11/12/2013 05:51 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Run a Business? Set Out a Clear Plan for Your Employees

When we do public speaking, we show a picture that has been altered with a photo filter that makes it difficult to discern exactly what is going on.


When we ask people in the audience to describe what is happening in the picture, the following are typical of the responses we get:

A tidal wave

A huge thunderstorm

A Tsunami

A dustbowl

A meadow with a mountainous background

We then remove the filter to reveal what is actually in the picture: a field with a lone tree, a beautiful blue sky and fluffy white clouds. \When we ask if anyone sees anything different than that simple description, the answer is always no.

What this demonstrates is that when there is confusion about something, such as an organization's direction or strategic plan, there are many different interpretations of what it is. When there are many different interpretations, it usually means people aren't aligned with where the company is going and how it needs to get there. This lack of alignment means people are working at cross purposes, increasing the probability the company is not performing to it potential.

Getting On The Same Page

When there is clarity about something, it means that everyone is on the same page. They all have the same understanding of where the company is going and how it will get there. The decisions they make and the actions they take are aligned across the organization, creating a much higher likelihood that the company is performing to its potential. With the entire organization aligned around a single purpose, and everyone making decisions and taking actions that are consistent with that focused goal, the ultimate impact will be a significant increase to the company's bottom line.

Moving Forward

If you are wondering how to determine the level of clarity in your organization, please see our previous HuffPost called "The Clarity Test."