A compelling purpose answers “why?”.  It provides meaning and motivation for your team.  A compelling plan answers “what?”. It provides clarity and direction for your team.

The latest Gallup workforce survey of millions of workers and interviews with CHROs and preeminent economists reveals that a global dream is to have a “good job”.  However, the “best life imaginable” particularly for young people doesn’t happen unless you have a “great job” with a living wage and a leader who encourages your development. 

The difference between a “good job” and a “great job” is that a great job has all the elements of a good job plus one big differentiator. A great job is when you are engaged in meaningful and fulfilling work and feel you are experiencing real growth and development at work.

So, the starting point for a great job is a compelling purpose and plan for the organization. Whether you are developing a corporate strategic plan or setting your department’s strategy, it’s important to start with a simple, clear, and well-thought-out plan. Why stack the odds against yourself with an overly complex or unclear plan? Our goal is to have clients articulate their plan in just a few pages.

Management journals, books and articles are filled with countless approaches to strategic planning. The definitions for the various components of a strategic plan can be debated endlessly – a vision versus a mission, initiatives versus tactics, goals versus objectives. So rather than use valuable client time debating definitions or working through a complex planning process, we cut through the clutter by answering six critical questions about your business or team (depending on your level in the organization). If you are going to work on a plan, your plan should work for you.

Think of these questions as the “SparkNotes” version of planning. Craft clear answers to these questions, and you’ll be off to a strong start. Don’t be deceived by the simplicity of the questions. They require deep thought, good supporting data and honest discussion in order to articulate concise answers. And remember, the questions apply to leaders of an organization, a regional office, a department, or a small team.

Every leader should answer these six critical questions for his/her function.

  1. Why do we exist?
  2. Where are we going?
  3. How will we conduct ourselves?
  4. What will we do to compete?
  5. How will we measure our success?
  6. What improvements or changes must we make?

We address these questions in detail and with illustrations in chapter 4 of Stick with It.

Call us to discuss how you can create a compelling purpose and plan for your team.