Stop the Drive for Excellence, Start the Drive for Individuality

Drive for Individuality

Do you want to know what your true differentiator is in the marketplace? Great, keep reading.  👍

My business helps organizations to develop sustainable growth by building proactive growth processes. One of the biggest obstacles that I see in many organizations is their inability to see their true value.  Some call it their Why or there Mission, Competitive Advantages, or any other buzz phrase that you can think of. 

All of these terms come from a mindset of developing a "Drive for Excellence".  When I hear the term "Drive for Excellence", I visualize things like, anxiety, stress, pressure, feelings of inadequacy, etc.  Yes, it is normal for a business environment to provide all of those traits from time to time but, the " Drive for Excellence"  culture can consistently promote feelings of negativity.  Developing overall team cohesion is particularly important in the increasingly complex world of growth management which requires our growth leaders to be cross-functional collaborators. Embracing a "Drive for Excellence" culture tends to isolate people and promote an individualistic mindset.

With that said I am very much an advocate for goals, metrics, data, process, structure, and obtaining results.  My background is in Engineering therefore I am naturally drawn to these empirical factors but, asking people to be “excellent” on your terms takes away the individual skillset that each individual or department possesses.  The best processes in the world will fail without team buy-in and clarity on expectations.

In a hyper-competitive marketplace defining your true value to customers and prospecting is increasingly important.  It is not enough to say that you have better pricing, service, products, you have to provide tangible evidence of your value to prospects and customers.  To do this it is absolutely essential to create a culture that supports your team member's individual skills, their "individuality".  

Let's define Individuality and Excellence:

Individuality - is a quality or character of a particular person or thing that distinguishes them from others.

Isn't this what we are trying to accomplish in the marketplace to stand out and have a positive impact.

Excellence - the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.

The main issue with the term excellence is that we often wrongly equate the term with the concept of perfection.  Perfection is a myth we simply need to work to get better each day based on our individuality.

Doesn't the journey towards defining the individuality of our people and organization sound much more fun and realistic than driving towards excellence?  Excellence is a relative term, individuality is real &  unique.

Modern growth leadership is about a leader's ability to leverage multiple skill sets.  This translates into a brand promise or a way of existing for the business internally and for fulfilling customers and prospects' needs. Consider the individuality of the marketing teams, sales professionals, human resources, accounting, operations, engineering, and drilling down further, the individuals within those departments.  All have a role in the brand feel, content messaging, and how you fulfill for your customers.

There is an argument to be made that "The Drive for Individuality" is in fact "The Drive for Excellence".  To that I say, ask your team members how they feel when you tell them that your organization "Drives for Excellence" versus the organization valuing their individual skill sets "Their Individuality".  There is a big difference in the verbiage and feelings that are conjured with each phrase.  

"Driving for Individuality" will help your brand message to become more clear both internally and externally.  If you are trying to determine your business's true value in the market, look at the skills that the team posses and build process and structure around the individuals. 

"Drive for Individuality" Characteristics
Brand Identity
Content Messaging
Team Cohesion
Clarity to Goals
Process Buy-In
Happiness at Work

Let's schedule a time to discuss the "Drive for Individuality" and growth processes for your organization.

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