The pyramid of clarity
How do you get your company to produce great results? This can be hard, even if your company is comprised of smart, well-intentioned people. It’s hard to get everyone aligned in the same direction, and it’s even harder to get everyone to continue running in the same direction.
Part of the challenge is keeping sight of the forest for the trees. Most people spend the majority of their time executing on day-to-day work, so it’s easy to get caught up in daily details and lose sight of the bigger picture. This is a dangerous mistake because it can lead to inadvertently optimizing for the wrong goal.
On the other end of the spectrum, it can also be challenging to keep people’s heads out of the clouds. Dreaming big is important, but unless those lofty aspirations are backed by a concrete plan to achieve them, they’ll remain dreams.
At Asana, we use the pyramid of clarity to get everyone aligned on the high-level purpose of the work and the concrete results we expect our work to produce. The pyramid of clarity shows how our longer-term aspirations are built on top of shorter-term goals, whether we’re building our product roadmap or business plans. We regularly refer back to the pyramid of clarity to help us stay on the same page, build confidence in our strategy and execution, and help individuals make decisions that are in line with the big picture.
When entire teams and companies have clarity of purpose, plan, and responsibility, they’re able to do their best work. And for us, the pyramid of clarity is what helps us see how everything fits together. So when determining what work to do every single day, team members know how to prioritize the projects and tasks that will help achieve their KRs, which in turn help achieve annual objectives, which ultimately, help achieve the mission.
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