Episode #59: Business Outcomes: The Foundation for Effective Communication & Teamwork

Leadership is Calling Episode #59
Annie Hyman Pratt

Business Outcomes: The Foundation for Effective Communication & Teamwork


Is your business prepared to adapt to constant change and disruption?

In today’s rapidly changing business world, keeping a clear focus on desired outcomes is crucial. Annie discusses the importance of strategic thinking in navigating constant shifts, from evolving technologies to unexpected events like the pandemic. While AI and automation can handle routine tasks, human thinking is essential for adapting plans to achieve goals amidst unpredictable changes. Annie emphasizes the value of iterating strategies, rethinking approaches, and staying agile to ensure outcomes align with the current state of affairs.

Key Points
  • The importance of clearly defining business outcomes and success metrics
  • How AI and automation are impacting businesses and the need for strategic thinking
  • The value of strategic thinking in responding to constant change and external factors
  • Iterating plans and strategies to align with evolving goals and conditions
  • The irreplaceable role of human thinking in complex, unpredictable systems

“The thinking part of what are we really doing here, what goals are we going for and how are we going to get there, that is the first, most important thing.” – Annie on the importance of strategic thinking for achieving business outcomes.

Related Resources

Leadership Skills: The Business Part
Leadership Development Articles: Renegotiating Expectations in a New Reality Mindfulness and Moving Through Change
Downloadable Leadership Tool: The Key Basics of Agreements

Team with puzzle pieces cartoon -Moving through change as a team - Leading Edge Teams

Auto-Generated Transcript – unedited version

Business Outcomes: The Foundation for Effective Communication & Teamwork


Hey, everybody. Annie here. I have been seeing a lot in the media these days about communication, leadership, communication in business, and how to relate well to people, you know, for better teamwork. I love those topics. They are incredibly important. And at Leading Edge Teams, we talk about them and teach about them a lot.

But there is something that I think comes even before that. That’s like a foundational skill that everybody needs to have in business, not just the leaders, but pretty much everybody. And that is really clearly understanding what the business outcomes are, like what we’re really going for. What does success look like? How do we, you know, what does it look like when we’re doing well in this game? Okay.

And so those are things like, you know, concrete goals like financial goals that we, you know, do we make enough money to stay in business? They are client goals that we provide the transformation or the great products that satisfy our customers and clients. They are things like having a great reputation out there so that we have a sustainable business that we, you know, that we have a part of the market, that we are positioned well, that this is a business that will last. Okay.

So those are the kinds of things that we need to keep in mind as business leaders and employees, you know, people that are inside the business. We need to keep those goals and those outcomes in mind all the time, because that is ultimately what we’re going for.

And the interesting thing about business today is that, you know, everybody’s talking about automation and about AI and how that is going to, you know, take some jobs from these businesses. And that is true, meaning that automation and AI is going to take some of the, some of the, the, how to say, the low, the lower level, not a lot of thinking needed tasks off the table. Like it’s just going to get those done. Okay.

But what it can’t get done is the thinking of where we’re connecting, where we’re going, the outcome that we want with, you know, all the things we’re going to do to get there. And not only all the things we’re going to do to get there, but that there’s constantly change in between the two. Right? Where we want to go, then we put together a plan of how we’re going to get there, and then we have a chance because change is happening all the time.

The external environment, which we don’t get to control, is constantly changing in ways that we have to respond to. The pandemic is, you know, sort of the mother of all change, a very big example of it anyways. And we have that going on all the time. Technology keeps changing. It’s like, you know, we have our goals and we have a way we’re going to get there. And maybe it includes a piece of technology for how we interact with our clients. And as soon as that piece of technology changes, now we’re like, “Oh, the plan doesn’t match up with the goal.” And now we have to think, “Now we have to think, what do we need to do differently now? How do we need to respond to this? What do we need to re-coordinate? What do we need to plan to do differently?” Right.

It’s like our value to the business becomes more and more about thinking about how we are going to ensure that we get the business outcomes with the current state of what the heck is going on, and then we keep putting a plan in place and following that plan to make it happen. But we don’t get to put the plan in place once. We have to keep iterating it, we have to keep changing it to take into account the changes that keep happening.

And so many of those changes are external. Certainly, things can be internal too, like, we’re human, we might mess something up, we might make mistakes, we might overestimate how much we can get done and then, you know, have to replan to catch up or whatnot, like where things are changing all the time.

And so that thinking part, the thinking part of what are we really doing here, what goals are we going for and how are we going to get there, that is the first, most important thing because if we don’t have that, then whatever we’re communicating is not going to be that valuable. It’s like, you know, if I’m going to talk about the future, talk about how we need to get to where we’re going, and I don’t have a sense of what’s changing, I don’t really know what the outcome looks like, but I use really kind, compassionate language, I have a great connection with my team, it’s like, yeah, but we have no destination. It’d be like we’re flying this plane really well. It’s like, where are we going? Nobody knows.

So, we really, as we’re communicating, as we’re working together, we must keep in mind what are we really going for here and what keeps changing about it? Like what, what keeps changing that we have to relook at how we are going to achieve success? And that is the piece that I cannot do. That is the piece that you can’t automate because we, you know, it’s, how would I say that? Change is so fast. And at this point, the systems are so complex, we can’t, we can’t make full predictions. We can, we can see trends. Love that, need to see trends, but we need to stay in a place of, “Oh my gosh, there’s a change. I can think about this. I can respond in a way that’s best for the business.”

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