I recently had the opportunity to work with one of our industry peers on their annual planning for 2014. One of the key topics challenging the team was to confirm they had a clear vision, communicated that vision, and make certain everyone was on the same page. It occurred to me as we reviewed their Core Values, Core Focus, 3-Year Picture, and 1-Year Plan to share with all, it would require great clarity. Something I believe is often missing in many companies who have a desire to grow, but seem to be stuck.
Just like my friend in the industry, we need to make sure we are building clarity across our entire organization. Clarity, for the purpose of building a great company can best be expressed through 6 vital questions author Pat Lencioni shares in his book, The Advantage:
- Why do we exist?
- How do we behave?
- What do we do?
- How will we succeed?
- What is most important – right now?
- Who must do what?
Clarity is all about focus, seeing things clearly, and alignment, which is the process of adjusting parts so they are in proper position to each other. Remember as a kid turning your bike upside down when the chain fell off? You had to get the teeth on your bike lined up just right with the chain so you could spin the pedal and get the chain back on. We need that kind of alignment to get the chain on, start pedaling, and gain traction to have a healthy team. And we all want a healthy, strong team so we can create raving fans that will introduce us to more raving fans and allow us to grow financially, personally, and professionally.
As I thought about how we can create so much clarity that there is little room for confusion, it struck me that many of us have outward themes that provide clarity to our clients on what we do. In the IT industry “We are your IT Partner” and “We are here to help!” helps us align with our clients. Why not have an internal theme that helps align our team?
Over the next weeks and months, I will be sharing the 6 questions above as they apply to a company, departments, and individual roles. They say we have to hear something 7 times before we remember it so I think it is safe to say you and I can make “Cultivating Clarity” our theme for the entire 2014 season.
Make it a great day!