Bring your strategy to life

How do you make your strategy come alive?  Why do you need to?  Well, that takes me right back to the start. Why do we have a strategy and is it important that everyone is aware of it?  Surely every organisation must have a purpose.  Whatever it is (and it can be as individual as you want) it must be describable.

Now, it should be relatively easy in a commercial organisation.  We sell vegetables.  We make cars. We write apps for smartphones.  A public sector organisation might be a little more difficult as we often provide a very broad range of services yet it should not be beyond the wit of man to come up with something.  We support unwell people.  We rescue people.  We maintain law and order.

So the strategy is to let everyone know, who is interested, what the purpose of the organisation is and how it intends to achieve it.  The Council has six altogether better themes covering, wealth, health, children and young people, safety and green.  The sixth one is an all-encompassing altogether better council.

My services’ strategy must describe how we fit into the wider council strategy and how we are going to work to deliver the necessary outcomes.  I think it does that and we are in the middle of its annual review.  The strategy is there to tell people why, what and how.  Our service plan tells when.

That has answered my first question yet hasn’t answered whether or not it is important for everyone to be aware of it.  The answer relates to those working in the organisation and my heartfelt belief is that it is incumbent upon all of us to have at least a high level understanding of what we come in to do every day.  It’s back to that jigsaw lid.

Shouldn’t everyone in Nissan know that they are there to sell cars?  Shouldn’t everyone in Morrison’s know that they are there to sell groceries?  Everyone should ask how does my role help us sell more cars or groceries.  I don’t think that that is an unreasonable ask.

Yet how do we make the strategy come alive?  Perhaps we need to make it much shorter, with more punch.  Perhaps we need an infographic, a video or both.  What we do need to do is bring people back to how what they are doing fits in with the bigger picture and, as Steven Kelly told me, never miss an opportunity to remind people what is important.

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