To increase the resolution on various aspects of the change you are looking to see created, start posing fundamental questions to yourself, your team, your stakeholders, your audience. Get nerdy with the specific wording you use, because the language you use shapes the products you ship. Revisit these statements and answers often to get them as succinct and powerful as possible.
While this isn't a comprehensive list of questions to be asking of your work, some can form the basis for your rationale and talking points. Others can provide you with guardrails and a sanity check. Others act as anchors, kites, compelling distractions, unremarkable necessities.
Exercises and artifacts like these help you to keep strategic intent pure and thread it through from concept through delivery.
What are the freedoms?
- What allowances and affordances are you creating for users/customers, spectators, backstage personnel etc.?
- What are the types of decisions, where are they made, by whom, why and when?
What promises are you making?
- What are the motivating factors that we collectively work for and towards?
- What keeps people coming back for more?
- What needs to stay true for all to be good with the world?
What are the relationships?
- What are the dynamics between:
- your output and users? their connections? connections of connections?
- you, your team, other teams, the organization, partners, partners of partners, 'coopetition', etc.?
- what’s global or local?
- what’s inherited or owned?
- what’s centralized or distributed?
- what’s public or private?
- What is the 'contract' between you and your audience? (What must be honored, what parts of reality may be bent?)
What are the pillars?
- How will you make business decisions?
What are your principles?
- What does 'exceptional' look like?
- How will you know if you've achieved success?
- How will your audience(s) describe what you present them with?
What are your constraints?
- Are there limitations to honor?
- Are there requirements to satisfy?
- Are things the way they are because they must be that way or because that's the way they've always been?
Do you have any dependencies or shared concerns?
- Have you considered how you might affect others?
- What might affect you?
- Does the boundary transition as a sharp divide or a gradual blend?
- What is your tolerance for things shifting and by how much?
- How reversible are your decisions?
What are your truths?
- What forces and realities affect everything?
What are your shared fictions?
- ...but still, the “weak force” still holds the universe together, you know? (i.e. religions, nations, money)
- What's the 'folklore' of a company—stories that move inside of your organization that influence ideas and teams?
- What ideas about the future are 'collective stories'?
What equity are you creating?
- What are you building for your intended audiences? Onlookers?
- Who's being harmed or helped?
- How will your investment of time, energy and resources produce meaning? Value?
- Who gets paid by whom before what?
- Will 1+1=3?