High-level strategy is as useful to most workers in an organization as a high-flying airliner is to commuters in a bus queue. The bus passengers may briefly look up and notice the plane and its vapour trail, but, even if it is travelling in the same direction, it cannot possibly help them reach their destination.

Similarly, unless you bring your strategy down-to-earth, your people will not know how best to implement it. As a result, it will have no real impact on your business’s performance.

Over half my work is focused on turning high-level strategies into tangible actions on the ground. Over the past couple of weeks, for instance, I have worked to help a retailer turn a high-level corporate sales goal into a specific target and action plan for one of its key product categories, clarified the implications of a corporate strategy for the company’s buying team, and started a project to help an IT department prioritise its current list of initiatives by understanding each of the initiatives’ impact on the company’s strategic ambitions.

How well have you translated your high-level strategy into focused action on the ground? And what further steps could you take to ensure that your 40,000 feet vision leads to ‘ground-breaking’ results?


Off The Record: Learning To Fly by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

I’m learning to fly

But I ain’t got wings

Coming down

Is the hardest thing


© Stuart Cross 2019. All rights reserved.