Declare Your Manifesto

Declare Your Manifesto

In our previous post, we talked about the advantage of Soft Wiring. We want to share with you some important ways to make that happen. We’ll begin with Declaring Your Manifesto.

At Ritz-Carlton, it’s “Ladies and Gentlemen Serving Ladies and Gentlemen.”

At Disney, it’s “We Create Happiness.”

What do those two things have in common? They focus not on the task or role people perform, but rather on the expected result. They clarify “why” they do what they do, as opposed to “what” or “how.”

Apple is another good example of the “why” followed by the “what” and “how.” CEO Tim Cook stated the Apple Way six months before Steve Jobs passed away. That declaration supported employees and investors in believing that Apple could go on without Steve Jobs. Here was the gist of that text:

“Apple is on the face of the earth to make great products. We’re constantly focusing on innovating. We believe we need to win and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution. We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so we can focus on the few that are meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination in order to innovate in a way others cannot. We don’t settle for anything other than excellence in any group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change. Regardless of who is in what job, those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well.”

An Apple Store in Orlando, Florida. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
An Apple Store in Orlando, Florida. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

To soft wire an organization, you need to have a clear concept about “why” we are doing what we are doing. This is more than simply a mission statement. John Bell, author of Do Less Better: The Power of Strategic Sacrifice in a Complex World noted:

“In practice, the outcomes of mission statements and manifestos are miles apart. Though manifestos and missions are crafted to bring people together behind a cause; manifestos have a much better track record of igniting action.”

“Manifestos are best known for political movements, but the emotion of such texts can also motivate people to excel in the world of business.”

Consider that one of the first steps in Soft Wiring is really declaring what you are really about. What is the end result you are trying to achieve?

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