It takes more than a leadership team to execute strategy – the whole organization must be enthusiastically supportive. Our job is to help leaders craft a plan for communicating strategy and progress throughout the year. Although the plan of action seems obvious, research unfortunately shows that less than 5% of the typical workforce understands their organization’s strategy. Why does this happen?
- Strategy Fatigue – By the time strategy is developed, most executive teams are tired of talking about it -they want to start doing. One problem – while they were creating the strategy, everyone else was heads down in their daily jobs. Leaders must have a plan for bringing everyone up to speed.
- Executive Speak – How do many leaders communicate strategy? With a bunch of complicated charts, unfamiliar business terms, and fancy acronyms that signal ‘fad of the day,’ most employees are left confused. They figure they can wait things out until the fad passes. Strategy must be communicated as a story using easily understood terms that engage both head and heart.
- Once Will Do the Trick – It’s the beginning of the fiscal year and the time for the leadership team to communicate the strategy. However, too often the airwaves go silent for the rest of the year. A good communication plan includes a variety of opportunities throughout the year to reinforce the strategy and communicate progress.
- Do As I Say, Not As I Do – What’s worse than not communicating strategy? Communicating the strategy then acting in direct opposition. People go in the direction leadership is walking, not pointing. Leaders must be open to feedback on how their actions impact the strategy’s success and do the proverbial walk-the-walk.