Who makes your organization run?
You could point to lots of people, of course: The front-line workers who build your product or deliver your services to your customers. The CEO and top executives who set the vision and formulate strategy. It might even be those wacky IT people, who keep everyone connected, or the folks who answer the phone to take the orders and field questions.
All of these people are critical to your operation. But there’s one group of employees—let’s call them the muddled middle—who are quite literally caught between the grand plan and the messier realities of doing business, whatever your business happens to be.
Life as a manager is anything but easy. These folks are navigating rough waters most of the time, pushed by those above to carry out policy, pulled by those below to explain what it all really means.
Organizations worry about this, which is why they’re forever conducting surveys. And most of the surveys reveal something very close to this:
• 80 percent to 90 percent of executives understand the company’s vision
• 60 percent to 70 percent of their managers say they get it
• 40 percent to 50 percent of the employees can tell you what it means