Organisational strategy is often cooked up by a small group of leaders locked in a room over a series of weeks or months. During that time ideas are raised, discussed, developed and dismissed. Strategy is released to the masses once the best ideas have been polished and loose ends tied. Most people don’t understand the thought process behind the strategy, they only hear the end result.
This can lead to partial understanding which creates misalignment and sub-optimal performance. The further someone is from the strategy originators the greater the opportunity for misinterpretation – and these people are often the ones closest to your customers.
Road test your strategy with leaders and people managers. Does it answer the questions your people will be asking?
- Where are we going?
- What are our priority goals?
- What will it look, sound and feel like when we get there?
- How will it benefit me/us?
- How will it benefit our customers?
- Why is this the best strategy for us right now?
Developing the meaning of your strategy with leaders and people managers creates alignment and results in leaders owning the narrative and conveying common messages day to day.
Involve representatives from across and through your organisation in developing your compelling story. Include what matters to them
Becoming engaged in your organisation’s strategy is about knowing the part you and your team play in delivering it. Teams recognise their role and develop plans to deliver the strategy, creating a golden thread between them and the organisation’s ambition. Teams identify how their roles fit with others to deliver a consistently excellent customer experience.
Having everyone know the part they play improves performance and collaboration. It creates meaning and reduces uncertainty and ambiguity.