Our research is pretty clear about what information people need to perform at their peak. There are five information categories:
Context gives us perspective. It’s the big picture about the competitive world, customers, competitors and our role in the world. It’s also about our purpose — why we exist. It helps make sense of everything else. It’s the business case for change — the argument for becoming better.
Vision and Strategy
A vision is a target, a picture of the future. A strategy is a roadmap, describing how you are going to create the vision.
A visionary business leader needs to paint a clear picture of the future. It helps people understand what the finished product is supposed to look like – what needs to be different in the way we do things. Strategy is the plan to realize the vision, which helps people understand what needs to change and when.
Linkage is the stake in the action. It is the quid pro quo that binds people to the business and to each other. Linkage can represent “the deal,” an employee value proposition that represents the contract we make with our organizations.
We all want to know our responsibilities. What results am I being held accountable for? Which levers, if any, are exclusively mine to pull? Which levers do I share with other team members? What impact do the levers have on the finances of the business, on customer satisfaction, on service, on speed, on whatever is important to the business?
Support comes in many forms. Basic information needed to make decisions. Tools to do a job. Technology, training, promotional support and information to get the job done.
When people have plenty of information in each of these five categories, they are more apt to achieve peak performance than if they have to guess what needs to be done, or don’t have the information they need to get the job done right.
Do your employees—all of your employees—have a lot of information in each of these categories?
To learn more about the necessary ingredients of high-caliber teams, join Jim Shaffer at the 25th Annual Gathering of Games, where he will present an educational session on the topic.The Gathering of Games takes place September 6-8, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. To learn more about the conference or to register, click the button below.