If you lead an organization of any kind, you’re the Chief Clarity Officer. Here are 12 things you must clarify.
- Mission – Why do we exist? Too many organizations have no why, a weak why or a fuzzy. Clarify this first or nothing else matters.
- Vision – Where are we going? While you’re always striving to accomplish your mission, your vision should be a tangible picture of what it looks like in a couple of years. Very few organizations have a clear vision.
- Values – What beliefs drive our behavior? Gino Wickman, author of traction says these are “Vital and timeless guiding principles for your company.” Values will create culture.
- Strategy – How will we accomplish our vision? If mission answers the WHY question, strategy answers the HOW questions.
- Core Focus – Dan Sullivan calls this your “Unique Ability.” Jim Collins says it’s your Hedgehog Concept. Knowing what you’re really doing will allow you to say “If you’re looking for that, we’re probably not right for you…we excel at this.”
- Goals – What is our target? A Harris Interactive/Frankin Covey poll of 23,000 employees found 37% of employees didn’t understand their companies priorities. Only 1 in 5 were enthusiastic about company goals. If you know where you want to go, clarify some real goals.
- Calendar – When do we do it? It’s not sexy but a tool as simple as a calendar will help you know when to work on what.
- Systems – What processes facilitate progress? A lot of organizations fail not because a lack of talent or vision, but because they lack the systems and process to sustain growth.
- Meetings – When and why do we gather? If you’re just meeting in response to problems, you’re not proactively creating growth and health. Clarify what meetings are really necessary and who should be there.
- Team – Who will get us where we want to go? “If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.” says Patrick Lencioni inThe Five Dysfunctions of a Team.
- Metrics – What numbers tell us how we are doing? Anything that is measured and watched is improved. So clarify what numbers really matter and create a system to track them on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis.
- Target – Who are we trying to reach? Some people call this a persona, but you’ve gotta know who your best customer is. And it might not be as generic as you think.
If you need help clarifying any or all of these items for your organization, drop me a note. I love helping leaders create clarity. There’s nothing like it.