Stay Committed to Key Strategies
Staying focused on key strategies is a critical success factor for leadership. Throughout the year, it is leadership’s job to reinforce strategies by reporting results and progress, always tying those back to why it’s important to the organization and how it’s impacting what’s vital. In working with tens of thousands of companies over five decades, MAP has noted that when strategies fall apart, leadership is the culprit and, more specifically, the inability of key leaders to stay true to those key, identified strategies. After all, the onus is on those individuals to sponsor the strategies adopted through what they say, what they do, and what they reinforce with their team.
Here are three ways to keep your company or team focused on key strategies:
Create buy-in during planning. As part of the planning process, it’s not only important to identify key strategies, but also gain buy-in for those strategies. Solid buy-in starts with getting input from management and employees, so these people become invested in and have ownership in the process. Having this dialogue and getting people involved will pay huge dividends when it comes time to implement and execute the strategies. People want to contribute, and their contribution to the process erases the chances of them feeling surprised as the strategies come into play. Establishing and building buy-in takes a little effort, but the return on investment is well worth it.
Avoid the “Flavor of the Month” syndrome. Many companies out there today are struggling because they are afflicted by what MAP calls the “Flavor of the Month” syndrome. These organizations change direction so frequently that their employees don’t understand where they're going and what’s coming next. It’s an incredibly dysfunctional approach to both leadership and management that wreaks havoc on the harmony that organizations want and deserve.
Consistently sponsor strategies. Look for opportunities to display your commitment to key strategies. Business updates to employees should include updates on key strategies. These updates should include what’s working well and current issues. Encourage two-way dialogue to create more buy-in and involvement. Your communication will demonstrate leadership’s support for the direction of the company which is vital to engage employees. If you give business updates and just go through the numbers, you are missing an opportunity to sell the vision and direction to the company.
What helps you and your team stay focused on key strategies?