Focus and Alignment: 4 Questions to Ask Your Team

By Patrick Thean

Strategic Execution

dateThu, Jul 15, 2021 @ 09:00 AM

If you want your team to be focused and aligned on the right projects, you need to connect your strategy toStrategic Execution execution.

Successful companies have too much to do. New opportunities come about, and it is hard to say "No." But strategy is more about saying "No" to the wrong things than saying "Yes" to everything. Most entrepreneurs are not wired to say "No." We are wired to find a way to say "Yes" and get more opportunities into our companies. If that sounds like you, then you don’t have the danger of dying from starvation. But, you do have the risk of dying from over-eating from the buffet of opportunity!

So, what do you say "No" to and how do you gain confidence that you are saying "No" to the right things? Here are four questions to help you with saying "Yes" or "No" to taking on projects or initiatives.

  1. 1. Does it line up to the purpose of your company? This is your “Why” question. It’s about passion and enjoyment.
  2. 2. Do you have the potential to be really great at this? Even the potential to be best in the world at it? Will this project help you further develop this competence and distance yourselves from your competitors?
  3. 3. Is this in line with your financial engine? Is this how you have chosen to make money in your company? The financial engine is a strategic KPI (Key Performance Index). Most companies get this wrong. So if you can get this right, you will be more strategic than most of your competitors. What is a strategic KPI? It is a KPI that guides your strategy over the long term. You want to maximize it over the long term, not optimize it for the short term. Will this project improve your financial engine over the long term?
  4. 4. Does this bring you closer or take you further away from your long-term 10-year goal? If you don’t have a ten-year stretch goal, or BHAG, get one. If you have one, then ask if this project helps you to get to your ten-year stretch goal. If it does not, its time to say "No."

Connecting your strategy to execution is the secret to alignment and focus in your organization!


Interested in more information on Organizational and Team Alignment?

Organizational Alignment: How to Improve It and Crush Your Goals

Leadership Meetings: Align Your Team and Engage Employees Monthly with this Agenda

Company Alignment: The CEO's Roadmap to Organizational Bliss

Virtual Alignment for Your Team in a Work from Home World

Focus and Alignment: 4 Questions to Ask Your Team

Leadership Team Alignment: When Less Truly Is More!

Aligned Planning: Getting Aligned Cross-Functionally Throughout the Quarter

Examples of Core Competencies in Business

Align People: Getting Everyone on the Same Page to Drive Team Performance

Team Planning: How to do Team Planning for Team Focus & Alignment

Why CEOs Find it Hard to Align Teams When Scaling their Companies


Take Our Team Accountability Assessment to see how your team stacks up.

Editor's note: This blog was originally published on Apr 30, 2017 and has been updated.

Patrick Thean


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images