1 - Lay the Foundation

Two Critical Questions


The first two things any company must establish are critical: Why do we exist and how do we behave? In part one of the course, Patrick Lencioni, author of The Ideal Team Player and Founder and CEO of The Table Group, discusses this foundation of all successful organizations. When these two critical questions are answered, companies can make other decisions with more impact. 



Why do we exist, and how do we behave? The answers to these two foundational questions will profoundly affect the direction of any organization. 

Reflect upon your own organization. How would you answer the first of those two crucial questions: Why do we exist?
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Do you think your company’s answer to the question “Why do we exist?” is accurate and sufficient? Is it in need of change? If so, how would you change this answer?
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How would you answer the second crucial question: How do we behave?
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Do you think your company’s answer to the question “How do we behave?” is accurate and sufficient? Is it in need of change? If so, how would you change this answer?
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Patrick stated that if an organization is not aligned at this core level, then any decisions, strategies, and roles put in place are on a shaky foundation. Is your company’s foundation solid? Why or why not? Do you need to revisit this base level?
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Think through Patrick’s statement about the purpose of your organization. “If we weren’t here, what would be different in the world? What would be sad about our not existing?” How would you answer those questions?
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One of the important pieces of instruction in the video is the fact that these statements should not be marketed. Rather, they are only for those working within the company. Are you seeking to market these things, rather than internalize them? Why or why not?
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Regarding the question “How do we behave?” Patrick warned us not to idealize behavior. Don’t confuse how you wish you were with how you are.  

Why might this be an important step in the process? How could an unbiased, honest look at behavior serve the company well? How might it steer toward change?
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Answering these two crucial questions is imperative to putting an organization on the road to health.