I see a clear pathway to achieve all results, but no one else does …

by Rachel Davis, Director of Transformation, Mekong Capital
18 August 2020

Rachel Davis, Director of Transformation, Mekong Capital

A week after Mekong Capital’s Vision Days, a question still haunted me. “What will it take to ensure we achieve all of the results we are committed to by the end of the year?”

In my role as Director of Transformation, I am accountable for the success of our team members in reaching the results they have committed to as well as achieving the company’s larger purpose and Vision. I had been hired to cause a breakthrough in Mekong’s ability to realize its purpose and add value to our partnerships with our investee companies.

I looked at the table in front of me — a mass of individual sheets of paper and post-it notes, each representing the specific desires and commitments expressed by individuals, and the broader commitments of the company until the end of the year. If it had been a list, it would have easily been more than 100 specific commitments and results. These were the first level of breakthroughs in which all of our team members had new energy, aliveness, connection, and excitement about what was possible.

I also factored in the reality of what team members were dealing with, including their current workload, schedule, demands on their time, and attention. It was clear to me that all of the organizational results would be impossible to achieve if we were all focusing on just individual results. Yes, I needed to construct a clear and actionable pathway towards the fulfillment of the Vision, which is called the Optimal Pathway, one of Mekong Capital’s Vision Driven Investing elements.

I had been staring at this table and mess of papers for several days now. I simply loved “impossible” challenges like this one. So when I got to feel too complicated or overwhelming, I had taken a break, walked away, and worked on something else, returning later with a fresh mind.

I believed from my experience that if I kept imagining and getting clear about the desired outcome and tested different scenarios in my mind, such a pathway would arise.

What if, I coached each individual…No, that would not create sufficient synergy and momentum at the group level.

What if, we focused only on our Core Values …Yes, that would create some but not all of the breakthroughs we needed.

I had been relatively patient, but I knew time was limited. If I didn’t provide a clear pathway soon, the new energy and optimism would disappear inside ordinary “business as usual” activities.

I re-read each and every commitment, letting the images of each desired outcome create a full picture of what December would look like if ALL of the results were achieved. As the picture of that future got clearer and clearer, I continued to ask myself: “What is the optimal pathway to achieve all results by the end of the year?”

Our team members have different levels of leadership and capacity to communicate our Vision and our brand. The quickest way to elevate their leadership and competency is NOT to apply Vision Driven Investing in our investee companies. Instead, the Vision Driven Investing is the pathway that would shift the team’s attention and energy to their BEING. And thanks to BEING, they can further develop their unique talents and leadership, expanding their insight and ability to add value to our investee companies while getting their personal desire met.

This would absolutely cause all of the results we were committed to AND require the least amount of time to deliver value to our companies.

AHA! This is the OPTIMAL PATHWAY that is CLEAR and ACTIONABLE towards the fulfillment of our Vision!

I immediately shared with my mentee this finding, and together we designed a ‘Leading from the Future’ series of workshops focusing on Vision Driven Investing as the access to accelerating their breakthrough results. The first topic was about VISION. 100% of the team accepted our invitation to participate. This was perfect! Until …

As we approached the second session, I realized they were not fully engaged. Most of the participants were not taking the actions they said they would. They were not sharing breakthroughs, breakdowns, or discoveries, and most only submitted the preparation questions when prompted.

Ugh!

When I realized this, my first reaction was annoyance, irritation, tinged with a thought of … “Gee whiz, do I need to chase them for the rest of the year?” Suddenly all of my excitement for this pathway disappeared.

I took a deep breath, chose to be cause in the matter of the way it was, and look for what was still missing.

The intention for Optimal Pathway seems straightforward: “There is a clear and actionable pathway towards the fulfillment of the Vision.” But…

Clear to whom?

Actionable for whom?

Towards?

While I personally saw this pathway as the answer to accomplish everything, in observing the actions of the team members, I realized they did not see it the way I did, at least not yet.

For the full power of this Vision Driven Investing to be realized, our team members should SEE for THEMSELVES that this was THEIR optimal pathway. Otherwise, they wouldn’t fully engage. Finally, I have found out what was missing, a critical dimension of the Optimal Pathway:

a SHARED viewpoint that this was it — the pathway for their success.

Without a SHARED view of this as the optimal pathway, there would be hesitancy, half-hearted participation, distraction, persistent doubts and resistance, and for sure, failure.

This discovery brought fresh energy to my mind. With renewed enthusiasm, I revised my plan for our second session to shift the team’s occurring, causing a breakthrough in their ownership of this pathway for their success. The topic for this session was perfect: the Vision Driven Investing element of Optimal Pathway.

I went into the session fully committed to causing each person to see for themselves the relevance and power of this pathway for their personal and organizational success. The block to our progress, AND leverage point for our success, was shifting their occurring world. HA, this is my skill-set, so let the games begin!

Lesson Learned:

To expect everyone to see this is the best way and buy into this is insanity! What I had to do to unlock the full potential of Optimal Pathway, the key stakeholders need to SEE it for themselves (what is it for me and that’s the best way for me to achieve the results) both the proposed pathway clearly AS WELL AS see its relevance to what mattered most to them — how is this proposed pathway the simplest “clear and actionable pathway to the fulfillment of the vision” they want to achieve this year.


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Mekong Capital makes investments in consumer-driven businesses and adds substantial value to those companies based on its proven framework called Vision Driven Investing. Our investee companies are typically among the fastest-growing companies in Vietnam’s consumer sector. For more information on Mekong Capital, please visit www.mekongcapital.com.

Published On: August 18, 20206 min read

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