Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rules to Communicate Strategy

In this week's reading, we have read about how to set a strategy statement and the methods for successful strategy execution. For executives to make decisions that are aligned with the strategy of the organization, they first need to know the strategy. From this week’s reading, we have seen that most executives find it hard to summarize the strategy of the organization succinctly. 

In the book “Communicating Strategy” by Phil Jones, he mentions that research suggests that only 5% of the people in the organization understand its strategy. If this is the case then whose strategy are the remaining 95% of the people implementing?

It is very important that the strategy of the organization is communicated to all the employees. From the Article, “Communicating Strategy”1, by Freek Vermeulen, we can see 3 rules to effectively communicate strategy. The first rule is to “Make some genuine, tough choices.”1 He says that the organization’s strategy should be focused. It should be focused at what the organization wants to achieve and not a general and broad strategy. The strategy makers should think long and hard and decide exactly where they want the organization to be, who are their target customers and then coin a focused strategy. The second rule is to keep the strategy brief. The essence of the strategy should be captured in few words. If the strategy is too long, it will be hard to communicate and no one is going to remember it. The third rule is to not only communicate ‘what’ the strategy is but also ‘why’ such a strategy was coined. The reasoning behind this is that if employees know why the strategy was coined, then they can understand the decision making process of the organization and they will be more inclined to corporate with the strategy. It’s also important to explain as to why the strategy was coined so that people who do not agree with it can understand the reasoning behind it and can be convinced.

Just by having a focused and structured strategy but not communicating it well to the employees, can an organization be successful?

[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/freekvermeulen/2010/11/09/communicating-strategy/


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