Chapter 2. Communicating the Business Context

Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to create it.

Simon Sinek

High-performance organizations are purpose-driven. They have clear, ambitious goals, and they make strategic and tactical decisions aligned with their goals. Leaders convincingly and repeatedly share their vision, while empowering teams to self-organize and find the best way to make the vision a reality.

Google is one of the biggest proponents of disseminating business context as a way to align individual and team goals with business objectives. Since 1999, Google has used OKRs (Objectives and Key Results),1 which provide two primary benefits. First, anyone in the organization can see the current and previous goals of anyone else. A graduate software engineer working at Google could see the priorities of the CEO, for example. Second, OKRs align the goals of all workers with the strategic goals of the business via a cascade down the org chart.

Following Google’s lead, many other high-performance organizations have adopted OKRs, including LinkedIn, Intel, and Twitter. But other approaches are also promoted by leading enterprises. Salesforce uses a similar cascading approach known as V2MOM (Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, Measures).2

Spotify uses an approach called the Big Bets Spreadsheet, which gives all employees access to a prioritized list of business initiatives with links to further details, including teams ...

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