Communicate Organizational Goals and Strategies
If are unable to answer that question, chances are, you are far less likely to be able to recite the organization’s 5-year aims. Most of us have a hard time remembering the important goals and strategies we’re responsible for achieving because they aren’t communicated in ways that stick.
How Do I Fit In?
One of the most effective ways to help our teams really know what we’re asking them to achieve is to draw clear connections for them. It is important to help each team member see how his/her daily work connects to the goal. This requires us to tailor our communication to our audience, which might also require us to deliver the message multiple times in a variety of ways.
You may have heard the story about JFK and the janitor at NASA. During a tour of the headquarters, Kennedy asked the man what he did at NASA. The man responded, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.” This man could see a clear through line between his role and what the organization was trying to accomplish. Leaders are responsible for ensuring each team member can see and articulate goals with such clarity. The same is true for organizational strategies. Strategies don’t mean anything, if people don’t understand what the strategy is supposed to achieve and how they fit into the plan.
To many leaders, the idea of spelling out this connection between individual roles and goals and strategies is baffling. If they work here, shouldn’t they get it? Shouldn’t they know what we’re trying to achieve? You’d be surprised. When our team members are focused on doing, doing, doing, it can be hard to pull back long enough to see the bigger picture. A leader’s facilitation of gaining this perspective can mean the difference between “mopping the floors” and “putting a man on the moon.”
3 Tips for Communicating Goals & Strategies
We can remember seven-digit phone numbers, but that is the maximum most of us can expect from our brain’s working memory. In fact, it’s even easier for us to remember the pattern of three-digits and then four-digits, than it is to memorize an uninterrupted pattern of seven. Our brains are super organs, but they do have limits. When presenting information to our teams, it’s important to remember less is more. Not only is it hard for us to keep track of a long list of goals and strategies, it’s also hard for us to successfully tackle multiple, significant priorities that require focused effort. Consider your own brain as you prepare to communicate organizational goals and strategies. How many goals can you meaningfully recite and own?