Whether you run a business, non-profit, or another type of organization, it can be hard to get everyone on the same page. You know strategic alignment is key. So how do you earn that strategic alignment? It starts with asking a few key questions.
Key Questions for Strategic Alignment
- What is your mission?
- Why is your mission important?
- How do you achieve your mission?
- Who and what will help you achieve your mission?
- When will you know you have achieved your mission?
Your Organization’s Mission Statement
The first question asks why your organization exists—it’s mission. The second question asks why it is important for your organization to exist. Third, you must answer how you make progress on that mission. Together, these first three questions form a mission statement that is concise and powerful. These answers can act as the basis for your brand. The answers to these questions should be read aloud at the start of each meeting within your organization or team. Whenever you onboard a new team member or board member, they’ll know exactly what goal your organization or team is trying to achieve. More importantly, they’ll know the importance of achieving that goal.
Your Organization’s Inputs
The answer to question four provides your question with the inputs needed to achieve your goal. Your answer may include a budget allocation, expertise, or time.
The final question is the hardest. I know that sometimes its impossible to achieve your mission. If you truly believe that’s the case, rephrase the question as “what does success look like?” Answering that question will give your leadership team North Star to work toward.
How to Answer these Questions
The answers to these questions should be agreed on by the leadership team. More importantly, they should be reviewed on a regular basis. The answer to the first question may not change. But other parts may. When that happens, you can update your mission statement, re-evaluate your inputs, and re-envision what success looks like. That’s how you’ll get the buy-in needed for strategic alignment.