An organization can’t be focused and aligned unless the top management team is focused and aligned. It has to start at the top.
Fortunately, there’s a quick way to determine whether you and your top management team are on the same page. The next time you meet with them, give them a page with six questions and give them exactly three minutes to answer them. They have to complete it on their own and without referring to any documents or other aids. Here are the six questions:
- What does our business do?
- What does winning look like?
- What few objectives must we accomplish to win?
- What must our culture be like to win?
- How do we measure progress and success?
- What is the pain that’s driving us to change?
Unless you’ve developed a strategic framework, you’re not likely to have answers to those questions. If that’s true in your case, then developing a strategic framework would be the place to start.
Unless you have an ongoing strategic process, you’re not likely to remember or even think about the answers you’ve come up with. If that’s the case, then start by implementing a strategic process through which you review and discuss the six questions with your top management team no less than monthly. And take action on your objectives.
Focus and alignment. Focus and alignment. Focus and alignment. Identify what’s most critical. Revisit it constantly. Make certain you and your top management team are absolutely in sync.
Make it happen.
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