Can you say what your strategy is?

 

Can you summarise your company’s strategy in 30 seconds or less? If so, would your anyone else put it the same way or at the very least get the idea across? I’m betting probably not.

Most executives cannot articulate what their business is about in a simple statement and, if they can’t, no one else can.

If you can’t come up with a simple and clear statement of strategy, then you are going to find it pretty hard to execute that strategy (assuming of course that there even is one). In a huge number of companies employees are left frustrated and disengaged because, simply, there is no clear strategy. Leaders are left flummoxed when their beautifully crafted strategy fails to get implemented. They thought that all of the detailed documentation they produced following their strategic planning meeting meant they had it nailed. They failed to appreciate the necessity of having a simple, clear, succinct strategy statement that everyone can internalize and use as a guide for making difficult choices. Sometimes they even reject such a statement because it isn't complicated enough and doesn't come with a manual!

If a strategy’s essence cannot be easily communicated and internalized by everyone in the organisation, then it fails. It is as simple as that.

CEO’s who ignore their obligations to develop and easily communicate their strategy to their people, fail. CEO’s who choose to involve themselves with the day to day stuff that line managers look after, don’t just fail – they are a colossal waste of space.

Don't underestimate the value of rhetoric. That short statement can have a substantial impact on your organisations' success. Well-chosen words lead to action just as poorly chosen words often lead to inaction. Spending the time to develop the few words that truly capture your strategy and energize and empower your people is time well spent indeed.