Have you ever experienced a solid strategy that has fallen flat? What seemed logical and straight forward often becomes convoluted or misconstrued in execution. Solid strategy can’t withstand ineffective execution. So, what can you do?
For leaders who are deeply invested in conversations involving the strategy of the company, it seems baffling as to why teams struggle to execute seamlessly. However, for the majority of the employees further down in the organization responsible for the day-to-day execution, it’s not so clear.
The Job of a Leader
As a leader, our work is forward-looking and change is inevitable. We are expected to work “on the business” not “in” the business. And because of the daily conversations we are involved in at our level, we become desensitized to the impact of the information. The consequence? We forget the importance of reminding those responsible for executing the plan of why their work matters and how it fits into the big picture. This miss on the part of leaders results in confusion, misaligned priorities and lost progress towards the strategic goals.
Want the Good News or Bad News First?
Here’s the good news. There is a simple approach you can take today to create the alignment you need with your team.
Here’s the bad news. It may seem repetitive to you as a leader because you know why the strategy matters. Remember, this isn’t about you. It’s about your people. Your role as a leader is to help them make the connection to how what they do aligns with the broader organizational strategy and initiatives.
Here’s the simple approach you can immediately put to use.
1. Where We’ve Been
Reminding your team of the journey the company has been on over the last 12-24 months grounds everyone in the results and actions that have brought the team to where it is today.
2. Where We Are Now (and Why We Can’t Stay Here)
The ‘now’ may be based on undesirable results or an incredible opportunity ahead. Either way, it’s fueled by a need to move forward towards alignment with the company’s strategic plan. Communicating why the current state isn’t where the organization needs to be is important to getting everyone on-board.
3. Where We Are Going (and How Your Contribution Matters)
Reiterating this message must happen on a regular basis, even if you feel like a broken record. Restating the goal, why it’s important, and how that employee’s job fits into the bigger goal is critical. These steps help connect those responsible for executing the plan. This is also a great time to express heartfelt, detailed gratitude for the impact employees make day-in and day-out.