We all know and feel the short-term pressures of delivery - the quarterly report, the current project, the next big bid, the new launch.
We have to maintain the connection between these 'sprints' and the longer race - the enduring purpose of the organisation.
This is largely about providing broad direction in a turbulent environment in which detailed, rigid rules fail.
It is about individual motivation - today's workforce craves purpose. A paycheck may buy compliance, but it doesn't excite passion, secure commitment or invite a sense of ownership
Nothing is more important than building and maintaining a consistent, self-reinforcing organisational culture.
This culture should be the 'in house' embodiment of the values that support your organisation's aims as well as your central commitment to continuous individual and organisational development.
This should sit squarely with the CEO / business leader and be bright on the radar - not parked with HR.
Are your values lived, or just on the wall? Are you creating leaders? Can your team bring all of themselves to work? Are vital conversations happening?
Decisions need to be based on reality as it is, not as it was or how you wish it were.
That reality includes customers, partners, suppliers and competitors. Closer still, it includes all staff and the relationships among them. Least obvious to many, is that it includes leaders' and staff members' internal processes - the ways in which they cope, hide, hope and decide.
Teams can unwittingly distort their internal reality by undermining trust, reinforcing fear and operating by pretense. Seeing and facing reality - as individuals and collectives - is the single biggest shift that organisations must make for real transformative performance.
Continuous learning should be woven into every aspect of your business.
Today and tomorrow, the best performance is inseparable from deep, rapid, effective learning. Individual and organisational development are not important items alongside performance; they are the path to it.
As with reality, learning is both about the 'outside' and the 'inside'. As all staff understand themselves and their relationships better, they become more effective.
Simple, bounded trials allow you to quickly test changes and implement improvements.
Is your team geared to discover issues or avoid them? To share them or hide them?
The world will change.
Your organisation and its operations need to be nimble, flexible enough to adapt appropriately.
This requires a bias in the design of organisation structures, systems, partnerships and operational processes that gives sufficient weight to nimbleness and flexibility. Otherwise, to use system terminology, too much will be 'hard coded' to adapt.
Design and manage for nimbleness.