Why am I doing all this? What impact does it have? Where am I going with this?
These questions came to my mind the most frequently during the three and a half years I spent in the corporate world. Although I did get to learn a lot at work and I do not have any complaints, I would have appreciated knowing the strategy that my seniors had in mind for the company. I could have understood my duties better. I could have evaluated the effects of my work from the company’s perspective. I could have also had a better sense of belonging towards my company. Perhaps, I could have shared better insights to improve the company’s strategy.
Many a times, I tried to browse through my companies’ intranet portals just to find any information explaining to us why we were doing what we were doing and where we were going with this. The first company I worked for, being an IT giant, had vast records of its strategic visions for the future. These records were quite complicated. I never managed to find enough time (or patience) to go through those. The second company I worked for, being a start-up, provided almost no information about its strategy. In both the cases, I had no idea of the strategy that my company had in mind.
After being a part of both the two extremes, I could instantly agree with the article “Can You Say What Your Strategy Is?”, by Collis and Rukstad. I strongly believe that every company should have a good strategy and it should take into account every employee’s opinions in order to formulate it. It should release a strategy statement to all its stakeholders. This statement should be as clear as possible but should ideally not exceed 35 words.
As far as the formulation of a strategy is concerned, it is inevitable that the top management may forget intricate details about the working of the company. This can be avoided if everyone in the company contributes to the development of a strategy.
The need for a good strategy statement is as critical as the need for the strategy itself. Having no statement at all or too elaborate a statement can instantly kill an employee’s interest to know more about his or her company’s strategy. Every employee must know the objective, scope and advantage that lie in his or her efforts. The employees would then remember to keep the company’s objective in mind while working. They would know who they are working for and how they differ from their competitors.
To conclude, I would like to say that if a company can follow the guidelines suggested by Collis and Rukstad, it can help its employees understand where they fit in their company and what their future can possibly be. They would not be haunted by questions about their existence in the company. They would also exhibit better productivity.