So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard. — Caterina Fake —
It’s on you as the leader of a productive and engaging work culture to align the work and the prioritization of work with the team. Organizational execution of a specific service model or with building a specific product are often fairly clear. Operating procedures, output and outcome measures, and observations of the critical steps for these primary capabilities are generally specific and normative. This is complex, but often attended to or the organization would certainly fail quickly.
Where I often see most organizations falter by working hard on the wrong things is when support services drift to become misaligned. Well-intended, but misguided choices by hard working support service individuals often cost the organization dearly. Remember, every choice has a cost. Poor and costly choices are often facilitated in organizations with the absence of attention to strategy and performance systems that align the effectiveness of support service value-adding capacity with the primary capabilities.
Investing the time as a leader to frequently discover the status of the alignment of the hard work on the right things is a key to the success of your team and your organization. Misalignment not only diminishes success, it is also very costly. Factions of misalignment will also form major cultural barriers that can divide and diminish engagement with the purpose of your work. If you don’t have time for this discovery, you are likely spending too much time reacting to the problems that arise from some form of misalignment.