A Simple Communication Problem

The management team was unable to have a productive discussion.  They kept going in circles because they were using words such as “strategy” and “tactic,” “goal,” and “objective” interchangeably.  Identifying this as a barrier to meaningful discussion and an impediment to planning, I provided working definitions they could agree on and use.
 
The CEO said, “My definitions of goal and objective are the opposite of those.”
 
“That’s fine,” I said, “let’s use your definitions – the important thing is for everyone to have the same working definitions of those words, otherwise you’re not communicating.”
 
Successful planning depends on simple agreements, not just formulating a competitive strategy.  Be clear and specific on such things as working definitions, which planning process to use, and especially what success will look like.

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