3 Questions Every Organization Must Answer

Win With Simplicity and Clarity

photo credit: weesen / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

The Value of Goals

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3 thoughts on “3 Questions Every Organization Must Answer

  1. All our planning is for nothing unless God is in it and His purposes are done! Love for God and others is most important! Otherwise there is no “success” Buildings may fall, the earth will be gone and nothing will be left but God and His purpose! I need to fulfill His purpose. All strategy is useless without the Lord’s ok!

    • Gerri,
      Agreed, however, we must be careful not to use God as an excuse to avoid using our brains and the lessons learned by others. There is a business sense that we are all called to have and act upon… “Look to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise”.
      Thus, while God must be in it, but majorly, we must be aligned with God before his blessing is available. Success, per the common definition, is not blessing. Blessing is not success. Then we are called upon to work steadfastly as unto the Lord… meaning as if we were giving our work to the Lord as a sacrifice, the first fruits, the best of what we have and achieve.
      Then we have to have this repeated in each team member to truly be of one mind in our “3 questions” that Art outlines. Without this oneness, we may find both blessing and success, but it will be in spite of discord, not because of it.