What do you think is the major cause of lackluster performance?  Any ideas?

Think about your own organization for a moment.  Think about a major initiative that didn’t come off the way it should have.  What do you think were the root causes of the less-than-extraordinary performance?

Hopefully you are able to boil it down to a key reason or two.  If you can’t, that’s cause for a different post.  But usually if you can, you’ll find that you can slip the reasons into one of the following two categories:

  • unclear strategy
  • conflicting priorities

Why only those two?  Those are the biggest giants when it comes to obstructing performance.

Admittedly, those are really broad categories.  And yet, they’re often at the heart of lackluster performance.

How can we combat those two giants?  At the risk of oversimplification there are two keys.  First, we’ve got to get to a crystal clear understanding of our strategy…and it must be clear to the whole team.  Second, we’ve got to reach a common understanding of the mission and priorities of our organization.

So…is that like the agenda for an annual retreat?  Is that having our mission and strategy printed up on foam core and hung where everyone can see them?  Is that having everyone on your team participate in a weekly rah rah reminder?  Maybe.

Mostly, strategic clarity and the alignment of priorities happen because the senior leadership takes the time to wrestle all the way through the issue.  And there’s no way to delegate the work.  Where the leadership attempts to delegate this responsibility you will almost certainly see fuzzy strategy and conflicting priorities.  And the outcome is missed opportunity.

For more on the concept you can download How to Have an Honest Conversation About Your Business Strategy.  It’s a great article that will have an impact on your team.

Aligning Priorities with Mission