5 Steps to Focusing and Aligning Everyone

15% of workers could identify their organization’s top three goals

48% of workers say the goals of their work team are translated into their individual work goals

38% of workers say their work team planning results in clear assignments for individuals

FranklinCovey and Harris Interactive poll of over 10, 000 U.S. workers

Yikes, this is not good! Let’s not be part of the 10,000 surveyed workers who are not aligned to your organization’s goals. How about focusing and aligning all team members by creating interlocking plans to achieve the vision, mission, and goals of the organization? This cannot be done effectively in a simple brainstorming session, nor by just telling everyone the goals and trusting that aligned action will happen. Good planning has a process, methods used in its creation, a structure for action and ultimately involves steps by everyone!


Step #1: Confirm the long term

  • Vision, what are you striving to become in 10+ years?
  • Mission, why does the organization exist? Its purpose?
  • Core values, what are the principles of conduct in every employee as they pursue the mission?

Step #2: Create a multi-year strategic plan

  • Gather and analyze data (customers, environment, employees, financial, organization, and processes)
  • Determine and prioritize your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
  • Identify the most important things you will pursue to progress toward your vision with goals, measures, timelines, and resources

Step #3: Immediately create an annual improvement plan

  • Cascade a portion of the strategic plan into annual work plans; what must be done THIS YEAR?
  • Make it real: WHO is doing WHAT, by WHEN, and HOW is success measured?
  • Have a strategic plan but it’s not cascaded? Check this out

Step #4: Engage and involve team members in achieving these goals

  • Use the collective knowledge, skills, and experience of team members to solve problems; delight customers; improve works processes; decrease stress and costs; and improve cycle times and quality
  • Provide the environment to succeed with leadership support of the plan, resources to achieve goals, knowledge to use improvement methods in problem solving, and the use of data in identifying solutions
  • Celebrate the successes and learn from the failures

Step #5: Make it part of daily work

  • Install the improvements, set up a system for continual improvement
  • Track progress and communicate often, openly and visually
  • Establish expectations, what to START and STOP doing, hold one another accountable
  • Engage and involve every team member to join in and contribute to what is important.


Often, organizations stop at step 2, create a pretty wall chart, and move on. The benefit of organization planning and execution is interlocking goals through all 5 steps. The 5-step planning process will create tremendous benefits: 1) Focus on what is important and value-adding: Productivity! 2) Grow and thrive amidst industry changes, 3) Simpler decision making, and 4) Everyone working to achieve organization goals – everyday!

Are you interested in getting help leading the process to create focus and alignment of goals?

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