Super Ordinate Goal Strengthens Businesses

By Pat HeydlauffPat Heydlauff

Do you have a super ordinate goal (SOG) for your organization; one that drives you above and beyond basic needs for your organization’s success? Is it at the core of your vision?

Take the Disney Corporation as an example. One of their objectives is to maintain and build the integrity of the Disney name and franchise while preserving basic Disney values. But this is not the ultimate driving force behind Disney. Their super ordinate goal is “guest perception.” Everything they do is all about their customer, called the “guest.” They want their guests to perceive Disney as the premier entertainment company in the world.

Their super ordinate goal is at the core of their vision. Yes, they have a number of other objectives such as achieving growth, increasing returns on stockholder equity, identifying new sources of value creation, and overcoming obstacles to achieving objectives, etc., but all of them revolve around the guest experience and guest perception. When their guests are happy, all of their objectives are met as well.

Simplicity Rules: Take note of the simplicity of Disney’s super ordinate goal. It is two words: guest perception. Its simplicity makes it real, and it can be easily understood and implemented from management to maintenance. It is the simplicity that creates an orbital effect in operations from communications to production, and in their workforce from their cast members –employees– to their guests. All of which goes full circle to reward the leadership and the stakeholders.

The simple rule in today’s marketplace is “If it’s too long to tweet, it’s too long.”

SOGs Create Balance: Everything gets easier and becomes more efficient when there is a common SOG. Focus is no longer distracted into five key categories or organizational boxes. Your productivity, efficiency and effectiveness dramatically increase in all categories with a clear simple SOG.

Leadership – When there is a precise super ordinate goal serving as the foundation of the organization, it becomes clear who the leaders should be and what direction they should take to create a successful and sustainable future.

Communications – When the message is simple it is easy to communicate it to all levels of the organization and ensures that everyone is on the same page. A side benefit is reduced stress and improved work/life balance.

Operations – It doesn’t matter whether you are producing an experience with a cast of thousands like Disney or you have a production assembly line manufacturing pharmaceutical capsules. Your SOG will help to maintain focus, thus increasing productivity, performance and profitability.

Engaged Workforce– A simple SOG engages your workforce and empowers them to readily work toward the end goal you’ve set. Without a clear SOG, workers are likely to succumb to distractions, or lose focus, or become unproductive and even disruptive. Employees that understand the role they play in reaching your SOG creates workforce buy-in and increases employee satisfaction.

“Visioneering” the Future – A carefully chosen SOG makes everything easier including planning for the future. It provides the foundational direction for creating a long term roadmap for a sustainable future. However, that vision should also be revisited occasionally to see if it needs tweaking based on new information and circumstances.

A super ordinate goal is the basis for optimizing daily performance and production. It should also guide you through uncharted territory in the future. Evaluate your vision to see what your foundational goal is. If you do not have one it’s time to get one. Better yet, gather everyone in your organization to brainstorm and create one.

Pat Heydlauff speaks from experience. She works with organizations that want to create an environment where employees are engaged, encouraged and involved, and with people who want to be in control, anxiety-free and confident. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Engage: How to Lead with Power, Productivity and Promise and Feng Shui: So Easy a Child Can Do It. She can be reached at 561-799-3443 or engagetolead.com.