In our experience, so many of the interpersonal challenges that are faced in teams and organisations today (labelled ‘personality clashes’, ‘poor work ethic’, ‘attitude problems’, ‘not a team player’) are grown from a lack of clear directions and expectations from those in leadership. Either the mission/vision/values are not clear, or they are clear, but have not ben communicated in a way that is understood. Misalignment and a lack of clarity around Why We are Here, What We Do and How We Do It can lead to all kinds of unfortunate, costly and unnecessary destructive conflict and cultural damage.
This can have a catastrophic impact on the effectiveness, productivity and results in both the short and long term.
There is no point in giving your teams skills to be a high-performing team, if they do not have crystal clarity on the direction they should be pointing. As Stephen Covey said, there is no point climbing the career ladder if it is leaning up against the wrong wall. Similarly, there is no point developing your people to a high-performing level if they are all pointing and delivering in different directions.
Taking time out to clarify the organisation’s or individual team’s purpose, values and key strategic result areas can save countless days, weeks and months of well-meaning but misdirected busy-ness from every employee at every level.
Clarity and consistently is the key. Shared clarity and commitment.
A good strategic plan serves to LEAD, GUIDE and ENABLE. It must be tested regularly for relevance. It should empower and inspire all employees to think, act and make decisions that are aligned to achieving the Strategy.
Our teams should look to the Strategic Plan, not just as something to aim for, but more importantly, as the direction for today. Instead of getting bogged down with the technical questions of how to get ‘there’, we want out teams to be asking themselves on a daily basis, How can I deliver, role model and ‘be’ there in all my daily actions, conversations and decisions?
Strategy and Planning Days give teams the opportunity to collectively create, agree and commit to all or some of the following:
- Refreshed Purpose/ Vision/ Mission Statements
- Shared organisational Values
- Strategic priorities for the next period (time frame as appropriate)
- Collective goals and measures
This very process also drives alignment, understanding and the deepening of positive and productive communication and relationships within the team.