Planning to Plan: Aligning Priorities, Part 2


In my last post, I talked about the importance of a shared context, as a prerequisite for building consensus around a team’s priorities to move forward. I also reviewed some approaches to leading the team through developing this shared context. This shared context needs to include an understanding of:

  • what we really do
  • what we have
  • what we lack
  • our customers’ and stakeholders’ expectations of us
  • how we’re perceived by them currently
  • risks we face
  • opportunities we have to be more than we are


Planning to Plan: Aligning Priorities, Part 1

ClingmansPanoramaLowIn the introduction to my “Planning to Plan” series, I proposed that leaders ask themselves a few tough questions about last year’s plan:

  • Did we have a clear, compelling and attainable vision of what we wanted to accomplish?
  • Did our team truly and deeply believe in what we were doing, and why?
  • Did we clearly identify our priorities, and what was “out of bounds”?
  • Did we encourage our critical thinkers to think critically, and help us face the brutal facts?
  • Did our team buy in to an actionable plan that addressed their constraints?
  • Did our entire team review and adapt the plan throughout the year?

In my last post, I shared some thoughts on tapping into the personal passion your team members already have. Once the team understands how the organizational vision aligns with their own passions and vision of the future, what’s next? Priorities.

The bottom line is, when people are crystal clear about the most important priorities of the organization and team they work with and prioritized their work around those top priorities, not only are they many times more productive, they discover they have the time they need to have a whole life.
– Steven Covey