Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Clarity First by Karen Martin Book Review



Over the years I have lost count of how many useless meetings that I have sat through with colleagues listening to countless KPI numbers, reports, financial updates, and other meaningless reports. We all nod as if we understand and that the information is meaningful. Sound familiar?

Too many leaders spend time pouring over numbers and creating reports that lack clarity, relevancy, and actionable information. The new book by Karen Martin Clarity First offers strategies, guidance, and examples of how we should be mining and presenting clear information for our employees, customers, and leadership teams. Karen introduces us to some lean and value stream processes that are useful and manageable without overwhelming with statistics and mumbo-jumbo that goes over the reader’s head.

Karen addresses five key areas that need to be addressed to bring clarity to organizations and teams. Here are the five Ps:

1. Purpose
2. Priorities
3. Process
4. Performance
5. Problem-solving

Organizations that lack clarity drive waste which prevents leaders from achieving goals and only brings confusion. Surprisingly, many companies avoid clarity because it means “putting” everything out there. Lack of clarity alienates employees, stakeholders, and leaders. Everyone within an organization should be encouraged to champion clarity and make it a vital part of the company culture.

Not enough leaders realize that clarity can unleash the power of employees by empowering them. If encouraged, they have unleashed potential, insight, innovation at various levels, and encourage every single person at every level.

Clarity First is a must-read for leaders at any level. Here is what clarity can bring:

Highlighting organizational purpose
Set achievable priorities because clarity exists
Deliver better customer service and value
Encourage transparency
Build stronger problem-solving skills and capabilities
Develop personal clarity to individuals

Clarity isn’t something that should be feared. Every organization should embrace transparency and clarity as a key factor to success. Write relevant reports. Share the good and bad with clarity. Manage transparency at all levels with a variety of data points. Encourage people to bring clarity to work with them every day. Clarity First by Karen Martin can start you on your own clarity journey.