What is the Multiple Destination Trap?
The Multiple Destination Trap can feel a little bit different for every organization. But at the most basic level, you're stuck in the Multiple Destination Trap when members of your team are moving in different directions, when there's confusion and anxiety, when people don't have the same vision of success, and when there's no progress being made.
Some organizations stuck in the Multiple Destination Trap do many things at a mediocre level, instead of just a few things really well. Others may have a clear vision of success, but that vision isn't shared with other members of the organization - just the leadership team.
When employees live in that world, it's really difficult for them to be successful. They don't know what they should be working on, or what they should be working towards.
The Trap will feel a little different for each organization. Take a look at your own organization and your own team to determine if you're stuck or not.
- Are people aligned on what success looks like, or not? And how do you know?
- Are people working on things that are unrelated to the goals and vision of the organization?
- Is progress being made?
- Are you measuring the right things?
How to Know When You're Stuck
One easier way to tell if you're stuck in the Multiple Destination Trap is by assessing your organization's overall ability to develop and implement strategy.
We created the One Destination Scorecard to help you do just that. The scorecard is a series of 10 questions that ask for a number rating between 1 and 10. If you're honest with yourself about your team and your organization, this quantitative assessment will be a great indicator for how well your organization is able to develop and implement strategy.
There are 10 questions with a rating of 1 to 10, so you'll end up with a score out of 100. A low score will indicate you're stuck in the Multiple Destination Trap, and a high score (80+) means you're doing great.
Once you've completed the assessment and figured out your score, think about what other team members would score the organization. Think about members of the leadership team as well as other employees. Would their scores of the organization be better, worse, or the same?
If people across your organization are getting vastly different scores, that's an indication of anxiety and confusion. In other words, stuck in the Multiple Destination Trap.
The Cost of the Trap
When you're organization is stuck in the Multiple Destination Trap, your people are confused about what they should be working on and anxious about where they're going. People are moving in different directions, and little progress is being made.
At the organization level, you're doing many things poorly instead of a few things well. You're tracking and measuring the wrong things, and don't really know what your people are working on.
There are several bad outcomes associated with the Multiple Destination Trap:
- Lack of progress
- Lower engagement
As a result of the outcomes above, there are costs associated. When people inevitably leave your organization, there is the upfront cost of recruiting and hiring new people. There's also the cost of training. On top of that, the high turnover creates a negative effect on the morale of the people that decided not to leave.
The lack of progress will also cost your organization. Whether you're trying to move from $100k to $200k or $10 million to $20 million, the Multiple Destination Trap can slow you dramatically and cost you that progress.
There's also a cost associated with low engagement. If you're people aren't engaged in their work, then they probably aren't even close to 100% productivity. The goal shouldn't be to extract as much as possible from your workers, but there's a huge cost associated with people that are half as productive.
How to Escape the Trap
If you got a low score, and you're stuck in the trap, it's simple - you need to change. You can't afford to go on like you are now. Change isn't always easy, and it can be painful. So if the cost of the trap isn't big enough or doesn't hurt that bad, your organization isn't going to change. So it's up to you.
Our approach for helping organizations escape the Multiple Destination Trap is our Aligned Strategy Development Process. The process focuses on your One Destination, or the one place you want to go as an organization.
It all starts with alignment. Alignment with your One Destination, and alignment with the rest of the strategic plan, which includes your mission, priorities, goals, and actions. *Note: Alignment does not mean agreement.
Then it's time to prioritize. Every organization has more opportunities than they have time, money, and energy to go after. By prioritizing just a few things and doing them really well, you'll end up much farther down the path of progress.
But that's not enough. To get to that One Destination and see your plan implemented, you also need to create the environment around the plan that will ultimately help you reach that One Destination. To help you create the environment, we've developed the 6 Critical Capacities for Strategy Implementation. The 6 capacities are as follows:
- Tracking & Monitoring
- Values, Behaviour & Culture
- Leadership & Change Management
We work with leadership teams from small to medium sized businesses, nonprofit, government, and universities to help them escape the Multiple Destination Trap. We help them create alignment around their One Destination and their strategic plan, and we help them develop the 6 Critical Capacities for Strategy Implementation listed above.
If you're interested in what it might look like to work together, contact us and book a time to chat. There's no strings attached, just a time for you to share what you're going through, and see if we're a good fit for your team:
If you're a nonprofit organization, the offer still stands, but you could qualify for heavily subsidized services. Our Nonprofit Alignment Program is open for a limited time. Learn more about the program and apply below: