We started Habitat because we know that running a business is hard, and managing people often becomes the most difficult aspect. We know because we’ve studied, practiced, experienced, and iterated our way through the organizational consulting and strategic planning process needed to build highly effective teams for much of our professional lives. Through our learning and our work, we’ve arrived at a philosophy we believe is worth sharing, so we can help organizations build better teams and help teams build better organizations.
At the heart of our philosophy is the belief that the world doesn’t need yet another one-size-fits-all business book. Believe us—we’ve read quite a few! Just as every organism is different, with unique needs, certain conditions, and specific requirements that allow it to thrive, the best organizations evolve through research, data, and intentional strategy. Unwilling to recycle the ineffective solutions of the past, Habitat instead collaborates with our clients—and their team members—to effect organizational change from within. Taking our approach ensures that people at every level of the organization will own the changes needed for sustained success.
Perhaps most importantly to our strategic planning process and other organizational development processes, we recognize that any good organizational change requires getting your hands dirty—in that organization's unique soil. Why? Because no single system, no cookie-cutter framework, nor any prescriptive-solution thought leader can replace the importance of radical clarity, honest conversations, and continual alignment in an organization. That reality has led Habitat to create a systematic process for identifying client-specific solutions that not only work to implement the change our clients need, but change the way our clients solve problems moving forward.
We believe that achieving clarity is the single-most important step in reshaping a struggling organization’s culture, collective performance, and chance for a long, successful future. Great organizations work tirelessly to define their goals, embrace tough conversations, and hold people accountable to the expectations and standards the executive team has consistently communicated. Clarity is the central element necessary to establishing each of these organizational practices as the norm. Clearly.
Habitat's organizational planning process and the systems we build for organizational clarity have proven to work, and we don't mind spilling the secret behind our successful approach: Our systems work because they're centered on ensuring that people at every level of the organization plainly understand what's required to meet expectations and reach organizational goals.Together.
So how do we help instill clarity? Our organizational planning consultants work with clients to create tangible tools that anyone on the team can review. For example, distributing the OKR (objectives and key results) strategic planning documents and the performance management systems we help create will give team members the opportunity to review and fully understand the company vision as well as the expectations and systems of accountability that will let the organization bring that vision to fruition.
In short, our organizational planning process leaves Habitat poised to bring clarity and a unified purpose to your entire team—from company execs to department managers to front-line employees.
All too often we meet with business owners and leaders who are struggling with a difficult but productive team or individual. As we dig into the organizational visioning and structural phases of our organizational planning process, we frequently discover that the goals and expectations of the company are not shared throughout the organization, often because leaders have failed to clearly communicate the essential information in the first place.
This communication breakdown leaves every person on the team scrambling to operate on their own respective islands. In most cases, individuals believe their own goals and expectations are accurate representations of what the company requires. To put it bluntly, alignment is nonexistent.
By bringing radical clarity to an organization, we can begin to measure alignment among team members, creating a powerful tool for managers and leaders. Employees no longer guess if they are performing up to the standards of the organization, and managers have a clear framework to filter employee feedback.
An organization that values alignment ensures everyone is moving in the same direction, with a shared purpose, to accomplish the same objectives. Once we help set a foundation of alignment, if an individual backslides or otherwise becomes misaligned with the organization, correcting the problem involves a much simpler conversation to realign or remove that person.
Losing sight of the organizational goals defined during the strategic planning process and almost always results in falling well short. Many organizations have ample opportunity to learn this lesson, yet repeatedly losing focus has been a glaring issue for countless companies.
Even experienced executive teams can fall victim to the siren call of a bright and shiny new idea. The potential benefit seems too exciting to pass up. Unfortunately, shifting focus to pursue new ideas (yes, even really good ones!) involves a clear opportunity cost—the goals the team had been collectively working toward. Beyond the short-term financial impact, suddenly changing the company focus leaves employees on unstable ground and undermines confidence in the leadership and the strategic vision of the organization.
Maintaining focus within an organization requires saying "no" to many opportunities that arise, so the team can accomplish its most important objectives. To help instill laser-focus throughout an organization, we've built focus into our strategic planning process, intentionally limiting the number of priorities our clients set for a given timeframe. Rather than brainstorming 10 - 12 goals they'd like to meet, we help narrow the focus to 3 - 5 goals they can meet. Guess what: With all eyes focused on achieving shared goals, they do.
If your organization is ready to hone in on critical goals, let's have a conversation. The truth is, you may hate our strict strategic planning process in the moment, but if our client history is any indication, you'll thank us when the team starts consistently checking off its goals.