When dealing with large groups of people, simplicity and clarity win. Why did Apple’s iPod succeed? They were not the first to introduce an MP3 player. Many MP3 players were already available. In fact, Apple appeared to enter this market late. Yet, when they did introduce the iPod, it dominated the market. Did it have more features, more buttons? Was it easily compatible with numerous music providers?
No. The iPod had fewer features, fewer buttons, and was meant to connect with one music provider. It was simple and clear. It was easy to understand. And for this reason, the iPod was a tremendous success.
The same is true for organizations. Simplicity and clarity win. Alignment of divisions, employees and their respective decision-making is made easy when an organization’s reasons for existence, goals, and strategies are easy to understand.
So where does an organization start when trying to be simple and clear? Here are three questions every organization must answer:
- Who are we? We are an organization that exists to _______________ because we believe in ______________. Your organization should be able to fill in the blanks of this sentence. Every organization should be able to identify the reason for their existence and the values that drive it. Organizational clarity starts at the very heart of the organization.
- Where are we going? Your answer to this question is called a goal. Every team needs a mountain to climb. People like to know their work is bigger than themselves. They like to know they are chasing something significant. And they want to align their jobs and their resources so that it points toward that goal. While determining your goals, be sure to keep them SMART: Simple, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-related.
- How are we going to get there? Your answer to this question is called a strategy. It is how you plan to reach your desired destination. It turns a vision into actionable items and helps guide decision-making.
Simplicity and clarity will always defeat complexity and uncertainty. An organization that can answer these three questions is off to a great start to becoming simple and clear. Help your organization by identifying who you are, where you are going, and how you plan to get there.
What about you? What are some other suggestions for organizational clarity? Please place your comments in the section below.