Posts Tagged ‘The Four Seasons’
Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics.
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Our information exchange this week highlights the Harvard Business Review article from December 2011, “The Power of Collective Ambition,” by Douglas A. Ready and Emily Truelove.
In the past few years, some companies have not just weathered the economic storm: they have emerged stronger than ever. They were winners even in industries where you may have expected serious blows – for example: luxury industries like hospitality and beauty.
How did these players such as The Four Seasons, Sephora and Standard Chartered Bank become the exception?
What these companies did was the following. Instead of pursuing a single ambition such as profits, these organizations used what the authors call a “Collective Ambition.” A Collective Ambition is defined as a summary of how leaders and employees think about why they exist, what they hope to accomplish, how they will collaborate to achieve their mission and how their brand promise aligns with their core values.
As mentioned previously, these companies do not fall into the trap of pursuing a single ambition (profits). Instead their employees collaborate to shape a collective ambition that supersedes individual goals and takes into account the key elements required to sustain excellence.
The elements of Collective Ambition are as follows:
Purpose – The company’s reason for being; The core mission of the enterprise.
Vision – The position or status the company aspires to achieve within a reasonable timeframe.
Targets & Milestones – The metrics the company will use to assess progress towards this vision.
Strategic & Operational Priorities – The actions the company will take in pursuit of their vision.
Brand Promise – The commitments the company makes to shareholders, customers, communities, investors, employees, regulators and partners concerning the experience the company will provide.
Core Values – The guiding principles that dictate what the company stands for as an organization in good times and in bad.
Leadership Behavior – How leaders act on a daily basis as they seek to implement the company’s vision and strategic priorities. They are measured on fulfilling brand promise and living up to the values.
By clearly defining these elements, misalignments within the organization can be recognized and addressed. The authors describe the Collective Ambition as a compass with Purpose at the center.
Articulating these elements of Collective Ambition can give an organization a better sense of the company’s purpose and how individuals within that organization can contribute to the purpose.
This becomes a total framework for identifying milestones, making strategic decisions and operational choices.