I have found that when faced with a difficult marketing, brand or organisational challenge that my first objective is to achieve 'CLARITY'.
Clarity is critical for shaping innovative solutions. An organisation with clarity at every level never struggles with reproducing culture either. It does not need to force ideas, values, attitudes, and actions onto people as clarity allows them to be naturally captured. It speeds up the process of innovation or mission adoption. People belong sooner and participate faster.
Let's consider a few catalytic dynamics that occur when a leader prioritises clarity.
- value remarkable
- direction unquestionable
- synergy possible
- goals achievable
- strategy definable
- momentum inevitable
- leadership credible
YOU ARE NOT CLEAR WHEN;
1. You don't know your one big idea
Can you state your purpose in one breath? Two things muddy the waters of clarity in almost every strategic plan. First, too much information obscures the big idea. Second, there may be several competing, mutually exclusive big ideas. In either case, the secret is learning to say more by saying less.
2. You don't know how to organise what you do
Here you need to simplify in order to clarify. The assumption is that more information brings more clarity. More information only works to shred clarity and drive confusion. People don’t need more information, they need more meaning from the information. Instead of continuously breaking things down, show how the parts make up the whole. This will also help you see which parts to disregard to improve speed and agility. Can you identify your short term strategic priorities and the roles that will support those priorities.
3, You don't know who's leading the way
It is not uncommon for an organisation to be managed by their leaders and lead by the category they’re in. They find themselves slavishly following the negative trends, survival moves and growth restrictions. Following the category dynamics is fine if the category/market you are in is in the early stages of its growth curve. But if the market is in a red ocean state, cluttered, price driven and even worst - a sunset state, then you’re in real trouble. It would be time to regain leadership control of your fate.
There is also a need to understand who the leader is, or set of leaders are, for the future you envision.