Leaders: Bring Your Strategy Back into Focus

Gallup Workplace, October 6 2021

Vibhas Ratanjee reports on the challenges of writing a strategic plan and why so many organisations fail to do it successfully. ‘Today, employees need a clear purpose, dependable decision-making, direction and communication. They don’t want it – they expect it’.

The following recommendations are made:

1. Organisations must align on an organisation’s purpose before strategizing. Executives must align around a shared understanding of purpose and this is not always easy. Cascading alignment organisation wide is also even more challenging now with the shift to remote working. ‘When purpose diverges, strategies disintegrate. The best way to communicate purpose and strategy is briefly. If it takes more than one page to describe strategy, communication will descend into prescription, not inspiration’.

2. Sustained strategy relies on seeking employee input on decisions. Listen intently and deeply – today’s employees want to be part of the story; they expect to be part of the decision-making process. Getting employee input doesn’t have to be arduous – a well-designed employee engagement survey can provide vital insights.

3. Align goals across all levels. Objectives need to be public and transparent so that everyone in the organisation can review them and see progress. Gallup recommends incorporating leading indicators such as customer and employee engagement, culture strength etc. and lagging indicators such as profitability. ‘Strategy is woefully unrealistic if it doesn’t include human metrics’.

Implementation is where strategies usually fail but aligning on purpose, listening deeply and incorporating all levels of the organisation will help.

To read more, see www.gallup.com/workplace/354944/leaders-bring-strategy-back-focus

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