In the present confusing and conflicted global market environment, pressures and challenges intensify on today’s CEOs to deliver short-term results without losing sight of long-term goals and plans or veering away from long-term strategies. For the most part, short-term results are defined by financial metrics, as well they should be, because at the end of the day, these financial results are what matter most … it is the CEO’s and the organization’s final score in the end.
Score? Since it’s October, and my favorite team (the St. Louis Cardinals) is knee-deep in a World Series battle with the Texas Rangers, I’d like permission to use a baseball analogy here. In major league baseball, many things are monitored and stats are recorded – hits, runs, errors, base runners stranded, etc., but only the final score of any one individual game counts toward the standings.
However, the real down and dirty truth even the most casual baseball fan can understand, is that over the long haul of a 162-game schedule, the teams that make key hits, score the most runs, play with the fewest errors and leave the fewest runners on base will win more games than the competition. In the short term (one game), a team may be able to sneak by with simply scoring more runs than the other team, but over the long haul, a team must perform well in all aspects of the game in order to be successful.
The same is true in the organizational world.
Even though the financial metrics show up in the box score of a CEO’s results as the only gauge that really matters, the wise organizational leader understands that over the long haul the way to gain more victories is to feature a balanced attack that consistently produces these results. And, as in baseball, where the crafty manager knows that the way to win is through blended strengths in the three dimensions of hitting, pitching and defense, an effective CEO realizes that he must build and blend an impressive combination in the Strategy, Operations and Human Dimensions of the business.
Strategy means that a clear definitive pathway to success has been set and all organizational resources are appropriately positioned and aligned to achieve that success. Operations means all key players are engaged in actions across the organization in order to execute on the strategy and every process and project exist to make the strategy a reality.
That leaves us with the Human Dimension. Without question the Human Dimension is the most interesting and fruitful, yet confusing, terrifying and misunderstood of the three dimensions. Understandably so since the Human Dimension includes all the human relationships, beliefs, talents, skills, longings, frustrations, joys, celebrations, and communications — any and every possible human dynamic or ingredient is in there.