Has your leadership team felt stuck, lost, or bored? Does your organization experience overt or subtle territorial thinking? It’s likely that your leadership team needs to align around six questions to create clarity, alignment, and a clear ambition.
When I started off in the IT profession after college, I worked on various projects and initiatives to support the organization, many of which were our own interpretations of what we thought the organization needed. I couldn’t possibly look back and tell you the goals of the organization. I couldn’t have told you the goals even when I worked there. I didn’t even think about it at the time. Our department launched initiatives. Those initiatives helped us do our job better and serve our internal customers more effectively. For many companies, this may be adequate, but don’t you want more? It’s the leadership team’s responsibility to create clarity and alignment for everyone.
Forbes magazine reported that 70% of all employees are unknowingly misaligned with your company’s strategic direction. That was 8 years ago and I have not seen any change since. I love how the same Forbes article says that Clarity = speed and Alignment = acceleration. I agree! 100% alignment is the key to speed, acceleration, results, and in many cases, survival.
When I work with leadership teams to create their ambition, I often use Patrick Lencioni’s six questions for organizational clarity. Aligning a team around these six questions is magic. I’ve seen this process completely change the tone and culture of a team:
- Why do we exist?: the organization’s purpose.
- How do we behave?: the organization’s three or four core values on which you will never compromise.
- What do we do?: the actual business the organization is in (product company? service company?).
- How will we succeed?: the three strategies that make the organization successful.
- What is most important right now?: the short-term, most important goal.
- Who must do what?: what action will be taken by whom.
Want to go deeper?
- Join me for a Strategic Whiteboard Session on August 10th to walk through how to create the answers to these questions with your team.
- Download a Patrick Lencioni PDF on the six questions.
- Reach out to talk about how to create clarity and alignment with your team.
- Read my book, The Hippo Solution, for a complete discussion of creating your organization’s ambition and the three bearings that must be included.
- Read The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni – which walks through the six questions.
Remember, when your teams and departments are confused or have even the slightest level of ambiguity, they have to make up their own ambition based on their own interpretation of what’s important. That makes it much more difficult for teams and departments to work together at all levels as you need them to do. They are not navigating to the same place.