Are you getting to the heart of the matter?

Question:How are beautiful peonies like business issues?

Answer: If you dig deep enough or stare long enough, you will see the heart of the matter.

Check out this peony. When you first look at it, you are struck by the beauty of the flower. In this case, the heart is immediately visible. I gave you an easy “problem”. You can see the heart, in fact your eye is immediately drawn to it. However, what appears to be the issue on the surface, may not actually be the point of leverage or of change. Maybe, it is the stem, or the leaves, or the roots. What is the strategy for figuring that out?

The companies I coach that seem to be the best at keeping up with the change outside their companies have certain repeatable strategies for getting to the heart of the matter…

  1. They identify the four or five issues their company needs to work on.
  2. Each issue strategy has a champion who is responsible for reaching the clearly identified goal by a specific date.
  3. Projects are broken down into pieces, rocks, or sprints, and accountabilities are assigned among the team.
  4. Goals are clear.
  5. There are regular progress meetings where more help is assigned if goals aren’t being met. (Help could be coaching, it is not necessarily more team members).
  6. Meetings are well structured and as brief as possible.
  7. Feedback is healthy and honest.

Turns out this is what google does, too. Check out Work Rules! by Laslo Block.

If you are doing all of the above, give yourself a pat on the back. If you are missing a few steps, think about if any of these would be helpful. You may have more that you would like to share. We can all learn form each other.

Enjoy the peonies. They are only here for a few weeks.


Photo by Paul Dye at Longview Gardens, Chadds Ford, PA.