With apologies to Nike, they have the right idea.

By Joe Truncale
In May 12, 2010

I write this on a plane headed toward an engagement with a member/client.  The nature of this assignment is to spend two days with their management team reviewing their strategy, actions completed since our last session, make sense of what was accomplished, and set a definitive course for further progress.

While the nature of this assignment is not new (I have worked with many organizations in a similar capacity) the success this particular company is enjoying is anything but commonplace.  In fact, it is extraordinary!

Since I have had a front row seat for the past several years, I decided to examine all the factors that contribute to their incredible success and growth these past years, (a pattern of success that continues today in arguably the most difficult of business environments) even as so many industry firms struggle to find their best future.  My aim during this process has been to try and identify the one thing that is different about this company, the single most identifiable characteristic that sets them apart.

And I found it.  It’s not technology, great leadership, sound management, or good talent.  They have all of that, but so do other companies.  It’s not a talented, hard-working sales force or great facilities (they have those, too).  It is the most simple to understand yet, paradoxically, the most difficult to replicate of all corporate characteristics.  And I can sum it up in two words:  Organizational will.

How do I define organizational will?  Simple: They do what they say they’re going to do.  No excuses, no delays, no long meetings, needless research, or esoteric discussions.  A vision is articulated, a strategic direction is determined, broad objectives are identified, tactical plans and budgets are established, and then it’s all about focused action.  No distractions or deviations.  In other words, they just do it.

High accountability? You bet.  Fierce, cut-throat culture?  Not even close!

In fact, a significant by-product of their highly developed organizational will is a sense of clarity and cohesion that brings their people together in a way that is as unique and as extraordinary as their results.  Organizational will.  They do what they say they’re going to do.

Think about it.

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