Organizational Success and Excellence: Four Cornerstones

In working with organizations over the last 20 years, we have noticed that while each organization’s problems are unique, the cornerstones required for success remain fairly constant.  In the organizational context, it is possible to succeed without any of the four of these cornerstones, but each one that you get right increases your chances of success and your ability to weather distressed markets.  Leadership Formation is hosting a ground breaking conference in Amman, Jordan in December to give insight into these areas from world-renowned leader sand speakers.  Our next four article focus topics will include more detail on each of these as a bit of a sneak preview into the contents of the conference.  Join us at the conference to learn more about how to sustain and grow your organization, be it a family business, enterprise, or even an NGO.


Tough economic times require leaders that are able to simultaneously inspire and guide those within their organization.  Good leaders operate at all levels of the organization, regardless of title and position.  They manage to present a challenging vision of the future as something realistic and achievable.  They go on to encourage people to help them achieve the picture they have painted.  Although many confuse them, leadership and management are very distinct organizational needs and require unique skill sets.  While management is important, leadership is vital.

Corporate Governance

Governance, while a hot topic, still eludes many organizations.  Most leaders aren’t quite sure what exactly governance means or why it would be a cornerstone.  A typical response to the idea of governance is, “Things have worked so far and we’ve been successful without much governance.”  While organizations can be successful without clear governance parameters, when times of crisis or unexpected opportunity arise, those without clearly defined governance are often at a loss to respond in a timely manner.


Organizations that are able to maintain success share one concrete thing in common – uncommonly good execution.  Regardless of industry or business type, being able to build and the execute a plan is a hallmark of longevity.  Many organizations find excellent planners who think out every possibility and rate and rank each risk.  However, often these people are ill-equipped to handle the challenges that appear in real-life.  They lack either the experience or the fortitude to actually execute the beautiful plan.  Plans last intact until exactly the moment that execution begins.  At that point, the leader must be capable and willing to respond to changes and execute flawlessly for the customer every single time.


Many, many organizations question the need for strategy.  This is in particular true of organizations that were founded by a visionary and had strong teams that built success upon success.  However, the current economic challenges around the globe are helping organizations see that simply building on past strengths – and counting on solid markets – will not suffice for sustaining success.  In a time when entire markets have collapsed, those organizations that failed to envision the future and work toward it are left at an uncomfortable crossroads – move forward quickly or run aground.  Having a good strategy, not words on a papers but a living, breathing, detailed understanding of the future direction of the organization is a key that can not be emphasized too much.  It helps keep the teams rallied and provides clear direction in times when work may be slack and resources available.


Organizations with an inspiring leader who is able to direct and guide resources appropriately typically find success, however creating strong but flexible governance models, clear execution procedures, and a vibrant strategy turns a solid performer into a long-lasting powerhouse.  Join Leadership Formation on December 9 and learn more about how your organization can leverage these cornerstones to build a strong foundation.  Don’t miss this excellent opportunity!