This week’s focus: We’ve been on a family holiday this week, skiing in France. We know the resort well, but have had several days when low cloud, heavy fog and poor visibility has limited our ability to ski at full speed.

In fact, even on the pistes we’ve skied many times before, we quickly became disoriented and struggled to find the right way ahead when visibility was no more than a few yards and we were the only ones on that particular slope. We knew we couldn’t just stay there – the temperature was about -10C – so we had to do something.

We made the best and fastest progress when we stayed close together, kept talking to each other to check we were still all present and allowed a small sub-group, of the best skiers with the most knowledge of the slope, to go slightly ahead and check the way for the main group.

When businesses get stuck and lost, which they inevitably do from time to time, the danger is that different departments and teams head off in different directions, each trying to find their own best way forward.

I know one business, for instance, that was trying to respond to a fall in its revenues. While one function focused on lower prices, another started to accelerate innovation, launching a series of higher-priced products. The result was an increase in tension between the various function that generated organization-wide frustration and inhibiting any sense of progress.

Like our skiing experience, the answer is to get closer as an organisation, communicate constantly, and work together on shared projects to find the best way forward.

Off The Record: Do You Know The Way To San Jose? by Dionne Warwick (written by Bacharach and David)

Do you know the way to San Jose?

I’ve been away so long

I may go wrong

And lose my way

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