Departmental plans get out of alignment.

Each year, businesses review and change their strategic plan. A group of executives, including the head of each major department, usually carries out the review.

Each department head then writes a plan for how they will implement the strategy. The CEO reviews their plans. Each department has a slightly different spin on the strategic direction, but the plans seem well aligned.

As the year unfolds, the alignment between departments fades. Their differing spins on the strategic direction, which seemed small at first, take them in different directions. Each day-to-day decision moves the departments further apart.

Businesses need a way to combat this creeping misalignment.

One way to do so lies with having a singular purpose. For a line of business, you can define a single core business outcome you enable for customers. And then capture that outcome in a phrase of 10 syllables or less.

The business aligns around this clear, simple statement of the core outcome you enable for customers.

Marketing messages and campaigns focus on the core outcome. Sales sells the core outcome. Professional services enables the outcome. Customer success drives continuous improvement of the core outcome to create expansion revenue. And product development uses the outcome to guide the product roadmap.

There are lots of advantages of focusing on a core customer outcome. But creating departmental alignment remains a key benefit.

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