Leadership is Calling Episode #42
Heather McGonigal

Aligning on Outcomes for Success & Avoiding Misfires

 “We are giving you a mindset shift. We’re asking you to shift from being task focused to outcome focused and articulating that out loud.”  – Coach Heather

Is your team aligned on what success looks like, or do you have different definitions of done?

Discover Agreement #2 from Annie Hyman Pratt’s “The People Part” book: defining and aligning on intended outcomes. This powerful mindset shift takes teams from task-focused to outcome-driven, eliminating miscommunication and delivering stellar results.

In this video review Coach Heather explains why it’s important for teams to define and align on intended outcomes instead of just tasks. This prevents team members from completing work they think meets the outcomes, only to find out later it did not fully achieve what was expected. Defining done and success criteria upfront ensures strategic alignment.

Key Points
  • Shift mindset from task-focused to outcome-focused
  • Articulate definitions of done, success, and completion upfront
  • Align whole team to same outcomes and goals
  • Don’t take shared understanding for granted – confirm it
  • Clearly communicate details, financial goals, customer experience goals
Related Resources

Leadership Skills: The People Part
Leadership Development Articles: How to Create Clear Measurable OutcomesClear Company Values Drive Success
Buy the Book: The People Part by Annie Hyman Pratt

THE PEOPLE PART book. Annie Hyman Pratt - Leading Edge Teams

Auto-Generated Transcript – unedited version

Aligning on Outcomes for Success & Avoiding Misfires


Hi, everyone. Coach Heather here. Have you ever completed a task? The big project that you know a lot of work went into? Turn it in. You’re celebrating its completion, and then you find out it wasn’t fully done as your supervisor, CEO, or whomever expected that there was somehow an element that got missed in communication. And now you still have more to do. I hope you haven’t had a lot of those pain points because it is a pain point, right? You’re celebrating the completion and then kind of like a record scratch moment. It’s not really done yet.

So this is what I want to talk to you about today. And this video number two, which is in relationship to this book, The People Part book, and this is by my mentor and CEO, Annie Hyman Pratt. And today we’re talking about agreement number two, which we cover in chapter two. And agreement number two says that as a team we define and align on intended outcomes and that this is the foundation of team achievement.

So what do I mean by that? Why did I talk about that pain point where you’re done, but then you find out you’re not really done because somebody else was measuring something else as the successful completion? When we talk about defining and aligning to outcomes, we are giving you a mindset shift. We’re asking you to shift from being task focused to outcome focused and articulating that out loud and aligning to the same outcome with your whole team that has a part in achieving that outcome. And we want to be sure that we’re getting all those details out, especially the important ones for the strategic goals of the business and the things that our CEO will be thinking in the future when they’re evaluating how this was completed. They’re going to be looking for specific things.

But as human beings, we often take for granted that we’re on the same team. We’ve been in the same meetings. We understand this conceptually, but that can actually trip us up because because of that, we don’t confirm understanding. So I first and foremost want to encourage you right now, learn to fully articulate the definition of done and how you’re measuring success when you delegate to others. And then when you’re on the receiving end of delegation that’s coming your way, I want you to now think, do I know what their definition of done is clearly enough?

And we have a whole delegation formula that we give you in this book, so I won’t go into those specifics right now, but I will give you like a general overview, which is that in the definition of done, the successful completion and delivery of the business outcome, we are measuring things like did this contribute to our financial goals in the way that we expected? Did this contribute to the strategic goals that were built into this project? Did this provide our customers with the experience we intended? Right. All of these things. Can you see how they’re like a few levels up from the task level? Right? Because when we have team members that know how to do the daily work, they can take care of that part, but they need to understand the bigger why of why they’re doing things.

And we need to, as a team on all levels, be able to align to the same definition of done or we’re going to find ourselves in those disappointing pain point moments of delivering something, wanting to do a celebration dance that it’s done, and then finding out there’s more to do. Let’s get it done right the first time by taking the time upfront to be sure that we are aligning to the same outcome. This is something you may think is so simple and I’m sure you already know how to do it. I want you to really contemplate like, how are you? What details are you given when you’re asked to complete something? And what do you really communicate to those that report to you? And is there, you know, maybe details that if you looked at some gaps that happened recently, some missteps? Well, we could actually clarify more in those situations and then that wouldn’t happen. Then we’d be learning as we’re going and getting better and better or more effective, more efficient and delivering definitions of done that make us all smile at the same time and be able to celebrate. That is my wish for you and thank you for your time and attention.

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