An Example of Leadership Success: Creating a Shared Mission

Without an idea of where you want to go, how would you know when you get there and if you have the right people to help? This blog is dedicated to highlighting one leader’s passion for developing a shared vision for a newly formed safety committee. 

Safety committees in general are a fantastic idea. Get a diverse group of people together from frontline and leadership levels and have them dedicate themselves to identifying and improving safety concerns throughout the organization. In practice, however, these groups often struggle with identifying what’s important and truly understanding why they are there.

Pat was tasked with the creation of such a committee. What made this committee unique and potentially difficult was the geographic footprint the committee would be serving. The organization spanned several states and was carved into different divisions within each state. This meant the safety committee would have to be adaptive enough to serve multiple regional organizational cultures, norms, and starting points. Pat wanted this committee to serve as an inspirational example of how the industry supports safe work and to help ensure the workforce goes home the same way they came in. 

The journey started when Pat reached out to ADI to look for expertise in developing a safety committee and creating alignment at the beginning of this process. Pat understood the traps and difficulties he would be facing when starting this committee. To help create sustained change, Pat displayed these critical leader behaviors:

Defined the “Why.” Pat was adamant that the initial members of this committee would work together to develop a shared mission. Pat and ADI worked closely together to design a facilitated mission development session. This session was not only for the development of a mission. IT encouraged collaboration on how success was going to be measured and the critical behaviors needed throughout the organization to achieve that success. Pat secured the budget to pull everyone together for an in-person, initial kick-off meeting. This meeting was dedicated to creating a shared why. Pat laid out his vision for how the group was going to help the organization be an industry leader in safe production. Then ADI facilitated a session to develop the mission and key behaviors that will help Pat drive his vision. 

Defining the mission as a team helped for several reasons. First, it helped create a shared purpose for the extra effort and energy being asked of committee members. Without this shared purpose, once back on site, the committee members likely would have gotten caught up in the daily grind and not done what they needed to support the committee. Second, it increased the potential for positive reinforcement for the safety committee’s critical behaviors. Finally, it allowed Pat to ensure he had the right people on the committee to help make the launch of the safety committee successful. 

Defined and measured the result-behavior connection. Another critical leader behavior was establishing a regular cadence of accountability. He instituted monthly meetings where each committee member was responsible for reporting on their progress implementing the key behaviors identified in the mission development session. To measure performance, Pat had each person measure and report on their progress using a spider graph with each objective, result, or behavior defined as a strand on the web. Defined goals and the spider graph allowed for fast report-outs during the meetings. This increased the opportunities for feedback and positive reinforcement as it was easy to see progress towards the goals. It also helped identify roadblocks and potential solutions when movement was not seen. Pat, with the help of ADI, created short obtainable goals based on a 30-60-90-day plan to ensure all those goals were obtainable. As committee members achieved the goals, they selected new ones based on the plan.

These critical behaviors created a powerful strategy for change. The safety committee had a shared purpose and ways to measure performance. Pat used the monthly accountability meetings along with individual coaching sessions to help the members find success in their new role. The organization quickly began to see alignment between divisions and movement toward Pat’s vision. Any leader tasked with creating something new or wanting to create alignment across an organization should consider emulating these critical behaviors. 

Posted by Bryan Shelton

Bryan applies his knowledge and expertise in strategic planning to help organizations align employee performance with company goals. Bryan helps clients create improvement across a variety of business metrics including company growth, profitability, customer service, vision alignment, leadership development, and culture change. He also helps clients implement process improvement initiatives, improve sales results and using performance-pay systems to help drive company results. His behavior-based approaches and applications have supported clients’ improvement initiatives, leadership development, and the design and implementation of performance pay systems.