7 Common Challenges and Tips on Getting Over the Hurdles when Creating Aspirations

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This is a part of a series that was created to help you define what you aspire to be as a company. This series will walk through the process, necessary roles, in addition to guides for each role to define your aspirations quickly.

7 Challenges and Solutions

  1. Most companies don’t do a very good job developing their aspirations, if at all. Make aspirations a top priority. Arrange to spend one day off-site to develop your aspirations. Appoint a facilitator to keep your team on track.
  2. You are confusing company aspirations with other aspirations. You can have aspirations for any area of your company –for products, business units, marketing, customer satisfaction, etc. However, the most important aspirations will be the company aspirations because they will serve as the overarching force aligning all other aspirations.
  3. You already have a mission statement. A mission statement is an important part of the company aspirations practice, but it is only a component. To be as successful as possible, your aspirations must also include a vision statement, a values statement, and possibly a priorities statement. All of the statements must work in harmony with each other.
  4. You’ve already developed your company aspirations; however, it seems that most people in the organization don’t understand them, or that it’s taking a long time for the employees to model the behaviors. Proper and effective communication is key. Strategize a plan of action for communicating the aspirations and then survey your employees on a consistent basis to assess their understanding. If you’ve communicated the aspirations and are living out the company’s values yourself, be patient. Get into the habit of pointing out when employees’ actions are in-line and out-of-line with the company’s aspirations and encourage others to do the same. It takes time for the behaviors to become second nature.
  5. You’ve done a good job communicating the aspirations, but there are some employees who just can’t seem to get on board. Take an honest look at your own behavior — as the company’s leaders, are you living out the aspirations and serving as role models? If so, you may have a human resources issue. Employees who don’t base their behaviors, activities, and decisions on your company aspirations — even though they know what those aspirations are — are not a good fit with your organization. Strive to ensure that all future hiring decisions take the aspirations into account. All potential employees should be evaluated for whether or not they can reasonably be expected to respect and live out the company aspirations.
  6. You have one or more A-caliber individuals who are not living your aspirations. This is where the rubber meets the road. If you can’t get these people to live out your aspirations, you’re going to have to weed them out; if you don’t, you’ll be sending a message to everyone else that you are not serious about the aspirations.
  7. You don’t have a formal plan in place for revisiting the aspirations. Hold a retrospective meeting each quarter to review the results of your aspirations practice. Come out of the meeting with a clear action plan.

Next week, I’ll post the steps to help your company get started quickly.