There is a big difference between getting to 50,000 feet in order to set business strategy and being able to deliver that strategy on the ground.

As I’ve discussed previously, all business strategies must be translated before they can be delivered, no matter how strong your implementation capabilities.

I liken these translation techniques to guy ropes tethering a hot air balloon. The balloon can rise to 50,000 feet but it remains connected to the ground by six critical ropes:

  1. Genuine alignment – all the top team need to be genuinely committed to delivering the agreed strategy
  2. Relentless communication – the strategic intent should form the basis of all communication with the organisation
  3. Resource allocation – resources should be allocated on their ability to deliver the strategy
  4. Talent deployment – your best and most appropriate people should be leading your key strategic objectives
  5. Accountabilities – their individual performance, and the collective performance of the top team, should be directly based on implementing the strategy
  6. Corporate KPIs should reflect the strategy, as should the associated rewards and bonuses.

If these ropes aren’t present, are cut, or become loose, the balloon will start to drift away and the people on the ground will no longer be able to see it. They will go about their business without reference to the top team’s strategic intent and the strategy will disappear.

It will, to all intents and purposes, become just a load of hot air.

Is your high level strategy connected back to ground level realities?

© Stuart Cross 2009. All rights reserved.