What's wrong with "getting everyone on the same page?"

Many executives and business leaders today say they want a strategic plan to ensure that everyone is “on the same page.” In other words, they want to be sure that their boards, executives, and staff clearly understand the organization’s purpose, direction and goals. This may sound good but what if you do get everyone on the same page only to realize later that the group is using the wrong playbook or perhaps singing the wrong tune?

Of course it's helpful when a group is unified and most people appreciate how difficult it can be to achieve real unanimity or even reach a consensus. But getting everyone “on the same page” may lead some to falsely conclude that if everyone is in agreement, it must be the right strategy.

Getting everyone on the same page does not guarantee the group has made the best decision or come up with the right strategy. In fact, they may end up executing the wrong strategy even faster when caught up in their own enthusiasm and confidence. Some groups do get on the same page but end up totally committed to what turns out to be nothing more than a “me too strategy” or an altogether wrong direction. Getting everyone on the same page can be a good thing but it is not an end in itself or automatic game changer; make sure your group is on the same page but also running the right plays.