Has this thought ever occurred to you? Have you had discussions in yourorganization about “What ever happened to the strategy that we completed 3years ago?” Or “Do you know where we stand with our strategy? Have wemade any progress?”
90% of employees don’t know the strategy for their organization
Is your strategy a secret?
Let me give you an example of the impact of a secret strategy. I rememberdiscussing a situation where a colleague was working in the ProjectManagement Office (PMO) for an organization. Part of their role was to alignresources (people and budgets) to the strategic priorities of the organization.Yet after an annual off-site strategy session, the leadership team never sharedthe strategy with the organization. Needless to say, several months later thePMO was still unable to effectively align resources with the strategic priorities.So, the PMO was unable to fulfill one of their key responsibilities and theorganization, probably, never met their goals for the upcoming year(s). Thiscan be fixed!
I read an article recently that included the idea that many organizationscomplete the strategy as a means to check off a required task – for the boardof directors, lenders, partners – but it’s never actually implemented. This canbe fixed too!
The focus of my strategy practice is to work with businesses and organizationsto help them understand the value of a well-formed strategic plan. I enjoyworking with the leadership team in identifying various strategic goals that will help the organization not only continue to meet the mission but also helpto drive the organization that much closer to the defined vision. The bigquestion that always arises is: How? How are we going to make this happen?How are we going to achieve these goals? How are we going to get there?
My answer is always the same: Let’s ask the employees.
The employees have the experience and expertise in a variety of skills,products, services, and companies that can help define a path to achieve thosegoals. They have the ideas and innovative energy to identify new andcompelling ways to help achieve those strategic goals. As an example, insteadof having 6-10 leaders sitting around a table trying to figure out how thestrategy can come to fruition, can you imagine the impact and the power ofasking 250 employees? Keep in mind that everyone has ideas, but somepeople may not want to share those ideas and that’s fine. But why not givethem the opportunity to contribute to the organizational plan?
Clearly, getting input from ~250 people on how to successfully meet yourstrategic goals is a huge benefit for the leadership team. And what about theemployees? Can you imagine the positive impact of asking employees for theirideas and then incorporating some of their contributions into the final plan?As an employee, I would really respect a company that asks for our opinion,and actually incorporates some of our ideas into the final strategic plan. And,let’s face it…you now have my commitment to help the organization attainthose goals.
A strategic plan is not developed for the leadership team. It’s developed forthe organization. That being said, make an effort to include the entireorganization in the development, design and delivery of that strategy.