Source | LinkedIn : By Brian de Haaff
Recognize this scenario? You join the leadership team at the annual offsite to work on next year’s strategy. The location is somewhere expensive and beautiful. Unfortunately, you hardly ever leave the conference room.
The group returns exhausted from the 48-hour huddle with the “master plan” in hand. (And for some, with an even more inflated sense of self-importance.) And then everyone promptly forgets about it.
Everyone forgets about it until the end of the fiscal year when it’s time to account for what was accomplished. So you scramble to answer the question: “How are we delivering against that thing we talked about at the offsite last year?”
Oh yes, that thing — the business strategy. We should probably take a look at that.
Well, it’s no surprise your strategy is not working. Why? Because no one seems to care about it.
Every organization understands the importance of strategy. But it is too often treated as one more to-do to check off, filed away as more proof of the team’s smart planning and ability to bring a differentiated product to market.
Here are a few reasons why your team is not giving strategy a second thought:
Was the strategy hurriedly pieced together by a privileged few over a two-day meeting — instead of being the culmination of a thoughtful process with input from the team? Strategy should be something that you think about at some level each day. (Long before and long after the offsite meeting is over.)
Did you lock your strategy work away in a precious document intended only for the inner circle? You have to share your approach with the people accomplishing the work and helping customers every day. You need to be transparent with the details and be able to explain it so everyone understands what they are working towards. Hiding it away helps no one.
This also happens if your strategy was developed behind closed doors. If others feel left out of the process, they will have no reason to get excited about it. Your team deserves the opportunity to understand your thinking and share their thoughts. That way they will share ownership and feel a responsibility to fulfill it.