Professional sports teams often have a rallying chant (either fan driven or player driven). Non-profits have missions to rally around. And many fundraising events have a central idea to rally around and inspire donors.
There’s plenty of evidence that having a central focus is good for success.
The idea behind a rallying cry according to Lencioni is that it’s a “thematic goal.” It’s about identifying what’s most important to the company, right now.
The goal is shared across the team in all departments to keep us all unified and working towards a tangible short-term goal. It’s a singular goal – easy to follow (and easy to remember). It’s a temporary goal – defined by a series of weeks or months, not years. And there are no metrics attached to the goal.
For us at Listenwise, our rallying cry since January has been to improve customer satisfaction.
Why? Because we feel that is most important to our success. We ended 2017 with a comprehensive customer feedback survey that we’ve wanted to focus on to help drive us forward. The survey gave us a lot of rich information that resulted in understanding our strengths and areas for improvement, through the eyes of our customers.
This aligned well, as we were also internally focusing on company culture and unity and it made a lot of sense to establish our first rallying cry.
So we decided to take a deeper dive into the customer survey and make our rallying cry “improve customer satisfaction.” We talked about how each department–sales, marketing, support–could go deeper into the survey and report back.
We have been learning and sharing ever since.
How do we keep our rallying cry top of mind? We have short update meetings on the rallying cry almost every month to see what we’ve learned, what we’ve fixed and what we still need to do. Because we’ve all agreed to a top priority, we take collective responsibility for it.
It’s been interesting to see how narrowing the focus on one thing the whole team can participate in has led to cohesion and a shared feeling of focus and results.
We originally thought the rallying cry would be our focus for six months. But as we approach back-to-school, we feel there’s still more to learn and implement. It still is our top-of-mind goal, so we have extended it through the fall.
Soon it will be time to select a new rallying cry. At this very moment, I don’t know what it will be. And that’s good, it means we will be listening to our customers and to our team to choose what’s most important to rally around next.