Does the team share a common understanding of its key customers, stakeholders, and influencers? When’s the last time this was reviewed in your team?
If you’re clear on those internal and external stakeholders, is there agreement on which of these parties are the most important?
Critically, how sure are the team of these stakeholders’ expectations?
Without the answers to these questions, the team cannot agree on the challenges that face them. Ipso facto, any purpose agreed upon is unlikely to be unfit for the task. Stephen Covey, celebrated author of ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ tells the story of a team busy chopping down trees when one of them decides to climb the tallest tree nearby. On looking out on this wider perspective he calls down to his team-mates “Wrong Forest!”.
So as you move forward with your team remember to be asking who your customers, stakeholders and influencers are, and how clear is your team on their expectations? How does your team’s mission and purpose meet their needs? How true is your true North?