The Oxford Dictionary defines momentum as:
If you’ve seen a fidget spinner – you’ve seen momentum in action.
Fidget spinners were one of the hottest toys of 2017. If you don’t know what they are – they’re these small, ball bearing devices with three ‘wings’. You hold them at the centre and with the slightest application of force, set them into a spinning motion that lasts for ages.
The ball bearings are the key to the spinning motion; they reduce friction that allow the wings to rotate freely. Friction, in simple terms, is the resistance to motion that occurs when one object moves against another. Less friction equals sustained momentum.
The reason kids (and kid-ults) find fidget spinners so captivating is because they reveal the beauty and elegance of frictionless movement. Observing sustained momentum in action inspires us to consider the dynamic forces at play in our environment; the thrill of acceleration; the influence of gravity; the possibility of pace with no limits.
In business – momentum is the spirit of progression towards meeting aspirational goals and targets. A business gaining momentum is growing at a pace that outstrips past performance or performance of competitors. The collective energy of the team is being harnessed and focussed towards delivering exceptional customer experiences.
Watching my son play with his fidget spinner inspired me to consider what drives momentum in business. How do business leaders create momentum? How do they reduce friction? How do they create the dynamics that sustain momentum throughout and even beyond their own tenure?
Peter Drucker is famously quoted for saying that “Culture eats Strategy for breakfast”.
Well, I’m going out on a limb here and saying that, on this point, Drucker was wrong.
What drives momentum in business is the collective synergy of three systems working dynamically together – the system for leadership; the system for culture and the system for strategy.
Leadership, Culture and Strategy are the holy trinity of high performance. And they are in good company. All good things come in threes. Three blind mice; three little pigs; three bears. In Kabbalah philosophy the number three signifies harmony. To the Chinese, three is a lucky number. The Rule of Three has applications in aesthetics. Three is the least number of entities to form a pattern
Leadership, Culture and Strategy are the three critical elements that align and connect the activities of people across the whole organisation. They are the organising principles that determine what people work on and how they work together in the most optimal way to achieve the potential of your business.
Spinning together; these elements create momentum by fuelling purpose, passion and performance.
Leadership fuels purpose by inspiring high performance and connecting people to the purpose the organisation serves
Culture fuels passion by connecting people to a shared system of values and beliefs.
Strategy fuels performance by ensuring all team members set and are accountable to results.
Together, the net result of an organisation where people are connected to purpose, passionate about what they do, and performing to a high standard: is Profit.
Purpose + Passion + Performance = Profit.
My new book – available from 30 October – is all about systems of performance and what every business needs to do to be a high performing team. It’s been such a challenging yet rewarding journey and over the next 9 weeks I’ll be sharing deeper insights into my learnings and ideas. If you’d like to join me for this crazy ride – then let’s connect via socials.
Shout out to Steve Dayan, MD who published a comprehensive article on the phenomenon of 3’s on www.modernaesthetics.com titled “Omne Trium Perfectum”