I’ve been thinking about strategy communication. Earlier this week, I was helping a team create a functional strategy that was fully aligned with the company strategy. The only problem was that the team didn’t really understand what the company was trying to achieve.
There were some strategy statements and summaries available, but they didn’t convey the real objectives and priorities of the business too well. It took further explanation from the team’s executive director to help the team ‘get’ what the strategy was all about. But once he’d done that, the team were able to develop a compelling set of aligned objectives and priorities.
I’m all for concise strategy statements and summaries, but alone they are unlikely to be enough for your teams to genuinely engage and align around your strategy. Instead, you also need to unpack and explain why you developed the strategy, what it’s all about, and how you intend to deliver it.
And while set piece ‘town hall’ meetings and intranet announcements are good things to do, on their own they will not be enough. Instead, you need to think about sharing your strategy 6,000 times.
Why 6,000? Well, if you think that a strategy has a life of, say, 3 years, that you have 10 meetings a day and that you’re working with others for around 200 days a year, that gives you 3 x 10 x 200 = 6,000 opportunities to share your strategy and set the context for the decisions and actions that you and your teams need to take.
A strategy is of no use if your people don’t understand it. How often do you share your company’s strategy and how effectively do you link it to the myriad of decisions your teams need to make every day?
Off The Record: Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood by The Animals
Baby, do you understand me now, sometimes I feel a little mad,
Don’t you know that no-one alive can always be an angel,
When things go wrong, I seem to go bad,
I’m just a soul whose intentions are good,
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood!Songwriters: Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Gladwell, Sol Marcus