In 2010, Tony Mazzella had an insight during one of his Vistage meetings. After hearing one of our expert speakers, he realized that the culture that helped create his successful business had changed and he had multiple cultures because of recent acquisitions. His company had become too internally focused and disorganized. He realized that the cause was his own lack of clarity.
In my first blog about clarity, I said that clarity is created from the choices that you make and then clearly over-communicated. Once Tony recognized his problem, he used Patrick Lencioni’s books and Lencioni’s company, The Table Group, to solve it.
What needs to be crystal clear?:
In his book, The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business (J-B Lencioni Series), Lencioni advocates that the following six questions be answered in order to create clarity around the most important aspects of a business:
Tony used these six questions to create “The Mazzella Way”. “I built a crystal clear picture of what I wanted my company to be and put a lot of energy in it and around it.”
He also restructured all of his meetings to over-communicate his vision to his team. Here are some of the ways in which he communicates:
As a result of these communication changes, Tony notices that his “employees are talking about the good stuff” that is featured in the newsletter. In addition, his Executive Team is a more cohesive group and the culture is beginning to change for the better. Tony has learned that the key to creating clarity at Mazzella Companies is “commitment, discipline and frequent communication.”
How is Tony sure that his employees are receiving the same message that he is sending? He asks them to restate what they heard, and he notices that the types of questions that they ask now are very different. Now they are focused on understanding the new “Mazzella Way.”
Clarity is achieved through making difficult decisions and then repeatedly communicating them, and it is vital to the success of your company. If you don’t know where to start, try what Tony did: use the model developed by Patrick Lencioni in his book, The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business and answer the key 6 questions for yourself.