Friday, November 09, 2012

Video Can Play An Important Role In Goal Alignment

I work in the organization of Chakib Boudary, who is the head of corporate strategy and industry solutions at SAP. Chakib posted a video yesterday telling the hundreds of people in his organization our focus areas for the next three months. There were no multiple all-hands meeting for the various time zones. There were no hour long meetings. Just a 10 minute video where he clearly stated the areas we need to focus on, in the next three months. It helped me prioritize the things I am focusing on and helped me understand the significance of some of my assignments.

I like the video approach much better than conference calls in ungodly hours of the day, where executives share 10 minutes of substance and find something to fill the remaining 50 minutes of the hour just because they cannot call for a 10 minute all hands meeting. Most of the hour long all-hands meetings are usually unproductive and a waste of everyone's time. Not everyone can make it due to time and schedule constraints and no one watches an hour long video recording usually.

Then I started thinking about combining video with goals management. Apart from individual goals for every person, it might be a good idea for top executives to post short 7 minute videos every quarter or every month telling the whole organization what their focus should be for the next period of work. Because video can be watched on mobile devices easily and because people are used to watching short videos, employees might actually pay attention to what is being said.

I am not talking about a welcome video or a general update from the CEO. I am talking about senior managers telling their teams the 5 things they need to focus on. In fact it should not be very difficult to add this feature  to SuccessFactors goals management, since we already have video functionality from Jam integrated into the Business Execution Suite. Building it into the product is probably easier compared to developing leaders who have the clarity of thought and presence to tell an inspiring story via a video. Technology and design cannot fill that gap.

What did Chakib tell us? I cannot share all the details. But the video below should give you a clue.

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