Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. I would venture to guesstimate that when we think about MLK, we think about his most famous “I have a dream speech”. He was a smart man – painting the picture of the preferred future. Strategic planners call this a “vision” and the late Steven Covey would say that he was “beginning with the end in mind.” Which is sage advice indeed.
In the team environment, when you take the time to set a clear direction, team members achieve:
- A common understanding of the team’s purpose and their collective reasons for working together.
- An increased commitment toward the work at hand.
- An increased commitment toward working together.
Setting the direction can take a long term perspective:
- Vision – A description of the desired future.
- Mission – A broad statement of purpose.
- Charter – A written description of what the team is being asked to do, the scope and the constraints.
- Goals – Statements that describe how the vision/mission will be achieved.
- Objectives – Statements that describe how goals will be achieved.
- Action Plans – Plans for implementing the objectives.
Or a short term perspective:
- Agenda – A plan for a meeting.
- Objectives – Statements that describe the purpose of the meeting.
- Deliverable – The tangible outcome of the meeting.
When putting a team together, set the long and short term direction – so everyone can share the dream – and then make it happen!