A few weeks ago I was in a leadership development venue where we invited a senior leader to discuss keys to building an effective enterprise. This leader had been a part of launching or rebuilding at least three different enterprises in three different countries. He highlighted four critical elements to building an effective enterprise.
1. Do your homework on the past. Where ever you begin, either in starting something completely new, or in rebuilding what once was, you must pay attention to the past. You step into an environment. There is always a history surrounding you when you enter. What is the past that you are entering? What is the nature of the relationships around you? How do people view your enterprise? Where do you need to rebuild trust? Where do you need to repair and rebuild the image of the organization? The past cannot be ignored. It must be addressed and dealt with.
2. Give the going after the critical mass of leaders everything you’ve got. We often underestimate what it will require to draw good leaders to yourself and the new endeavor. Realize that when you determine to go after the best leaders that there is a low batting average. Be patient. Don’t pressure them, but stay engaged and allow freedom. Emphasize the vision you are going after over the role that you want them to play. Call them to something greater than themselves. Don’t under estimate their personal loss in saying yes.
3. Be ruthlessly patient in laying the foundation for what is new. Don’t jump too quickly to structure. Too often we want to validate new through creating structure, reporting relationships, and policies. Pay more attention to real progress on the ground when starting something new. You can organize it later. Stay focused on vision, direction and getting the right leaders. It takes time to lay a solid foundation.
4. Don’t compromise on environment. Discern what the current environment is like. Is there discouragement? Apathy? Nitpicking? Cynicism? Or is there an environment of hope? Give people hope for the future. This is one of your great ongoing roles as a leader, especially in the early stages of enterprise building.
What are your thoughts when it comes to building a healthy enterprise?