Even if you have the best strategy in place, it means nothing if you cannot communicate it clearly to your stakeholders. Management will not know what actions to take to get there, customers will be dissatisfied, suppliers will be confused, and your business will eventually lose direction. To avoid this scenario, it is advised that you take action on how you communicate your strategy and how you embrace it within the company culture. Often, a graphical illustration will do a much better job than a lengthy written description. One popular framework for crafting a graphical illustration of your strategy is the Pyramid of Purpose.
Understanding the Pyramid of Purpose
The Pyramid of Purpose is a widely used tool that can identify and clearly communicate your company’s strategy. The model is made up of four hierarchical levels, which have to be worked progressively from level 1 to level 4.
Level 1: Why?
Think about your mission statement and your core values. What are the values that drive your organization forward? What is your mission and vision? Where do you see the organization 5 years from now?
Here, you need to dig into your reason for existence. Think about what you are trying to do. Are you trying to produce the highest quality product available in the market? Or maybe you are trying to offer a low-cost alternative?
These are some guiding questions to get you thinking in terms of your core values, mission, and vision.
Level 2: What?
The next level of the pyramid looks into the objectives and goals of your organization. At this point, the abstract ideas and values are transformed into clearly defined goals. You need to carefully think about the steps that need to be undertaken – make sure the goals you set are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely).
Level 3: How?
Moving on the next level – How are you going to work towards your goals? What actions are you going to take? When those actions will be undertaken?
At this level, you need to be very specific and detailed about what needs to be done for your goals to be realized. Make sure that you include the timings so you keep everything projected at a realistic level.
Level 4: Who?
The last element of the period is concerned with the people, the systems and the work processes that will deliver upon the goals set out. Although this level is very often overlooked, it is nevertheless critical for your strategic planning.
At this stage, you need to understand who is responsible for what and who is doing what. Make sure that you evaluate whether you have enough people in place to achieve the goals you have set out. Also, it is important to assess whether you have the right people to do the job as you might need specialized professionals in order to successfully accomplish your objectives and goals. Please note that these people may be either internal or external to your organization.