The PlayBook™
Leveraging the Compelling Journey™ – Part 2

  • The Strategic PlayBook lays out the framework for the overall effort
  • Foundational – Articulates Mission, Vision, Values, Purpose
  • Graphically communicates Strategic Pillars, Milestones

Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose.

                                                         Leonardo da Vinci

Purpose-driven organizations bound by values are stronger than profit-driven organizations bound by rules.

                                                         Alexander Den Heijer 

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.

                                                         John F. Kennedy

“That was right out of their playbook.  We could have predicted that.”

We often hear the term playbook bandied about.  Typically, we think of sports or politics and how the term applies there.  In business, a playbook, according to Accenture includes “process workflows, standard operating procedures, and cultural values that shape a consistent response—the play. A playbook reflects a plan; an approach or strategy defining predetermined responses worked out ahead of time.”

On first inspection, one might be forgiven for wondering if the description is one of corporate automatons mindlessly performing cookie-cutter tasks without thinking about them at all.  Nothing could be further from the reality of the purpose for a well-designed PlayBook™.

Every organization establishes a lower-level limit of performance for its members.  Those who fall below it are typically given a chance to become successful at something else somewhere else.  However, this lower limit is of little concern.  What keeps leaders up at night is how to close the gap between the minimum level and what is actually required to achieve the organization’s objectives.  The holy grail of leadership is to engage their team members’ discretionary energy, that reserve of focus and effort that distinguishes good from great performance.

Clarity fuels engagement.  When people understand what is asked of them, and why, and what they are expected to focus on when making decisions, they can see how their work matters and contributes to the greater goals. They will then see the value of their discretionary energy and the difference it makes. 

Enter the PlayBook™.  As mentioned above, it is important to lay out the cultural values that shape the actions of the members.  The first part is to lay out the organization’s purpose, mission, vision, and values for all concerned.  This work has been completed before or during the Compelling Journey™.  At Level Three Performance, we also engage our leadership teams to create a Compelling Story™, outlining the success of their strategic plans and the outcomes that it created.  The team writes the story as if it is at the conclusion of the strategic plan time window.  It is printed along with the strategic purpose, which we label as the Call to Action.

The strategic pillars are next.  Developed to support the Call to Action in the Compelling Journey™, these are commonly referred to as strategic objectives. It is at this point that our process differs from most strategic plans and playbooks.  Each pillar is accompanied by its own vision developed by the leadership team.  Each vision statement is also reinforced by a specifically crafted affirmation.  We will discuss this more when we look into change management later.

Armed with a vision and affirmation support, the leaders, in consultation with their team members, outline a series of milestones for each pillar that enable the team to chart progress toward fulfillment of the strategic pillar.  These milestones also serve to inform and connect the annual planning to the strategic.

With the strategic umbrella fully opened, the PlayBook™ is ready to serve the organization for the length of the strategic period the leadership has chosen.  The information contained in the strategic part is developed by the senior team to establish the foundation for the team’s performance.  With the framework firmly in place, it is time to engage those who will need to execute.  Next up: the tactical corollary.

Ready, Mindset, Grow!

Ready, Mindset, Grow!: Nuggets Mined from the Leadership Journeys

Business leadership books abound today. What makes this one worth the read? Actionable insights! Ready, Mindset, Grow, delivers to today’s leaders entertaining stories of the transformative power of culture. Backed by solid research, these brief tales, and the lessons they convey, can be put into practice for short-term wins and long-term growth. Entertaining and insightful, the author has filled the pages with cultural nuggets and jewels from his 30+ years of experience in leadership coaching and consulting. Smart leaders will appreciate the candor, catch glimpses into their own circumstances and gain the conviction needed to accomplish positive cultural change.


Interested in improving
your corporate culture?
Watch the video