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This week’s riff: How do you build wider commitment to a new growth strategy? After all, it’s highly likely that some people are going to be negative about whatever you come up with and will be resistant to the changes you propose.

In essence, you have only three options. Option 1 is simply to tell people to support the new strategy and give them a JDI ultimatum. The problem with this ‘enforcement’ approach, even when delivered sensitively, is that, at best, you will end up with reluctant, rather than enthusiastic supporters.

Option 2 is to point at others who already support the new plans and suggest that if that group supports the new way forward, others should too. Again, however, you will have done nothing to remove any underlying doubts and resistance.

The third option, and the one I pursue with clients, is to actively involve and engage the organization. Executive teams should never outsource their strategy work, but do the hard yards themselves. Your wider management teams should also have the opportunity to challenge, refine and influence the emerging direction and priorities, and your wider teams should be able to determine how they can best deliver the aims of the strategy within their own areas of responsibility.

Involvement breeds commitment. How are you ensuring that as many people in your organization as possible are able to become genuinely and actively involved in your strategy and change initiatives?

Off The Record: The Sound Of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel

People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

© Stuart Cross 2017. All rights reserved.