“Why are we here?” It is a question that is often difficult to answer when asked by a 3 year old, but should be easier to respond to when asked at work. Should be. Ideally. Not always…
Actually, maybe a lot less than we think.
If someone asked your team what your organisation truly stands for and in turn, the role they had to play in delivering these objectives, would you be satisfied with the answer? (you may wish to whisper your response).
Do you know what defines your company’s direction, priorities and goals? Are you able to articulate these to your customers and other stakeholders in a way which is meaningful to them? Does your day’s work reflect these objectives or are you (or your team) performing ‘tasks’ that have little context? Do you hear your team talking in a way that is not true reflection of the organisation’s agenda?
Whether you are a large or small business, delivering products or services, being clear about the strategic intent of your organisation is critical. It impacts how you work and set priorities, represent the business and contribute ideas and feedback. Factors which may impact our ability to communicate our organisation’s strategic intent include:
- A tired or ill defined brand
- The absence of storytelling in the organisation to engage and inspire employees
- Communicating top level strategy into something meaningful for all stakeholders
- Communication tools and training
- A strategic plan
- Lack of understanding of how disparate teams work with each other and transfer knowledge and content
Ring any bells?
It is often too hard to pinpoint what the issues are in isolation. However, they become glaringly obvious in group work. Over the last few months Rhod, Amy and I have facilitated some great team workshops that have been invaluable in both uncovering some of the barriers to answering that question and getting employees engaged around solving it.