Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Why Does Strategy Puddle Instead of Trickle?


I have noticed an interesting problem with organizational strategy lately.  As companies are clamoring for growth, market share and differentiation, new strategies are all the rage.

I see the same process with strategy over and over:
1) Create new strategy
2) Tell a few people about it
3) Conduct a PowerPoint about it
4) Tell (at a high level) employees the new strategy
5) The End!

The question always comes up..."Why aren't we implementing/executing on our strategic plan?

I say, "Did you tell the people that need to execute it?"

"Yes"

"Did you tell them HOW to behave differently and how their roles have changed.  Did you let them know how they were going to be measured and how those measures link to the overall strategy?"

This is where I her crickets, no matter if we are talking about organizational strategy or HR strategy.  Strategy gets stuck in a puddle somewhere, often near middle-management and it no longer can trickle down to the level where execution occurs.

If your front line employees don't know what the mission is, how are they going to execute?

How have you avoided the strategy puddle in your organization?  How have you encouraged the trickle effect?  Let's chat about some ideas on how to get strategy unstuck.  I will start us off...

1) Keep strategy simple so managers can explain it simply to employees.
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