Catalyzing Statements

November 6th, 2010 by Rich Christiansen

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Want to really focus your team and get amazing results?

Set a really big goal and then form a Catalyzing Statement around this goal.

Catalyzing statements hook people emotionally and are the driver that propels individuals towards a challenging goal.

About a month ago I heard  Rick Sapio give several examples.   I would like to share his and then give a fun one that I ran across in Japan this week.

Fed Ex – When It Absolutely Positively Has To Be There Overnight —  If you want a GREAT laugh, watch this FedEx Commercial
Microsoft Bill Gates – I picture a world with a PC  on every desktop and in every home – 1975
President Kennedy – We will put a man on the moon and return him safely to earth before the end of the century.

These catalyzing statements go FAR beyond placing a goal. They emotionally charge us and align us. They emotionally allow us to seek and believe and go forward.

A good example of this is Bill Gates. Prior to making the  unifying statement the goal was clearly set to have Microsoft be the largest software company in the world. Great goal, but where is the emotion and the emotional buy in.  It came when he stated  ” I picture a world with a PC on every desk and in every home.” That inspired us, we visualized this and indeed it enabled the goal.

This past week I have been in Asia. I was able to spend a bit of time in Japan and visited a company in Tokyo called Fujita. From the instant I entered this business I knew it was different. The tone, the conduct of the staff, and the presentation of the board room was simply different. They were focused and clearly were on a mission.  There was not the usual motion that I frequently experience in Japan.   Indeed the meeting I had was successful and at the end of the communication I could not help but poke a bit. I asked the individual I was meeting with to explain more about the company, the founder, and the history. His answer gave it all away. With out a second of hesitation here was his response:

“Fujita’s vision is to bring American culture to Japan”.

Wow, now that is powerful.  That is a hairy, big, audacious, and crazy goal.   “Bring American culture to Japan!”

You see they are not in the hamburger or movie business.  They are not selling clothing. They are not in the import / export business. Those things are simply vehicles.

They are going to change Japan from eating sushi to Big Macs, and guess what…they did.

What I did not tell you earlier is Fujita’s founder  Den Fujita is responsible for bringing McDonalds to Japan. He was also responsible for bringing Toys R Us and BlockBuster to Japan.

Fujita and McDonald

As I have considered this, I realized that this type of statement not only motivates us and inspires us, but also allows the company to change and extract us from the weeds when necessary.

Next time you set a big goal, create a catalyzing statement!   Hang on because it will rock your world with what happens if done properly.

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