Strategy execution in large companies often fails due to unclear or lack of communication. But if communication was the problem in the industry-leading companies, it would be solved by now.
Executives and decision-makers are often passionate and inspiring communicators, who have brilliant and hardworking communication and change consultants helping them design and execute regular campaigns, town halls, and ask-me-anything sessions.
They follow all the rules in the communication handbooks. Yet, the feedback from the surveys they carefully designed to support the communication process shows that employees either don’t care about the strategy or feel that strategic initiatives are disconnected from their “real work” and ultimately are a waste of time.
One company even experienced that the more top management talked about the strategic changes, the fewer employees participated in the feedback surveys.
So, if communication is not the answer, what is?
The most successful executives in the most successful companies know that they cannot succeed if they are the only ones thinking and acting strategically. They understand that their companies depend on them to activate and align everyone on the same strategic agenda.
But even the most successful executives tend to forget that nobody changes their way of thinking and acting just because top management tells them to.
No matter how passionate you and your fellow executives are, and no matter how many times you repeatedly stress the importance of the strategic transformation your company is going through, people will always be people. And people need help.
You would never spend months analyzing different markets and designing and developing a new product, and then say: “Here you go, dear customers – now start using it!” You know your customers need help understanding the product and making it part of their everyday lives, and most importantly: you know they need time.
To shorten this time, you have thousands of experts within R&D, marketing, sales, and customer success whose job is to make it easy for customers to adopt your new product. And to prevent your strategy from failing, you must do the same for your employees.
Just like your customers, your employees need help to:
The above is an excerpt from the eBook From strategy to action - what you need to know written by Qvest founder and Chief Scientific Officer Pia Lauritzen, PhD for leaders in large legacy organizations.
Marketing Associate at Qvest. Gabi has a degree in communications and multimedia design and is currently studying International Social Sciences. She grew up in Brazil and is passionate about communications and community-building.
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