Know your Center of Gravity!

As I deal and work with more organizations I find that many do not understand or even know what their “center of gravity” is. At times, the leaders of those organizations do not know even know what a “center of gravity” is! Now “center of gravity” is not a commonly used terminology so I will explain what it is in my own words but you will understand as soon as read it.

A “center of gravity” is that one thing which your organization revolves around and enables it to complete the tasks and mission which the organization is set up to do. Now what I am about to suggest is debatable but personally I believe that the “center of gravity” for all organizations is communication.

Communication is critical for any and all organizations. The people need to know what the organization as a whole is doing, how well it is doing and what changes can be anticipated in the future. This is all essential information which everyone in the organization has to know in order to achieve success.

I have often said that the one thing which we do the most, communicate, is often the single point of failure when we do not achieve mission success. Frankly speaking, the leadership does not communicate to the rest the ideas or plan for the way forward and consequently it all falls apart. So why is communication so difficult? Frankly, the number one cause for failure in communication can be related to tunnel vision.

Tunnel vision is when you only focus on what you specifically are working on and how it just impacts you. Everyone else and everything else no longer matters.

In an effort to clear tunnel vision and keep your communication open here are just a few simple suggestions.

1. Use regularly scheduled meetings. During these meetings the agenda should cover performance, upcoming changes, initiatives, plans and general guidance for the organization from you as the leader. As well it should be a two-way interaction and not just the head of the table spitting out information and then adjourning. Your subordinates need to know that they have a forum to voice concerns or ask questions which are applicable to everyone. Whenever I run meetings I ensure I ask every single person individually if they have any questions or concerns. This way everyone has a chance and will not be overrun by “the crowd.”

2. Leverage technology. There are TONS of various types of technological solutions for passage of information. From video conferencing, to message boards, the possibilities are endless. You just need to find the salutation which works best for you organization and its needs. A favorite of mine is BBM Groups. With BBM gone cross-platform (meaning any device OS can install it) all of my team members can be within a signal entity known as a group. There are discussion forums in there, ability to post pictures, create and assign tasks and so on. It allows everyone to be in constant communication with ease and pass ideas efficiently.

3. Open door policy. An open door policy is one where you enable your personnel to come to your door at any time and voice their concerns. By doing so you are breaking down barriers which are automatically erected between a leader and their subordinates. These barriers tend to keep people in their respective corners and do not tend to come out until it is too late and a crisis has erupted. An open door policy is a simple way to avoid this situation while still allowing for that relationship of leader and subordinate.

These are just a few simple ideas and tips which I could have easily expanded on more but did not want to drag the idea on too long for you. In order to achieve mission success for your organization you need to know what your center of gravity is! And since I just told you, you simply need to respect it and enable it. Remember that as humans we communicate from the moment we are born until the moment we die, so there is no reason why we should fail at it when it matters the most.