Someone may appear to be productive when in fact they are just busy with activities, or ‘inputs’. Real effectiveness is defined by results, or outputs. Inputs are more about what Leader-Managers do, whereas outputs are about the measurable results they achieve. When leader-managers confuse the two, they can find themselves spinning their wheels.
Before evaluating whether a person is effective in their job, we must first define what their job is in terms of results and outputs.
Imagine telling an employee to make their presentation better. They might respond by giving you a presentation full of pretty images that leaves key messaging obscure, if it was even there to begin with. Job descriptions are often no different, and provide an ambiguous list of duties for which an employee is responsible.
When we fail to clearly defining roles and outputs, we can’t expect leader-managers to deliver on the results that matter. To measure effectiveness and evaluate performance objectively, we must first list the specific outputs the job will require.
One of the most common reasons for business failure is lack of team alignment. Leaders can set out brilliant strategic objectives, but without clear direction on how these translate into aligned individuals’ objectives and activities, success can remain elusive.
Strategic alignment continues to be a hot topic in many executive offices. Its definition is hardly a point of contention: Getting all the organization to focus on the right results and activities that drive strategy.
Alignment is the synergy that’s achieved when strategy, goals, and activities work as an integrated system, reinforcing one another top-down and across the organization. That is why alignment sits at the core of organizational effectiveness: Getting the right things done.
Teams in different functions tend to have their own worldview, different processes on what to prioritize and how to allocate resources. Getting each team to work together around a unified purpose and a shared vision can be challenging.
As one leader found: “I thought my team was perfectly aligned until I asked five of them what our top priorities are. I got five different answers.”