‘Spark’: does your business have it?

I’m always on the lookout for ways of simplifying complex leadership concepts. The CEO role is hard enough and essentialising tricky business concepts into a single idea can be helpful. 

The concept that has been occupying my mind of late is the idea of organisational ‘spark’. 

This spark is a compound result: many different components of a business coming together to produce a particular state of energy. The state I refer to here is in the territory of ‘Vitality’: one of the 7 performance lenses that I’ve created in my work around driving organisational performance. 

‘Spark’ is created when a host of different factors come together:

  • Your people are excited about what your business is trying to do
  • There are signals of success showing through (better sales, greater market share)
  • Your people understand where their efforts fit into the greater organisational picture
  • Your strategy is clear and competitive and gives you a better than average chance at success
  • There is a sense of cohesion about the business: everyone willingly pulling in the same direction

Spark is felt rather than measured. It’s an energetic thing that is perceptible and it’ll show up in meetings, feedback sessions, town halls, team gatherings etc. And, mostly, it’ll be binary: your business is sparky or it’s not. And if you feel like your business is somewhere in between, then it’s probably the latter.

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