"More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity." – Francois Gautier, French journalist and author.
Leaders in the most successful and resilient companies clearly communicate strategy and priorities so that all employees understand the link between what they do daily and the results they achieve for customers and the business.
We believe that
- Saying it and doing are two different things. Even those employees who can articulate the strategy don’t relate to it unless they clearly understand how strategy is connected to their roles and their work.
- In the absence of strategic clarity most people will default to doing what they think is right, whether or not it is consistent with the company’s strategy.
- Keep it simple, keep it consistent. Strategy should be boiled down to a few simple but powerful themes, which must be artfully communicated and constantly reinforced.
- Anticipate unintended consequences. Test your strategic messages for relevance against a set of assumptions and a sound fact base. Explain what the strategy is – and what it isn't. Strategy must be articulated in the context of the specific outcomes that will and won’t be pursued in the future.
- Make the future meaningful to employees. Communicate a clear vision of what the company will look like several years out so that employees can gauge visible signs of progress over time.
- One and done doesn’t work. Frame all employee communications in the context of strategy to keep it at the center of attention and to reinforce strategy in tangible ways that employees can relate to.
- Understanding – and at times challenging -- implicit or explicit strategy as it currently exists.
- Backfilling and testing elements of strategy and vision for completeness, relevance and clarity.
- Developing a strategy communication plan that includes the strategic themes, the nature and implications of strategic choices, the business case for the strategy and any related changes, and the ways that employees connect with the strategy.
- Developing long-term objectives and shorter-term milestones along the way.
- Sharper differentiation and more powerful positioning of the organization.
- Deeper and broader understanding of the strategy across the employee group.
- Better alignment of actions across the organization.
- Greater adaptability to changing conditions.
- Increased engagement of a greater number of employees.