Thursday, April 26, 2007

Two word strategies

I was reading this post: Using a Two-Word Strategy to Get Employees on the Same Page. The article describes a process to describe your business or organization in two words. The basic idea being that there is great value in describing your business/mission in a short and sweet way. If you have to use more than two words you lose focus, and it's harder to keep everyone in your organization aligned.

The article mentions that it can take a long time to come up with just two words:
Most of our clients are not able to do this in their first year’s planning session. I was the CEO of a successful software company (Solomon Software) and it took me 18 years to figure it out.

A full year? Eighteen years? I have another idea. Send everyone on your team away, and I suggest that the team be your entire organization, to use del.icio.us for a week. Then send them to a wiki to brainstorm. I'm thinking this exercise could be completed in nothing flat.

5 comments:

Mitch Owen said...

I like this idea.. two words.. hmm.. GROW PEOPLE.. I think your approach would help, but I think the challenge is not in coming up with two words..the challenge is that we all have slightly different personal missions in life... which results in divergence on what our organizational mission is.. The challenge is accepting the organizational mission when it conflicts with our own personal mission.. I have interesting thought concerning a even greater stretch.... still developing it..but hope to post it soon.

Kevin Gamble said...

But isn't that the purpose of the exercise? To reduce the personal agendas so that the organization can be better focused on the larger mission?

Seems to me that if a person's personal mission is in conflict that they would be advised to find another place to work. Unless perhaps the organization is evil and the person is trying to move them to higher ground.

bront davis said...

Certainly an interesting idea, as long as one retains, as the saying goes, a grain of salt.

As an exercise it could clarify a business/operational model, but it also runs the risk of veering dangerously close to the ridiculous.

When I read Krispy Kreme's two word strategy of "Hot Donuts," all I could think of was the late Phil Hartman's depiction of Frankenstein's monster on SNL...

"Fire bad."

Kevin Gamble said...

@Bront: You've got that right. Funny...

floyd said...

I'm not sure the objective of this exercise should be consensus... I think it can be understanding and the understanding can be at a personal level.

So what if my two words are different from yours. Of course I'm not trying to set organizational direction or culture. I just want to make sure I understand my place, purpose and opportunities.