My six years at Sanofi were really the transition from manager to leader. It wasn’t always easy, but this is where I started to truly apply self-awareness to my tasks and expanded my perspectives to move beyond the day-to-day and focus on the strategic needs of building a quality organization.
I came into the organization really focused on the immediate needs of building a serious change management and change control. This was a site under a consent decree and I felt pressured to have results fast.
Over time, as the consent decree moved to later stages I shifted focus to being less day-to-day and more about implementing continuous improvements and driving a vision of what quality and excellence really could be.
I made mistakes. I had successes. I’m leaving quite proud of what I’ve done and the relationships I’ve built. Relationships I am confident will continue.
I often joke with folks that I started this blog as a public form of journaling. That remains true, and will continue in the future. As I move into my next position, here are my key things to remember:
Focus on outcomes not deliverables with the long term goal of building a quality culture through innovative digital solutions and thus helping shape not only my organization but others beyond it.
Don’t just instruct but inspire. Strive toinspire, to motivate, and to communicate the overall quality philosophy at every opportunity. If my coworkers are truly inspired by and proud of the ideals and values that I help communicate, then they will drive even more improvements.
CommunicateBig Quality Ideas. In addition to setting a digital agenda, utilize the platform to create wider strategies for quality, and defining the tone for quality culture by crafting effective, clear, transparent, and consistent messaging that inspires the best.
Slow down. Be humble. Understand that I do not need to prove myself as the smartest person in every room. Encourage people to speak up, respect differences of opinion and champion the best ideas. Breathe.
Here is my first draft at a mission statement developed after reviewing my SWOT and doing a quick brainstorming exercise asking myself some what, why and how questions:
The mission of my blog is to encourage a thoughtful life as a quality professional. I want to ask and explore questions related to building a quality culture and utilizing system thinking to spark a dialogue with my peers. I am to become a leader in quality both internal to my own company and externally to the wider profession.
The ACORN test is a check on a mission or project charter goal to determine if it well defined. I am drawing from The Quality Toolbox, but this is a tool you can find all over the internet.
Accomplishment. Does the goal describe results rather than behaviors?
The goal here is to write. Secondary to that I want to spark a dialogue and also be invited to conferences and other speaking opportunities.
The mission statement as is could use some tightening here.
Control. Does the team’s actions determine whether not the goal is accomplished? If the way the mission is articulated primarily depends on others outside the team, consider rewriting it.
I am a team of one. Everything within my mission statement is in my own power. I can write, and publish and share. Publicizing my posts is within my control.
Only Objective. If this and only this was accomplished would it be enough?
O is sometimes also phrased as “Overall Objective” — Make sure that the mission truly captures the organization’s reason for being. Avoid writing a mission that is simply a subgoal of that overall purpose.
My only goal is thinking aloud. I am not trying to sell anything, nor am I concerned about finding a job (I work in pharmaceutical quality in Boston, getting a new job involves going to Kendall square and waving a resume around)
Reconciliation. Will accomplishing this goal prevent another group within the organization from accomplishing its goal? Does anyone else have this goal? Various units should be working in harmony to achieve the overall organization mission.
As an individual, I do not need to worry about other groups. However it is important for my mission statement for this blog not to interfere or conflict with any of my other goals.
This mission statement is aligned to my personal and professional goals. In fact it helps further several of them.
Numbers. Can this goal be measured?
Blogging has several measurements built in – views, visitors, likes, shares and comments.
I can also measure other things like invitations to speaking opportunities, questions directed to me, and others.
An overall mission statement must pass all give parts of the ACORN test in order to be well defined. In my case I pass but need some tightening in accomplishment.