Our friends at ChangeThis just published our manifesto, Talking Strategy: Three Straightforward Ways to Make Your Strategy Stick. Chip and I believe that most organizations do a lousy job communicating their strategies internally. Most execs seem to believe that formulating a strategy is 90% of the battle. If you’re a sole proprietor, that’s true. In a larger organization, though, the test of a strategy is how effectively it guides the specific actions of specific people. And that is fundamentally a communications challenge.
Once you realize that, the action plan becomes clear. You’ve got to translate the strategy into concrete terms that your folks can understand (not “maximize shareholder value”). You’ve got to make sure the strategy is specific enough to be useful to your employees (i.e., it helps them make decisions better). And perhaps most importantly, you’ve got to establish a language that makes it easier for the front-line people to talk back to the boardroom people in terms that both understand. If you do these things, you can avoid the 3 nasty barriers that impede strong strategic communication.
To learn about the full nastiness of those 3 barriers–and to see whether your own organization suffers from them–go check out the manifesto. And tell us what you think of it.