I have a little ritual with my clients I’d like to share with you. At the start of an annual, quarterly, or Focus Day™ session, I write GGOTO on the whiteboard at the front of the room. What the heck is GGOTO? It stands for the greater good of the organization.
We talk about the greater good of the organization all the time with companies Running on EOS™. Once I explain what GGOTO means, I don’t have to write the whole phrase out (because it takes so long to write).
Why does this matter?
When we go into a full-day session, the leadership team covers a lot of material. And they’ll have to make a lot of decisions. With each of those decisions, the leadership team needs to keep the GGOTO in mind. All day long, GGOTO written on the whiteboard serves as a constant visual reminder while leaders work on the business.
Sometimes I’ll run into a company with a dysfunctional silo structure, especially during Focus Days with new clients. In one particular case, I had a client with two owners who didn’t like each other. To compensate, they basically created two separate companies in one, right down to two different accounting offices!
They started to see the problem with this arrangement as they built out The Accountability Chart™ for the company. Having two of everything (like the left Twix vs. right Twix saga) doesn’t actually serve the organization as a whole.
When leaders operate in siloed structures like that, they might only think about what’s good for them or their team. Structures like this can lead to priorities that conflict with the greater good of the organization.
Again, GGOTO on the whiteboard helps leaders remember it’s not all about them or their department. Decisions should never result in internal zero-sum situations. If one team in the company wins at the expense of another, the entire business loses.
Well-meaning leaders can also sometimes fall into the trap of advocating for a decision that only benefits their individual group too. If I see something that looks a bit one-sided, as their EOS Implementer®, I point to the whiteboard. I’ve seen GGOTO help bring more clarity to situations and keep discussions focused on the greater good.
Even the most focused leader can get distracted by what we call “shiny things.” I’ll see this happening most often during the Identify, Discuss, Solve (IDS®) portion of sessions.
Shiny things can lead to creating a new product line, entering a new market, or chasing a trend. These opportunities might seem alluring, but they draw attention away from the core competencies of a business. Shiny things may even benefit one particular leader’s team, but they don’t serve the GGOTO (see Conflicting Priorities above).
I love seeing how passionate many leaders can get when coming up with very creative fixes for their most pressing issues. Their ideas hold the seeds for many fascinating outcomes, but the team has to decide which ones to cultivate together. Seeing GGOTO on the whiteboard can guide discussions to the best solutions for everyone.
Leadership teams that focus on the greater good of the organization will get better and faster at decision-making. And those decisions will benefit everyone in the company. How does your leadership team keep GGOTO in mind when making important decisions?