We are surrounded by disconnects – gaps that keep things from being as good as they could be.

In news coverage today there is a disconnect between journalism based on investigation and journalism based on ideology.  In public discourse there is a disconnect between attacking positions versus attacking people.  In elevation of people as role models there is a disconnect between notoriety and admirable qualities.   Cognitive dissonance is the result of a disconnect between beliefs and actions/new information.

Leaders must be adept at recognizing disconnects in order to profitably grow their organizations.

At a recent executive breakfast that I hosted with prominent local CEOs and leaders, many disconnects were uncovered just in the area of talent management.  These included:

  • Disconnect between the company story and its application. Too many job postings are mundane, minimalistic and do not give an applicant an emotional reason to join an organization.
  • Disconnect between efficiency and inclusion. Too many organizations are having too many interviews with too many team members and losing out on their top picks.
  • Disconnect between selection and success. Too many organizations are leaving success in a role up to fate after the hire by not having concrete, open and practical measures of success decided at the onset.
  • Disconnect between screening and learning. Too many organizations use assessments to screen applicants, but then do not use the data collected in the assessment to enhance future job success.
  • Disconnect between fun and engagement. Too many leaders cannot make the distinction between activities that promote fun and those that actually promote engagement.

For your consideration, Gary’s Six Strategic Disconnects:

  1. Disconnect between strategy formulation and strategic planning. Strategic planning is too often a tedious and derivative process that ignores a solid understanding of why an organization wins.
  2. Disconnect between aspirational culture and executive exemplars. Too often great sums are spent on defining values and competencies only to have them rendered wholly useless by the behavior of those whom the organization is actually watching.
  3. Disconnect between excitement of change makers and reality of change implementers. It is exciting for leaders to think about new directions and innovations.  It may not be as exciting to be the one entrusted with the execution.
  4. Disconnect between existence of a strategy and knowledge of the strategy.  One of the most common complaints in organizations is “lack of strategy.”  That is seldom the case.  More often the issue is that there is little understanding (and therefore little buy-in) of the formulated strategy.
  5. Disconnect between the urgent and the important. The workloads in organizations are growing and growing and often with no relation to productivity.  Leaders need to focus attention on fewer things with higher impact for the prosperity of the company.
  6. Disconnect between “musts” of the organization and “wants” of organizational units. Musts of the organization are those few things that are essential to growth and sustainability. Wants of organizational units (sales, operation, finance, etc.) are those things deemed important only in their unit level context.  Organizational musts by definition have priority over organizational wants.  Most turf battles are a battle over wants versus organizational musts.

Leaders that can see disconnects with the most clarity and address them with alacrity will be the most successful and add the most value in their organizations.   Need assistance seeing or addressing your disconnects?  I am here to help.