Here’s our model drawn from 3+ years working with CEOs, digesting the best management literature and piecing it all together. Please do add your ideas below.
Find practical and sensible ways to involve the broader team in forming and managing strategy.
For example, a core group of senior leaders form the heart of strategy but everyone gets some input or say in its evolution before it’s finalised.
It’s a simple concept, yet for too many organisations strategy is something owned by a few and obeyed by the many.
Jim Harter Ph.D., a chief scientist at Gallup Research explained to the Harvard Business Review (HBR) that engaged employees “are more attentive and vigilant. They look out for the needs of their coworkers and the overall enterprise, because they personally ‘own’ the result of their work and that of the organization.”
Find a concise, usable strategic framework (like Leaderkit) so the team can focus on the key concepts with consistent language.
Look for holistic models that encompass:
Find easy-to-use execution software (like Leaderkit) that connects strategy to management routine – without it, strategy will struggle for air-time against operational demands.
When it comes to strategy, size does matter: less is more. Why? Because the bigger and more complex something is the more we over complicate and obscure it. Simple leads to clarity – clarity leads to focus – focus leads to getting the right things done.
Distill each element of your strategic plan to its simplest form (without going too simple). We’re fans of a 5 sentence strategic foundation (see how) and 3-4 sentence annual strategy.
HBR’s article; “The big lie of strategic planning” puts it this way:
Two choices determine success: the where-to-play decision (which specific customers to target) and the how-to-win decision (how to create a compelling value proposition for those customers)…
If a strategy is about just those two decisions, it won’t need to involve the production of long and tedious planning documents. There is no reason why a company’s strategy choices can’t be summarized in one page with simple words and concepts.
If you would like to try this with your business you can download our One Page Plan template below – no obligation. It is free to use and share.
Patrick Lencioni’s book The Advantage lists four great ways to over-communicate core important messages:
This might look like:
Find and develop inventive ways to make these discussions alive, fun, real and relevant to your company.
Thanks for reading this post – I hope it’s been valuable. Please do share your tips and thoughts on the topic in the comments section below. Many CEOs and executives are professionally isolated when it comes to strategy. Let’s change that together.