Chapter 6. Set Clear and Urgent Objectives

Almost all of the experts I spoke with brought up how crucial it is to understand the problem space and define the desired outcomes of a collaborative effort (see Figure 6-1); failure to do this well means your collaboration faces challenges right from the very start. With many people in the mix, it becomes very easy to get the group pulled in many directions. If you don’t identify a clear objective, egos and competition are likely to take over, rather than enabling the group to pull together. In this chapter, we will look at what makes objectives useful, and how to create clear goals that unify efforts.

Setting (or resetting) objectives should happen at the start of every cycle the team goes through
Figure 6-1. Setting (or resetting) objectives should happen at the start of every cycle the team goes through

“Shared context and goals are the most important thing that makes a team successful,” says Michael Sippey, Head of Product at Medium. “I keep learning this truth. If the team isn’t on the same page, they can’t work well together.” He believes his role as a leader is to create and maintain this focus for the group, and it’s a task he takes seriously. “In the past, maybe I was clear on the objective, the context, but I didn’t spend enough time and energy making sure everyone else was. When that happens the team feels whipsawed,” and decisions start being made to protect individual interests instead of serving the desired outcomes. ...

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