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The Six Disciplines Blog


Friday, April 20, 2018

On Becoming A Purpose-Driven Organization: Teamwork Driven Execution – Part 4 of 6

In Part 4 of this 6 part series, we dive into the specific process your organization can use to become purpose-driven, with this week’s focus on teamwork driven execution.

In the fourth phase of becoming a purpose-driven organization, vision meets reality on a minute-by-minute basis. Plans are never “right” (or final) because of changing conditions and better information. Here is where your teams will form the habits that allow them to do their individual work and communicate the latest information about what in their plans are changing to help others adjust. Because everyone has more to do than can be done, people are encouraged through coaching and software to decide on a regular basis what actions they are going to take next on their vital few priorities. Using these best practices and regular team alignment meetings, your people are able to displace lower items of lesser importance with the most important. Building and maintaining teamwork is the key executing consistently on your purpose-driven strategy.

The most important aspect to remember is that the point of planning is not “the plan” in and of itself.  This cannot be overemphasized. Our ability to predict the future accurately isn’t reliable or consistent, which means that as we work to pursue our plans, we learn things that cause us to change and adjust our plans. The real purpose of planning is to create shared understanding among teams and to build teamwork. To make it simple, the initial focus is on what needs to get done in the next 90 days. This time frame is short enough that your ability to plan is more accurate, yet long enough that you are not in a perpetual planning mode. It is designed to allow quarterly adjustments to reflect what has been learned.

Watch this short video “The Real Purpose of Plans”

To reduce distractions, your teams are encouraged to focus on the top three “vital few” most important things that must get done in the next 90 days. By keeping the list short and simple, the details of how it gets done are left to the individual, along with the flexibility to adjust to the individual’s preferred approach.

The outcomes of this phase are operating plans (for departments, individuals, and major projects for the next 90 days, alignment reports, weekly priorities, adjustments, and action reminders.

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Since 2005, the Six Disciplines blog offers posts about performance excellence, strategy execution, business coaching, leadership development, innovation, and business process improvement. This blog has received prestigious awards for leadership and management and has been syndicated by several major media sources.