The Pyramid of Purpose

Communicating Your Organization's Strategy Concisely

The Pyramid of Purpose

© iStockphoto/geopaul

Effective strategic planning is essential to the success of any business. It's the process that senior executives use to think about how the business will win in the future; and without it, the organization is most-likely doomed to failure.

But however good your strategy is, it will fail if people don't understand it. They won't know where the organization is going, or how to help you get there. They'll probably get frustrated and confused; customers may feel dissatisfied; and other stakeholders may lose their faith in your organization's ability to deliver.

So your business needs both effective strategic planning and good communication of strategy. And just as a map is usually more effective than a list of directions, so a graphical description of your strategy can often communicate your strategy more effectively than a weighty document.

One popular technique for communicating strategy graphically is called "the Pyramid of Purpose". It is called this because it describes the elements of strategy graphically.

Understanding the Tool

There are many ways of describing strategy. One approach, which also illustrates the hierarchical structure well, thinks of business strategy as answering the following questions:

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