Recently we were discussing the characteristics of world-class organizations.
The idea was to observe the gaps in the organizations we serve and see if we could make any changes.
First, the definition: “The recognition of an organization as a benchmark by its industry sector and, for some aspects, by other industry sectors as well.”
For an organization to become world-class in its industry sector, we observed the following elements:
- Outperformance: The organization outperforms itself in its product, services, and solutions offerings.
- Continuous Improvement: The organization improves continuously. That means it is intentional and far from the tunnel vision for short-term profits.
- Delight as a Deliberate Value: Clearly stated shared goals and aligned execution delight the team members, customers, vendors, and investors.
- Innovation-focused: Newmarket discovery and new skills and talent discovery are part of the organization’s routine work!
- Outstanding leadership: Their leaders lead from the front and work to create exceptional leaders and not just followers.
- Bottomline Ownership: Each employee in the organization has a deliberate sense of ownership. They know that even if they have made a mistake, they will get guidance, not punishment, if their intentions are correct.
- Operational Excellence: The business world respects vision and mission significantly but needs to pay more attention to flawless operations. It is critical to meet the commitments, manage the cash flows, and have appropriate forecasting systems.
- Straight, Transparent Feedback: In world-class organizations, people listen to and speak the truth no matter how uncomfortable. Feedback is given and taken with maximum straightness and transparency. People are trained not to take things personally and work as a team to make things happen.
- Work-life Balance: Their work-life is integrated! The work and personal goals matter, and the individuals and the organization work to achieve them. No work-life balance BS!
- Push the limits: Limits are a creation of human minds more than they exist. World-class organizations have made it normal for their people to push their limits as if it were a normal activity.
The above list is partially complete but provides a fair idea of a world-class organization.
With that said, becoming world-class in any field is not easy, and it takes commitment, pain, and willingness to push one’s limits.
Team members often do not perform well. Economic conditions are not in favor, and the competitive landscape continues to expand and create new challenges.
However, world-class organizations have taken the right stand and made things happen—a skill we all can learn from.