The Advantage

Discipline 2: Create Clarity

Overview

Creating alignment at the executive level is essential to building and maintaining a healthy organization. There is probably no greater frustration for employees than having to navigate the politics and confusion caused by leaders who are misaligned. Even the slightest bit of daylight between executive team members can cause an overwhelming effect on employees below.

There are six simple but critical questions that need to be answered, eliminating all discrepancies among team members. The six critical questions include:

  1. Why do we exist?

    The answer to this question will yield a core purpose, or the fundamental reason the company is in business.

  2. How do we behave?

    This question examines behaviors and values required for success.

  3. What do we do?

    This answer provides a simple, direct explanation of the business.

  4. How will we succeed?

    This question requires the team members to develop a strategy.

  5. What is most important, right now?

    The answer to this question is the establishment of a unifying thematic goal and action plan.

  6. Who must do what?

    This question addresses roles and responsibilities.

To understand if your organization needs to address the six questions, review the checklist:

Discipline 2: Create Clarity

  • Members of the leadership team know, agree on, and are passionate about the reason that the organization exists.
  • The leadership team has clarified and embraced a small, specific set of behavioral values.
  • Leaders are clear and aligned around a strategy that helps them define success and differentiate from competitors.
  • The leadership team has a clear, current goal around which they rally. They feel a collective sense of ownership for that goal.
  • Members of the leadership team understand one another's roles and responsibilities. They are comfortable asking questions about one another's work.
  • The elements of the organization's clarity are concisely summarized and regularly referenced and reviewed by the leadership team.

If two or more of these statements don't ring true for your organization, address the six questions that define clarity. Click here for the complete organizational health check list »

The Advantage

Discipline 2: Create Clarity

Develop a Playbook

Purpose: The second requirement for building a healthy organization is all about achieving alignment. A playbook provides a repository of information outlining an organization's clarity. Clarity is initially established by answering the six critical questions in a concise, actionable way, so that they can be used in decision making, communication and planning.

Time Required: ½ day to several days

Instructions: To establish organizational clarity, answer the questions to develop your own playbook. Refer to The Advantage (starting on page 73) for more context and information on how to go about answering these questions.

  1. Why do we exist?
  2. How do we behave?
  3. What do we do?
  4. How will we succeed?
  5. What is important, right now?
  6. Who must do what?

Application: Leaders should keep their playbooks with them at all times, for constant review and reference. Leaders should be integrating the answers to the six questions into all communications, key decisions and human systems. The playbook should be present during all meetings where it should be reviewed and referenced. The playbook must be revisited at quarterly off-sites for possible revision and refinement. For a sample playbook, reference page 136 of The Advantage.

The Advantage

Discipline 2: Create Clarity

Establish Your Thematic Goal

The Advantage

Discipline 2: Create Clarity

Book: Silos, Politics and Turf Wars

Silos, Politics and Turf Wars

The concept of Thematic Goal was first introduced in Pat's best-selling book, Silos, Politics and Turf Wars and provides a fictional account of how the thematic goal can unite an organization and remove silos. In The Advantage, the concept of thematic goal answers the question, “What is most Important?”

Learn More »

The Advantage

Store

Kit For those interested in creating a healthy organization using The Advantage, Discipline 1 (Build a Cohesive Leadership Team) is the recommended starting point. We have developed a suite of products based on The Five Dysfunctions of a Team to help leaders address the behavioral obstacles to teamwork in order to become cohesive. These products include an Online Team Assessment, Facilitator's Guide, Participant Workbook, Field Guide, and Video Presentation. Click here to access our store »

The Advantage

Consulting Services

We believe that healthy organizations enjoy minimal politics and confusion, high levels of morale and productivity, low turnover rates and recruiting costs. Our consultants help leaders and their organizations harness their potential and outperform their competition in a number of ways:

  1. Senior leadership team off-sites
  2. Ongoing leadership team consulting
  3. Organizational wide program development

Visit the Consulting section of our website for more on our services. Click here »

The Advantage

Speaking Services

Pat Lencioni brings his models on organizational health, teamwork, leadership and employee engagement to tens of thousands of leaders each year. Consistently the top rated keynote speaker at major conferences, Pat shares his models and inspires his audiences through his accessibility, humor and story-telling. His clients include Fortune 500 companies, national trade associations, professional organizations, non-profits and educational institutions. Many of these clients have invited Pat back because of the outstanding quality of his performances and the high take-away value.

Whether you're rolling out a new culture initiative, developing your leaders, or seeking a thought-provoking, engaging and relevant keynote speaker for your group, we can help.

To learn more about Pat's speaking services, click here. To inquire about Pat's availability, please contact The Table Group at 925.299.9700 or email speaking@tablegroup.com.